Thursday 25 March 2021



This webinar gives students the opportunity to revisit the challenging topics examined in paper 1. In addition, new topics to the specification will be covered. There will be a brief analysis of the common mistakes made by students in recent examinations with the opportunity to work through past questions that ensure students don’t make the same mistakes. We will then look at what examiners are looking for when tackling data handling questions.

Students will have the opportunity to practice these skills through working questions on ‘transport across cell membranes’ HIV and the new topic of Transport in the phloem.    

The concepts covered in protein structure, osmosis and surface area to volume rations will be applied to questions that are synoptic. Finally, the webinar will then provide students with the opportunity to tackle questions assessing the practical skills they have covered in class. Here we will work through the topics of transpiration, enzymes and membrane structure.   

The session is designed to allow active participation by the students with time embedded for them to attempt questions before model answers are provided. Tips on common mistakes, importance of terminology and accuracy of student answers will be reinforced throughout the session.


  • Gain an excellent understanding of how to answer the challenging topics on Paper 1
  • A focus on common mistakes that students make in the examinations and how to avoid making the same mistakes
  • Students will be taken through a range of data handling and synoptic questions with explanations of how to achieve full marks
  • Review examples of how to tackle questions on the required practicals
  • Opportunities for students to ask questions and receive feedback and actively participate in the session
  • Receive further questions that will allow students to practice the skills covered in the webinar


  • All students taking A-level Biology with AQA
  • This webinar will be of benefit to students studying with other awarding bodies


4.00 – 4.05 Common mistakes made by students with examples.

  • Review past paper questions covering topics in gas exchange and biological molecules highlighting mistakes that lead to students losing marks.

4.05 – 4.20 Tips on how to be successful in data handling questions by working through questions covering the topics of the phloem, transport mechanisms and HIV.  We will look at how to approach and answer questions as well as highlighting where students lose marks.

  • How to approach and answer questions that require analysis of graphs and tables.
  • Outline a successful approach to tackling these questions

4.20 – 4.35 –  Tips on tackling synoptic questions covering the key topics of osmosis, protein structure and mutations.   

  • Examine links between different parts of the specification.
  • How to apply your knowledge of these topics to questions that are set in an unfamiliar context.

4.35 – 5.00 – Practical questions.

  • What types of questions will you be asked on the practical’s you did in class?
  • Tackle a range of practical base questions covering transpiration, enzymes and cell membranes.

Michael Brown

Michael was an examiner for 18 years and has worked in post 16 education for 23 years, initially as an A-level Biology Tutor before progressing to Head of Department and finally STEM and Quality Initiatives Manager. He has had a positive effect on student’s aspirations and achievement; his Learner Voice results are always very positive and examination results have been consistently above benchmark for all KPI’s with excellent value added. As a Head of Department he completed an ‘Exceeding Expectations’ management training course and is a strong and effective leader. His Science provision was chosen as part of OFSTED’s Good practice survey: Improving Sciences in Colleges. Michael was then seconded to another campus to improve science results and turned around the department within 12 months. During this time his college also reached the finals of the National STEMNET Awards for three consecutive years.

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