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How do I create an OCR A Biology study plan?
How do I create an OCR A Biology study plan?

🌱 Master your OCR A Biology A Level

Katie Rawlins avatar
Written by Katie Rawlins
Updated over a week ago

👀 Get started

  • Grab a calendar that works for you - it can either be digital (like a Google Calendar) or paper-based

  • Allocate study time based on when you’re most/least productive and plug in all your other commitments e.g.

    • Block out lunch every day 12.30pm-1.30pm

    • Block out weekends if you prefer to have those off

    • Schedule in some early morning study time if you’re very productive at the start of the day

  • Now review your total study time, increasing or decreasing it if necessary:

    • If you’re on study leave, you’re aiming for ~30 hours per week

    • If you’ve got more time before your exams, aiming for ~8-15 hours per week is ok

    • Or, anything in between!

⏲️ Set a commitment

  • Now split those hours across all your subjects, assigning slightly more to the ones you find hardest

    • TOP TIP! Scheduling the same subject at the same time of day/week can build habits and help you stick to your schedule more easily

  • Try to mix up different subjects in your study plan rather than cramming one subject at a time. This method is called interleaving and can help boost learning.

  • You’re aiming to study for blocks of time that work for you:

    • 30 min ➡️ work for 25 mins then take a 5 min break

    • 1 hour ➡️ work for 50 mins then take a 10 min break

      • TOP TIP! Use the Pomodoro technique to help you. The break is just as important as study time

✍️ Schedule in Up Learn

  • You can simply add ‘Up Learn’ slots to your study plan or if you’d like to get more granular, read on…

  • Schedule in the topics with the detailed video lessons - these cover the hardest 20% of biology

  • Next, schedule in time to cover the following sections:

    • Exam Technique ➡️ teaches you how to approach specific types of question in your exam

    • Recall Practice Quizzes ➡️ practice facts and definitions with varying levels of difficulty. The easier ones are a good starting point to help you learn and the harder ones will ensure you master them

  • As soon as you feel you’re ready (or when you hit 40-50% Up Score), it’s time for Exam Practice Papers. Be sure to schedule enough time to complete this and mark it after (using the mark scheme provided)

  • Finally, as you get closer to your exam or if you want to revise content you feel quite confident in, schedule in:

    • Exam Practice Questions ➡️ complete exam-style questions, practice applying what you’ve learnt, identifying areas of weakness and recapping key knowledge and exam technique. You mark your answer using an interactive mark scheme

    • Summaries ➡️ a very quick way to get an overview of the topic right before exams and/or figure out whether it is something you need to spend more time on

TOP TIP: Check out the Science of Learning module to learn how to optimise your studying!

💪 Review and strengthen

  • Review your study plan every couple of weeks at least by checking through your Up Learn course (Yr 12 + Yr 13):

    • Which of your topics have a lot of green bars and which ones don’t? Head over to the topics that need some more work (or are completely empty of green)

      • TOP TIP! Once you hit 7/8 bars move on to another topic and come back to that one later. The algorithm doesn’t like you repeatedly strengthening the same topic on the same day

    • Is your Up Score stuck on 40-60%? It’s time for Exam Practice Papers. Complete and redo them, aiming to get a better score the second time

      • TOP TIP! Up Score dropped sharply after completing a paper? Don’t panic - redoing the same paper replaces the mark you just got. Your average exam score (which feeds into your overall Up Score) is calculated using the average of the highest score on each paper you have attempted

    • Need some general tips on how to increase your Up Score? Find those here

    • Need some general tips on the best way to learn? Find those here

🌱 OCR A Biology A Level exam dates 2024

Paper 1: 5-Jun-24

Paper 2: 14-Jun-24

Paper 3: 19-Jun-24

Remember! These guidelines are intended as hints and tips to help you but if you’ve already got a process that you like - stick with it! Everyone has slightly different study habits and it’s really important to figure out what works best for you. Happy learning 😎

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