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6 mark questions in GCSE biology

6 mark questions have been around for years, but they are going to have a few changes with the new GCSE.

Based on the specimen papers, there will be two 6 mark questions in the biology paper. This is most likely bought about by the lack of coursework.

Almost all 6 mark questions are leveled. They will have a level 1, 2 and 3 example answer. This means that you cannot necessarily get 6 marks by writing 6 points. You can only get 6 marks by addressing all of the parts of the question.

The 6 mark questions are on the following things.

1) Describing a required practical. Make sure you know them. Each exam board has lots of documentation on required practicals and each textbook highlight's its exam board's required practicals. As my last post stated, the specimen papers have around 30-40% of their marks on required practicals.

2) Describing a process such as the drug development process. You will know that something is a process worthy of a 6 mark question if there is a flow diagram associated with it. Other processes could be (and these may not apply to your specification!) - mitosis, meiosis, genetic modification, virus life cycles (lytic and lysogenic), transport processes (diffusion, active transport, osmosis), nerve impulses, reflex arc, how proteins are coded, natural selection, selective breeding, genetic modification, the water cycle, carbon cycle nitrogen cycle.

3) Comparing two things such as statins and stents. Other things that can be compared are: mitosis and meiosis, natural selection and selective breeding, hormones vs nerves, osmosis and diffusion and active transport and lytic and lysogenic virus life cycles.

4) Evaluating the good and bad points of something such as statins and stents.

I predict that one 6 mark question will be a describe question. This will be based on either required practicals or processes. The other 6 mark question will be about comparing 2 things and evaluating.

Good luck!

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