KS4 Biology

Our tutoring explores the key principles behind the science of living organisms. With the ever-increasing role of science in society, it is essential to understand GCSE-level biology; and be able to use it as a platform/base for your scientific knowledge.

The three main exam boards that examine GCSE Biology are AQA, OCR and Edexcel. Each board has two papers with the option of taking the foundation level or higher level. While there is some variation in the subject content between boards, the key ideas remain constant. Paper 1 of each board normally examines the basic concepts of GCSE Biology. Paper 2 deals with more complex principles of biology. The specific topics tested by each board can be found in the tables below. The key difference between Biology and the other two core sciences is that it’s very content-heavy.

At Redbridge Tuition, we help students to continuously work in smaller, feasible portions. This prevents them from becoming overwhelmed closer to the exam period.

Previously, it was sufficient to just learn and memorise the content. However, GCSE Biology exams have evolved and have become a lot more difficult. Students need to integrate their knowledge of facts and apply this in various scenarios and case studies. In addition to this, exam boards have very specific requirements in what they require as answers in exam papers.

Redbridge Tuition tutoring helps students to not only become knowledgeable biologists but to have a detailed understanding of how to apply their knowledge to given contexts and providing appropriate exam answers. With this, we aid our students in maximising their potential and gaining as many marks as possible in their GCSE biology exam.

GCSE Exam Specifications by Exam Board

Listed below are the various specifications that are used for GCSE exams:

OCR 21st Century Science Suite – GCSE Biology A Specification:

Paper One Paper Two Paper Three
You and your genes The process of life Further biology
Keeping healthy Growth and Development  
Life on Earth Brain and mind  

OCR 21st Century Science Suite – GCSE Biology B Specification:

Paper One Paper Two
You and your genes Human biology – staying alive
Keeping healthy Life on Earth – past, present and future
Living together – food and ecosystems Ideas about science
Using food and controlling growth Practical skills

OCR Gateway Science – GCSE Biology A Specification:

Paper One Paper Two
Cell living systems Community level systems
Scaling up Genes, inheritance and selection
Organism level systems Global changes
Practical skills Practical skills

OCR Gateway Science – GCSE Biology B Specification:

Paper One Paper Two
Understanding organisms It’s a green world
Understanding our environment The living body
Living and growing Beyond the microscope
Practical skills Practical skills

Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Biology:

Each paper:

• is worth 100 marks

• Has a weighting is 50%

• has 10 questions

• will last 1 hour 45 minute

Paper One Paper Two
Key concepts in biology Key concepts in biology
Cells and control Plant structures and their functions
Genetics Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
Natural selection and genetic modification Exchange and transport in animals
Health, disease and development in medicines Ecosystems and material cycles

AQA GCSE (9-1) Biology:

Each paper:

• is worth 100 marks

• Has a weighting is 50%

• has 10 questions

• will last 1 hour 45 minute

Paper One Paper Two
Cell biology Homeostasis and response
Organisation Inheritance
Infection and response Variation and evolution
Bioenergetics Ecology

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