WHY SHOULD YOU STUDY A LEVEL BIOLOGY (INTERNATIONAL)?
Biologists study the natural world, understanding how all living things – humans, animals and plants – function and how they interact with the world around them. The problem-solving, research and analytical skills you will develop on this course are skills that will help you with further study at university and in your career.
If you want to pursue a career for example in Medicine, Genetics, Dentistry, Pharmaceuticals, Forensic science, Biochemistry, Biomedical sciences, Environmental science, Zoology or Oceanography, then studying Biology at A Level is a vital first step.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW TO ENROL?
A Level Biology (International) is available only to students based outside the UK. It builds directly on the work you will have done for IGCSE or equivalent in the subject. Grade B or 6 at IGCSE or the equivalent is required before starting on the A Level. Due to the knowledge of Mathematics and Chemistry required, we also recommend that you have Grade B or 6 in both Chemistry and Maths at IGCSE or equivalent before embarking on this subject. Wolsey Hall offers the relevant IGCSE courses should they be necessary. All students undertaking Wolsey Hall A levels must also have IGCSE in English Language at Grade C or 4.
THE SYLLABUS AND THE EXAM
This course prepares you for the Edexcel International A Level Biology syllabus XBI11 (for AS) and YBI11 (for the full A Level, AS + A2). Exams take place in January, June and October.
For the AS in Biology, you will take:
Paper 1: Molecules, Diet, Transport and Health (code WBI11/01) worth 40% of the AS grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 30 minutes)
Paper 2: Cells, Development, Biodiversity and Conservation (code WBI12/01) worth 40% of the AS grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 30 minutes)
Paper 3: Practical Skills in Biology I (code WBI13/01) worth 20% of the AS grade and 10% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 20 minutes)
For the A2 in Biology, you will take:
Paper 4: Energy, Environment, Microbiology and Immunity (code WBI14/01) worth 40% of the A2 grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 45 minutes)
Paper 5: Respiration, Internal Environment, Coordination and Gene Technology (code WBI15/01) worth 40% of the A2 grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 45 minutes)
Paper 6: Practical Skills in Biology II (code WBI16/01) worth 20% of the A2 grade and 10% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 20 minutes)
You will not be expected to carry out experiments during the exam; however, you are expected to develop your experimental skills, and a knowledge and understanding of practical techniques is necessary as any of the exam papers may assess your understanding of the scientific method, particularly in relation to the core practicals listed in the syllabus.
We have developed resources in conjunction with the Lab Book so that home students can familiarise themselves with the methods by watching appropriate YouTube videos, and using hypothetical data to complete as many of the questions as possible. Where feasible, you may even be able to carry out a simplified method at home. These resources are all self-assessed, as the answers to analytical questions are provided with the Lab Book, but your tutor is available to answer any questions.