A danger sign

Alarm bells are ringing for Alan Stevenson, principal teacher of biology at Stirling High, because his pupils thought the Higher human biology exam was quite easy - always a danger sign for teachers.

He agrees that most of the multiple choice questions were straightforward, with the exception of question 23, a bar graph analysis of child development.

The short answer section of the paper was straightforward, although question 3, on genetics, required them to read it carefully so that they grasped that it centred on the dominant sex link allele, not, as is more usual, a recessive characteristic.

Mr Stevenson liked question 6, on blood pressure, which referred to a number of different parts of the syllabus, but pupils would have had to work hard to get the one mark allocated to question 9b, which required them to come up with three components of the para-sympathetic nervous system. He was pleased to see two environmental questions - on global warming and deforestation.

The third section had a good choice of extended answer questions, from nerve transmission and memory to female infertility and the structure of the red blood cell.

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