Biology - Blot on the landscape

5th June 2009 at 01:00

Pupils might have found the maths elements, as opposed to the biology content, in this year's General Standard grade exam testing, according to Iain McGregor, a biology teacher at Monifieth High in Angus.

"They were asked about the percentage increase and decrease, which I understand is Credit maths, so that was possibly a bit unfair," he said.

The Standard grade Credit paper was also challenging, he continued. One question about washing powder and stain removal might have thrown pupils, as they had never seen the experiment before. Even trickier, he said, was a question about paramecium, a single-celled organism and water movement. "We talk about osmosis and diffusion, but we don't talk about active transfer. Maybe I'm looking too deeply into it, but I'll be interested to see what the examiners are after."

The Higher biology exam was "fair", he said. The graph in question 5, part B, might have thrown some pupils, but it was less complicated than it seemed.

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