Biology of an exam

30th April 2004 at 01:00
Intermediate 1 Biology: Official SQA Past Papers 2000-2003, with model answers Leckie amp; Leckie pound;6.99

This package of SQA past papers with the official answers will be an invaluable revision aid for Intermediate 1 biology candidates. (Leckie amp; Leckie has also produced similar sets for Intermediate 2, Standard grade and Higher students.) It provides essential experience of completing questions at a level and standard expected in the exam and regarding the time allocation for completing the papers. Even the colour of the past papers is what candidates can expect.

The SQA answers provided illustrate the response examiners are looking for and alone offer an excellent revision source. Having the answer sheet as a pull-out booklet lets the user mark completed papers with ease, allowing the questions, official answers and the candidate's responses to be viewed at the same time.

Being a marker for the Scottish Qualifications Authority, I am aware of common notations used in the marking schemes and their importance. For example, underlined words indicate those that must be included in the answer to obtain the marks allocated. This could have been conveyed in the booklet of official answers, emphasising what students have to include and helping their revision.

Ten study aids are noted inside the front cover, though most of the techniques would be covered in class. What would be an excellent aid is to include responses that are not acceptable and answers that are commonly provided but are incorrect. This would help steer exam candidates towards correct and acceptable responses.

It is, overall, a good study and revision aid. The only drawback, in my opinion, is the cost. The final package is glossy; if it were in booklet form with less gloss it might reduce the price. Many school departments have past papers available to students free.

Duncan McColl is head of biology at Dalbeattie High, Dumfries and Galloway

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today