Possible topics for IGCSE Biology paper 2 2015

Predicting the topics that might come up in an exam is always a risky business.  The most important thing to remember is that the examiners can ask questions on any topic at all in the paper 2 exam – this might include questions on topics they have asked already in the first paper .  The iGCSE specification is so large that it will be impossible for your understanding across the entire range to be assessed.

Having said that, I think it is sensible to focus your revision on topics that have not been assessed at all in paper 1.  My Head of Department has carefully been through the paper 1 (which I thought was an excellent exam by the way) and has come up with some suggestions as to what kind of questions might appear in paper 2.  (Note the important use of the word might…..)  Here is his list:

  • A question about blood, vaccination, pathogens, bringing in bacterial and viral structure, maybe comparing them to animal cells?
  • Something to do with enzymes, nutrients (monomers, polymers), some detail on elements of the digestive system that have not been covered?
  • Water uptake, osmosis, transpiration stream, potometers?
  • Photosynthesis biochemistry, maybe an experimental question, linking with respiration (hydrogencarbonate indicator experiment for example?)
  • Nervous system – reflex arc and eye structure and function are both ripe for a good question
  • Homeostasis question, on thermoregulation or kidney function
  • A question about cloning that links in with cell division, mitosis and meiosis, asexual versus sexual reproduction
  • Natural selection, evolution, selective breeding, maybe linked to an environmental context (e.g. global warming), or food production (e.g. fish farming)
  • Food webs and energy flow, along with a carbon/water/nitrogen cycle component
  • A respiration question that ties in with yoghurt and/or beer production

I think this is a really sensible list and a good way to start your revision for paper 2 in June.  Look at each of these topics carefully, make sure you understand the details in the specification and then have a go at past paper questions on each of these subject areas.  I will try to get some new blog posts up that address these bullet points in the next week or two (fingers crossed…)  There is already quite a lot in the blog if you use the “Search PMGBiology” function at the top of the home page.

Good luck and keep working hard!

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