As a former post-doctoral researcher in biomedical sciences, I now specialize in online A-level biology tutoring. I work one-to-one with students in the UK and International students and expats taking International A-level Biology (IAL) exams.
Every process in biology tells a story…
The A-level Biology course is a big step up from GCSE (or IGCSE). Sometimes the detail at A-level can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s a struggle to phrase our knowledge to match the mark scheme on an A-level biology exam paper. Don’t worry if this sounds familiar – it’s very common and I can help.
My online biology tutoring sessions are designed to refresh and build on what you know towards getting to grips with the topics like those found on the AQA specification:
- Biological molecules (including carbohydrates, proteins, fats and DNA)
- Cells (including cell membranes and transport)
- Organisms exchange substances with their environment
- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
- Energy transfers in and between organisms
- Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
- Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
- The control of gene expression (including epigenetics and cloning)
Or those on the OCR specification:
- Development of practical skills in biology
- Foundations in biology
- Exchange and transport
- Biodiversity, evolution and disease
- Communication, homeostasis and energy
- Genetics, evolution and ecosystems
We cater for all exams boards including AQA, OCR, Salter’s Nuffield and Edexcel International A-levels, among others.
My aim is that you leave our sessions happier, with clearer ideas, and walk into the exam more confident and calm. You’re in safe hands – I’m also a qualified wellbeing coach.
While our sessions are completely tailored to you and your needs, we often focus on three areas:
Learning the “facts” in A-level Biology
A-level Biology features a lot on new terminology and vocabulary compared to GCSE. This is actually intended to help scientists communicate but often has the opposite effect – the words sometimes get in the way of understanding. So my approach to online A-level biology tutoring is to layer the detail on top of a strong foundation of understanding.
Understanding processes in A-level Biology
There are a lot of important processes in A-level Biology. Topics like photosynthesis, respiration and kidney function have many stages. I like to simplify these complex processes, often using metaphors, to really get to the heart of what is going on. From there I work with online A-level biology tutees to put the pieces together, like steps in a story.
Getting the marks in A-level Biology exams
Improving understanding and gaining knowledge is a great start to getting top grades in A-level Biology, but often students are frustrated. They say “I just don’t know what the question is asking for”, or “I don’t get the question”. Exam technique is very important too. We will work on using the tips and tricks to spot what each type of question is asking for. For some quick tips, I’ve written blog posts on “How do I answer evaluate questions?“, “How do I answer application questions?” and planning for the paper 3 A-level Biology essays. But we can do lots of practice questions in our online tutoring sessions too!
The practicalities of online A-level biology tutoring
Obviously the sessions are flexible to your needs, but during a typical session we might:
- Focus on any topics you choose – my first question is always “How can I help today?” Maybe there are some particular topics that have come up in school since the last session – we can give these priority.
- We might look at how to apply your knowledge to exam questions. “What do they want to know?”, and learn some tips for exam technique too.
- Along the way we’ll be putting A-level Biology topics into a wider context, such as research or medicine, to help you to recall the information.
- In-between sessions I welcome troubleshooting questions via Skype. Past students have found this especially useful in the lead up to exams!
Adding value to online A-level Biology tutoring
I’ve found that my PhD and background in cell biology and cancer research helps to put topics in a different light, making them more approachable. Alongside tutoring I am a professional science writer, with experience in science communication and editing undergraduate and postgraduate essays and reports. I am very good at making seemingly complex ideas clearer and more accessible.
While tutoring is a big part of what I do, often I call upon coaching and mentoring techniques – helping people with worries about recent predicted grades or test results to feel more confident and stay focussed on where they want to go.
I offer one-to-one tutoring and small group “masterclass” sessions. Learn more about my services and fees, or get in touch to discuss how we might work together.
Woolton Village, Liverpool, UK