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Synoptic Biology.

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ST MARY'S GUIDE TO SYNOPTIC BIOLOGY Synoptic biology is the ability to select and apply general principles to unfamiliar situations/data. Modules 5 and 8 will have questions that test your understanding of modules 1,2,3 and 4. This is called the synoptic assessment. The synoptic element of modules 5 and 8 is worth more marks that the actual module content. This means you have to get to grips with the synoptic element in order to do well. This booklet is designed to help you to do so. How much of module 5 and 8 is synoptic? 50% of the marks on the module 5 paper are synoptic and 70 % of the module 8 paper is synoptic. In what form are the questions? Module 5: general questions just like you are used to but they require information from other modules to answer Module 8: some general questions...but also data handling & experimental techniques questions and an essay. Watch out for these! So there are 3 main types of synoptic questions in the exams: * SYNOPTIC KNOWLEDGE * DATA AND INVESTIGATIONS * ESSAY 1. SYNOPTIC KNOWLEDGE Which Synoptic subject knowledge topics are going to be assessed? You have to be able to show the ability to select or apply general principles to unfamiliar data/situations. These are the main topics you need to revise: * * Tertiary structure of proteins * Membrane receptors * Movement across membranes * Enzymes * SA/Vol ratio * DNA/genetic code * Translation/transcription * Basic genetics * Genetic engineering * Transport principles * Use of tracers * Photosynthesis/respiration * Stimulus/response * Negative feedback * ...read more.


Implementation You should be familiar with the following methods of measurement: * Methods of measurement * Biochemical tests * Chromatography and Rf * Isotonic solutions * Indicators * Controlling temperature * Colorimetry * Dilutions * Safety measures * Replication * Centrifugation Data Analysis Chi-squared is the only statistical test you need to know so it will probably be examined in module 5. This is a very typical chi squared type exam question Table 1. Data from a survey Management Scheme Population of meadow brown butterflies (2 1976 1983 Area X: Grazed by sheep in summer 435 415 0.47 Area Y: Grazed by sheep in winter 522 595 4.77 Area Z: Not grazed by sheep 287 239 4.38 Table 2 shows part of chi-squared table Degrees of freedom Probability 0.50 0.25 0.10 0.05 0.02 0.01 1 0.45 1.32 2.71 3.84 5.41 6.64 2 1.39 2.77 4.61 5.99 7.82 9.21 Question Are there any significant differences between the population sizes in areas X,Y and Z between 1976 and 1983? Explain your answer. Large numbers of student asked this did not understand degrees of freedom. Because there were three areas X,Y and Z, they opted for (3-1)=2. The trouble is the table shows 3 individual chi squared tests each with 1 degree of freedom. So the correct answer was one. Many student gained one mark for 'There are significant differences in areas Y and Z,' but did not explain why, nor note that there is a significant increase in Y and a significant decrease in Z. ...read more.


Stomata - confused with guard cells Students should have known 2 cells well from AS: Intestinal epithelial * Microvilli - increase S?A and uptake of products of digestion * Site of enzymic breakdown of disaccharides * Many mitochondria to release energy for active transport in the form of ATP * Large extensive golgi bodies for mucus/enzyme secretion Palisade mesophyll * Cell wall - support/resistance to turgor * Shape - uptake of light, CO2 * Chloroplasts - arrangement of grana * Vacuole - turgor, economical deployment of cytoplasm Marking Essays Essays are marked on the following sections: > Scientific Content /16 > Breadth /3 > Relevance /3 > QWC /3 Which makes the total marks available 25. Based on the cells essay for 3 breadth marks candidates should refer to at least 6 different cell types including at least one plant Tips for scoring breadth mark: * Aim to use information from at least 2-3 different modules. * Make sure you include plant information if appropriate. Students who write a paragraph about an irrelevant topic (such as detailed biochemistry of respiration for the ATP question) will lose one relevance mark. QWC The essay should be structured in a reasonable logical way appropriate and relevant to the title. Ideas and concepts should be explained sufficiently clearly to be readily understood. Continuous prose should be used and sentences should generally be complete and constructed grammatically. However, minor errors of punctuation or style should not get penalized. Appropriate A level terminology should be used. You should not use such phrases as 'fighting disease' 'messages passing along nerves' enzymes being killed etc but a single lapse would not necessarily disqualify. SYNOPTIC ASSESSMENT SUPPORT BOOKLET.DOC Page 1 of 9 ...read more.

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