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Stage

2 Human Biological Studies

Tips for Tests and Exams



In Human Biology the structure of tests and exams follows the same format. There are three sections
to all papers:

Section A
Multiple Choice
Section B
Short Answer
Section C
Extended Answer

a)

b)

c)

Multiple Choice
For multiple choice questions the best strategy is to eliminate the distracters, usually there are
two answers that are clearly wrong. You will then be left with two choices and you then need to
carefully read the statements to make a judgement of which is the best or correct answer.
Never leave a question unanswered guess if you have to!

Short Answer
Answer the question!! Look at the number of marks available and make sure you have one point
for each mark. Also make sure that you use the correct scientific language and terms and write
neatly. In an exam, the number of lines available also give you an indication of how much
information is expected.

Extended Answer


In Human Biology an extended answer question is NOT an essay. This means you dont need an
introduction or conclusion. Dont waste time re-writing the question.
You need to be concise and just answer the question. A shot-gun approach where you just
write everything you know about a certain topic may get you a few marks, but generally this is
not a good strategy as you waste a lot of time writing information that doesnt relate to the
question and you miss key information related to the question.

You can write paragraphs, but keep you sentences short
and to the point. Responses could include clearly labelled
diagrams with explanatory notes; lists of points with linking
sentences; clearly labelled tables and graphs; and annotated
flow diagrams with introductory notes.


General Comments

When answering any Short Answer or Extended Answer questions in Human Biology it is important that
you read the question carefully and directly answer the question. In the question are cues to what is
expected in the answer you give. Look for the following stem words in the question (next to the word is
an explanation of what they mean):

Analyse
Examine in detail to discover meaning, break down into components or essential
features.
Compare
Look for qualities and characteristics that resemble each other; emphasise the
similarities but dont overlook the differences.
Contrast
Stress the differences or dissimilarities of qualities or subjects.
Define
Give clear and concise meanings, showing how the subject you are defining is
different from other subjects.
Describe
Recount in sequence; relate the details of, without judgement.
Diagram
Give a labelled drawing or sketch. A brief explanation is a good idea as well. Make
sure your diagram is large enough to see the detail.
Discuss
Investigate completely, giving reasons supporting and not supporting the point.
Evaluate
Appraise carefully, both for and against, but emphasising the judgement of
authoritative critics.
Explain
Clarify and interpret material, making it plain to the reader and giving reasons for
results/causes.
Illustrate
Use a diagram or specific concrete examples to explain (clarify) your content.
Interpret
Give example of, or comment on a subject, usually including your own judgement.
Justify
Present the reasons for, or in support of, a conclusion (not the reasons against).
List
Write out in list form, giving points concisely one by one.
Outline
Organise a description under main headings and subordinate points, usually omitting
minor details and stressing the logical relations of subjects what goes with what.
Relate
Show how things are related to each other, either by cause/effect, or correlation, or
resemblance or opposition.
Review
Analyse a subject critically (for and against) commenting on the more important
statements made about it by authoritative sources.
State
Present the main points about the subject, usually omitting details and examples.
Summarise
Give the main points only (omitting details and examples).