Biology (9700)

Cambridge International AS and A Level Biology builds on the skills acquired at Cambridge IGCSE. The syllabus includes the main theoretical concepts which are fundamental to the subject, a section on some current applications of biology, and a strong emphasis on advanced practical skills. Practical skills are assessed in a timetabled practical examination.

The emphasis throughout is on the understanding of concepts and the application of biology ideas in novel contexts as well as on the acquisition of knowledge. The course encourages creative thinking and problem-solving skills which are transferable to any future career path. Cambridge International AS and A Level Biology is ideal for learners who want to study biology or a wide variety of related subjects at university or to follow a career in science.

We expect students that register to this course, have an IGCSE certificate in Biology with a minimum mark of C or an IGCSE certificate in Combined Science with a minimum mark of B. If registering students have completed a curriculum that is not Cambridge International in grades 9 and 10, they will be required to sit an internal Biology examination at our High School Campus.

Link to full Syllabus: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/Images/329527-2019-2021-syllabus.pdf

Key concepts

The key concepts on which this syllabus is built are set out below. If key concepts are mastered, learners can use the concepts to solve problems or to understand unfamiliar subject-related material.

  • Cells as the units of life

A cell is the basic unit of life and all organisms are composed of one or more cells. There are two fundamental types of cell: prokaryotic and eukaryotic.

  • Biochemical processes

Cells are dynamic: biochemistry and molecular biology help to explain how and why cells function as they do.

  • DNA, the molecule of heredity

Cells contain the molecule of heredity, DNA. Heredity is based on the inheritance of genes.

  • Natural selection

Natural selection is the major mechanism to explain the theory of evolution.

  • Organisms in their environment

All organisms interact with their biotic and abiotic environment.

  • Observation and experiment

The different fields of biology are intertwined and cannot be studied in isolation: observation and enquiry, experimentation and fieldwork are fundamental to biology.

Recognition and progression

Cambridge Internationals expertise in curriculum, teaching and learning, and assessment is the basis for the recognition of the programmes and qualifications around the world. Every year thousands of students with Cambridge International AS & A Levels gain places at leading universities worldwide. They are valued by top universities around the world including those in the UK, US (including Ivy League universities), Europe, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

UK NARIC, the national agency in the UK for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills, has carried out an independent benchmarking study of Cambridge International AS & A Level and found it to be comparable to the standard of AS & A Level in the UK. This means students can be confident that their Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications are accepted as equivalent, grade for grade, to UK AS & A Levels by leading universities worldwide.

Cambridge International A Level Biology provides a suitable foundation for the study of biology or related courses in higher education. It is equally suitable for candidates intending to pursue careers or further study in biological sciences, or as part of a course of general education.

Cambridge International AS Level Biology is the first half of Cambridge International A Level Biology. Depending on local university entrance requirements, the qualification may permit or assist progression directly to university courses in Biology or some other subjects.

Resources

The following are the preferred resources at Istanbul International School:

  • Cambridge AS/A Level Biology 9700 Coursebook
  • Cambridge AS/A Level Biology 9700 Workbook

 

Cambridge International Examinations 

AS Level Candidates take:

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Paper 1

Multiple Choice – 31% (1 hour)

This paper consists of 40 multiple choice questions, all with four options.

All questions will be based on the AS Level syllabus content.

Candidates will answer all questions.

Externally Assessed

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Paper 2

As Level Structured Questions – 46% (1 hour 15 minutes)

This paper consists of a variable number of questions, of variable mark value.

All questions will be based on the AS Level syllabus content.

Candidates will answer all questions.

Externally assessed

i

Paper 3

Advanced Practical Skills – 23% (2 hours)

This paper requires candidates to carry out practical work in timed conditions.

This paper will consist of two or three experiments drawn from different areas of the AS Level syllabus. Candidates will answer all questions.

Internally set, externally assessed

A Level candidates take:

i

Paper 1

Multiple Choice – 15.5% (1 hour)

This paper consists of 40 multiple choice questions, all with four options.

All questions will be based on the AS Level syllabus content.

Candidates will answer all questions.

Externally Assessed

i

Paper 2

AS Level Structured Questions – 23% (1 hour 15 minutes)

This paper consists of a variable number of questions, of variable mark value.

All questions will be based on the AS Level syllabus content.

Candidates will answer all questions.

Externally assessed

i

Paper 3

Advanced Practical Skills – 11.5% (2 hours)

This paper requires candidates to carry out practical work in timed conditions.

This paper will consist of two or three experiments drawn from different areas of the AS Level syllabus. Candidates will answer all questions.

Internally set, externally assessed

i

Paper 4

A Level Structured Questions – 38% (2 hours)

This paper consists of a variable number of structured questions each with a variable mark value (Section A) and a choice of one free response style question worth 15 marks (Section B).

All questions will be based on the A Level syllabus but may require knowledge of material first encountered in the AS Level syllabus.

Externally assessed

i

Paper 5

Planning, Analysis and Evaluation – 11.5% (1 hour 15 minutes)

This paper consists of a variable number of questions of variable mark value based on the practical skills of planning, analysis and evaluation.

Externally assessed

Early Years

Our programme is designed to encourage a balance of child initiated and teacher facilitated activities. The programme offers children a variety of choices. The environment includes art, dramatic play, maths, language work, enjoying books, art, music, water and sand play, science activities, and so on. Our goals include the encouragement of each child’s natural curiosity and interest in learning.

Primary School

Our School’s primary curriculum is built around the need to provide knowledge skills and understanding arranged by subject under three areas of study, environmental studies, life skills and the expressive arts. Our primary grades 1 – 4 are equivalent to Years 2 – 5 in the Cambridge Curriculum.

Middle School

The Middle School is an important bridging period between Primary School and High School. Our Middle School Grades 5 – 8 are equivalent to Years 6 – 9 in the Cambridge Curriculum.

IGCSE

Cambridge IGCSE™ is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds, although it can be taken by students of other ages. It is tried, tested and trusted. It is taught by over 4800 schools in 146 countries. The programmes balance a thorough knowledge and understanding of a subject and help to develop the skills learners need for their next steps in education or employment.

AS/ Level

The A Level syllabuses prepare learners for university study, which is why universities worldwide value and recognise Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications.