How to Get an A in Biology and Study for Biology Exams

Biology is hardly a subject that you can pick up in 2 seconds. It incorporates a little bit of Chemistry and Mathematics, mixed with its own principles, which makes it complex to say the least!

While there is a lot to learn and it is content-heavy, Biology is something that you can really observe in the real world! This makes arguably easier to remember than other subjects like English and Maths

But first, you need to master it in school, and getting an A is a good sign that you’ve achieved just that! So, without further ado, here’s how to get an A in Biology.

Step 1. Stay Motivated and Accept the Long, Difficult Work

At some point in Biology, there’s going to be a terms list that your teacher will give you with the instruction to simply “learn it”. The truth is that you need to be prepared to have your brain overflowing with terms, knowledge and processes that are all unfamiliar, hard to learn and downright weird.

Over your 40 weeks of school, you will learn something new every day from each teacher in each class, and you’re expected to retain this information constantly.

But when we look at the incredible amount of work that is ahead of us – be it in Biology, any other subject, or even in life in general – and give up out of sheer fear, we make losing our only option.

Motivation is the key that will allow your effort to rise and meet your goals. Only when it does can you truly achieve greatness.

Step 2. Understand the Terms

As I mentioned earlier, there will be many Biology terms that you need to learn. Are all of them important?

The answer is, unavoidably, yes.

Various terms in Biology have a specific meaning that allows you to explain various processes when writing an assignment or in an exam. Having thorough knowledge of them is how to excel in Biology.

The difference between a chromatid and a chromosome or hominin and hominid may seem minuscule, but confusing those terms can make your responses nonsensical and may cost you some serious marks.

Step 3: Don’t Stop at Knowing – Try to Understand Biology

It also goes beyond just knowing the language, as you need to understand the key concepts to perform better in assessments.


Often means simply memorising a flow chart or paragraph that relates to the concept, and how it works


Knowing how the concept applies in every context; knowing why something happens, and what would happen to each factor if something changed, etc







Students who simply know the content will be great in knowledge sections but can struggle intensely when it comes to understanding and applying their knowledge. Those who not only know but also understand what they’re learning are those who truly have a leg up on their education and who will get good grades in Biology!

Step 4. Diagrams and Flowcharts are your Best Friend

One of the best ways to retain a lot of information about biological principles is to create diagrams and flow charts.

It can often be very hard to remember a lot of information if it’s simply written out onto a page. Often the words will start to blur and you won’t want to remember anything that you learn.

Make biology easier by using these visual aides to guide you through difficult concepts. Here are some visual chart examples you can try:

  • Flow charts mapping out all subheadings and headings
  • Definitions of broad concepts – and their effects on other concepts (use different colours)
  • Mind maps

Having visual aids allows you to picture the process of getting to an answer in your mind, making it easier to retain the information (especially if you’re a visual learner).

Visual study techniques are also advantageous for studying in time-stressed situations, especially when you’re studying for a Biology test. If you’re about to head into a Biology test, it can be difficult to write out full answers to questions and revise in that way. With diagrams and flow charts, you can still bring back to mind certain content, and process a far larger amount of information.

Step 5. Go the extra mile! 

The journey to becoming an A student requires dedication. There isn’t a drastic difference between those who get B’s and those who get A’s, but there are a few key things that can help you get an A in Biology.

A and B-grade students both:

  • Know the content well
  • Can deliver on the briefs in assignments
  • Can analyse situations effectively

However, they do so to a limited extent. They tend to study in very short time increments, or tend to learn things superficially and don’t plan their study or work ahead.

A B-standard student may try to find out what the exam question would be, and study solely for that. However, an A-standard student flips this mindset upside down and assumes that anything and everything will be assessed.

This is the one key difference between an A and B student – going the extra mile.

Need help with going the extra mile? Book a Biology tutor now!

Step 6. Properly Prep for EBI Tests

EBI Tests are used to assess your ability to ‘E’valuate ‘B’iological ‘I’ssues. Essentially, schools will want to see how well you can use your brain to analyse information presented to you in articles. Your responsibility is to back up your ideas with reliable and valid evidence.

So… how do you do that?

It starts with knowing your source. Be the person in class who always knows the author, the date published, where it was published, and a few things about the author’s expertise in the area.

Once you know that, make sure you know the article’s themes inside out, so you can write about other relevant articles and connect them. Finding common themes between articles allows you to connect multiple sources, making your response much better!

With unseen questions, ensure you’re very specific about what you do. Highlight key information so as to keep yourself on track, and answer all parts of the question thoroughly, especially if it relates to an article you’ve been given. Know your articles well, and apply the knowledge you get from them into your answers – that is how to excel in Biology.

Step 7. Plan for the Biology Assignment and Exams Coming Up

Since there’s so much you need to know and so many notes you’ll need to make, planning is the key to knowing when and how much work you need to do throughout the term.

You need to study in a way that allows for you to work hard in the leadup to exams and assignments, without you burning out due to over-stressing and pure exhaustion. The best way to do this is to plan before the term starts what the intensity and frequency of work for each week of your Biology term will be, based on the amount of school work that you’re going to get.

Now I’m not saying that you’ll get those allocations right straight away, but at least by knowing when your busy times of the term are, you know when you need to be putting in the effort and when you can relax a little bit. You also then allocate time to get ahead with content if you have spare time before exams or assignments.

Step 8. Put Effort into Your Class Notes

Last but not least, putting time into your study notes allows you to keep track of what you’ve learned and when. If you’re not making summaries and revisiting the concepts that you learn in class within the next week, it becomes very challenging to learn all concepts to an A level in the limited time that you have during the term.

This is especially a challenge for Biology, as you will be overloaded with content on a day-to-day basis. This content can’t simply be learnt and then forgotten – every following day, the content you previously learnt will be expanded on. Therefore, you need to find a place to store daily information, so that you can return back to it. We recommend a notebook or tablet. 

The best way to do this is to write out summaries. However, it’s not enough to only write it – you need to make it appealing to look at. Use diagrams when describing mechanisms or labeling things, flow charts when there’s a process you’re summarising, and make sure you highlight your written concept notes so that the main points jump out at you from the page. If you’re feeling extra creative, you can include some colourful decorations or doodles on your summary pages.

Still Wondering How to Study For Biology and Get an A?

From memorizing functions and terms to understanding how different parts of life work together, Biology can be a challenging subject to study, let alone get an A. But don’t fear! There is always help when needed, specifically in the form of a tutor.

If you’re struggling to get the grade you want in Biology this term, a private tutor might be right for you – and A Team Tuition is here to help. Our tried and true tutoring methods can help you improve in any subject with at-home and online tutoring. Find a Biology tutor near you today!