‘Hormones’ is a topic that is likely to be covered in Secondary 4 Biology / Science (Biology). Students taking Biology are required to relate the concepts learnt in this topic to the topic ‘Homeostasis’. Emphasis will be placed in the role of two hormones (specifically insulin and glucagon) in the regulation of blood glucose level.
Students may find this topic relatively easy, as the content for this topic is relatively ‘light’. The document below contain a specimen practice questions, that requires students to simply recall. In examination, do expect questions that require inference of data.
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Hormones – Practice Question 1
The topic Movement of Substances is likely to be covered in Secondary 3. Students will need to know what is meant by the terms diffusion, osmosis and active transport. In addition, students also need to know the application of these processes.
Diffusion is the movement of substance from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration, down the concentration gradient. Another process, osmosis, is also similar, with the exception of three differences
- it is the movement of water, not substances
- from a region of higher water potential to that of lower water potential (not concentration)
- through a partially-permeable membrane.
Take note that diffusion and osmosis do not need energy (hence known as passive transport), but active transport requires energy. Active transport is the movement of substances from a region of lower concentration to a region of higher concentration, against the concentration gradient.
Students may find this easy, and it will be a bonus if this question come out, as a definition question, in Free Response Question. If question of this topic really come out, do expect some applications that you may not have seen in your textbook (e.g. transdermal patch).
Try this question: Describe what will happen to a red blood cell when it is placed in a beaker of (a) distilled water; (b) 50% glucose solution.
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One trend observed in the Preliminary papers for Sciences in schools is that setters (teachers) rarely assess students on the fundamental concepts — Preliminary papers are usually set at a higher standard, and this explains the difficulty of the examination. For lower-ability students, you may like to first practice on the IGCSE Past-year Examination Papers, as it is easier, as compared to the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level Examination, not to mention school Preliminary Examinations.
Students are advised to practice questions in the following orders:
- IGCSE Past-Year Papers
- International GCE ‘O’ Level Past-Year Papers
- Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level Past-Year Papers
- Past-Year Preliminary Papers
We will also be uploading questions for students to practice their fundamental concepts, and also application questions.
Based on experience, students should be able to score well for sciences subjects if they follow the suggestions below:
- Pay attention in classes. By paying attention in classes, students should be able to understand the concept taught by teachers. Sometimes, teachers will have interesting facts or memory techniques to share with the class, so as to make the subject easier and more interesting.
- Complete all assignments. Assignments are one of the way to assess student’s understanding on a concept.
- Participate in all science practicals. Science practicals are designed to teach students the fundamental techniques of science practicals. However, science practicals can also help students to remember associated facts better.
- Clarify any doubts. After teachers have completed a topic, if students have any doubts, they should clarify with their teachers at the earliest opportunity.
- Source for good notes. Good notes should be available from the teachers (‘daily lecture notes’). Quality notes should also be available online.
- Write own notes. This will retain information effectively in the students.
- Practice. As the examinations are approaching, it is likely that teachers will provide students with examination papers. Although it is likely that these papers will not be graded, it is advisable that students practice this paper. Remember the saying: Practice makes Perfect.
- After practising, add on to own notes. This will make the notes more informative, and the content added in may just be assessed during examinations. Students may like to have their notes checked by teacher, so as to ensure that they are learning the correct concepts.
- Revise. Before the paper itself, revise using personal notes, especially for the topics that students are weaker in.
Please share with us any suggestions that you have for students taking sciences by e-mailing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.