Beginner’s Guide to Year 11 Biology

Struggling with year 11 Biology? This handy guide gives you a summary of some of the key concepts you will learn in order to prepare yourself for the term ahead.

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Need help wrapping your head around Year 11 Biology? In the Beginner’s Guide to Year 11 Biology, we give you the rundown on how to study the four Modules in Year 11.


All about the Beginner’s Guide to Year 11 Biology

Biology involves the study of living organisms and their organisation levels, as shown below. During year 11 you will learn about the structure and function of organisms as well as develop an understanding of the Earth’s biodiversity and the effect of evolution. You will need to be able to develop hypotheses, as well as design and evaluate experiments.

Year 11 biology establishes the foundation that year 12 will build upon. Some questions in the final HSC exam will directly relate to what you learned in Year 11!

This handy guide gives you a summary of some of the key concepts you will learn in order to prepare yourself for the term ahead.


 beginner's guide to Year 11 Biology - atom Molecule Term 1: Cells as the Basis of Life
 beginner's guide to Year 11 Biology - amoeba Cell
 beginner's guide to Year 11 Biology - flech cross section Tissue Term 2: Organisation of Living Things
  Body System
 beginner's guide to Year 11 Biology - elephant Organism
 beginner's guide to Year 11 Biology - elephant herd Population Term 3: Biological Diversity
Term 4: Ecosystem Dynamics
 beginner's guide to Year 11 Biology - field of beasts Community
 beginner's guide to Year 11 Biology - ecosystems Ecosystem


What’s in this Guide to year 11 Biology

In this guide we will look at the following modules and topics:

  1. Cells as the Basis of Life
    1. Cell Structure
    2. Cell Function
    3. Organisation of Living Things
  2. Organisation of Cells
    1. Nutrient and Gas Requirements
    2. Transport
    3. Biological Diversity
  3. Effects of the Environment on Organisms
    1. Adaptations
    2. Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection
    3. Evolution – the Evidence
  4. Ecosystem Dynamics
    1. Population Dynamics
    2. Past Ecosystems
    3. Future Ecosystems

What type of questions can I expect on my assessments?

In exams, you will be answering multiple choice and long answer questions that test your knowledge of the subject, but there will also be questions that cover multiple parts of the syllabus or ask you to apply your knowledge to a new scenario.

‘Working scientifically’ skills will also be assessed. You may be asked to do research on a particular area or do an experiment in class under exam conditions.

You need to be able to construct and interpret graphs and recognise good experimental design. A depth study will be required. This is sometimes given as an assignment where the student looks in more depth at a specific topic (e.g. punctuated equilibrium) and may involve presentations, research, fieldwork, experiments or collecting data.

What are some common student issues?

Many students do not realise they will need to apply their understanding of year 11 concepts to year 12 (e.g. evolution or organelles).

They do not put enough effort into year 11 and start year 12 without a good foundation.

Some areas of Year 11 Biology that students typically struggle with include:

  • Coping with the large volume of content covered in Year 11 compared to Year 10.
  • Reading and interpreting graphs and tables.
  • Answering the question rather than writing down everything they know.
  • Remembering to look at how many marks a question is worth so they know how much to write.
  • Designing an experiment and understanding the different variables involved.
  • Applying their understanding of processes (such as evolution or osmosis) to new scenarios.

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