Feedback on my answer please

Hi I was marked an M5, but I can’t seem to find what I missed for an E. If I could get some feedback on how to improve my answer, I would really appreciate it.
Also, if I could get some tips on how to answer and structure answers for biology questions.

Hi Faadhilah

You have not answered all parts of the questions sufficiently.

There are a few parts to bullet point 3 which needs to be “unpacked”.
You need to explain:
a) how the allopolyploid (A. gracillimum) AND
b) how the autoploid (A. richardii) is formed.
(Unpacked from “how the of the two … have evolved”)
c) explain hybrid vigour
d) why they have managed to become an established species.

(a) and (b) are linked to the formation of the hybrid explanation from bullet point 2.
If the hybrid were to self-fertilise, it could form a fertile octoploid (allopolyploid - A. gracillimum)
The (autoploid - A. richardii) may have been formed as a result of self-fertilisation with two 4n gametes formed by non-disjunction in (A. hookerianum).

[Which I assume is where the first E opportunity is]

answering (c) and (d) will then allow you to discuss how the species becomes an established species.
[This is likely where the second E opportunity is for the E8]

In terms of tips for answering Biology questions …
Practice writing answers and get feedback from your teachers or post some up here for feedback.
It is always important to read the resource material very carefully and make sure to use as much of the information as possible.

Read the main question first, then read all the bullet points.
Then read the resource material AGAIN, and plan out your answer with key points BEFORE you write anything.
Writing an Excellence level response requires planning and clear use of biological terminology, with clear links to the resource material given, as well as responding to what has been asked.


  • You don’t get anything for directly copying information from the resource material. You have to explain and link it to biological ideas you have learnt.
  • Always draft ideas and plan your answer first, before writing anything down.

Hope that helps.