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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Learning With Ease - Protein Digestion

In Nutrition chapter (Bio F4), we know that 3 food classes need to be digested (carbohydrate, fat, & protein). Exam question would ask you how they are digested, absorbed, & assimilated into the human body

I learnt that most students having difficulties in learning this subtopic. That is because it is learnt organ by organ (mouth - stomach - duodenum - small intestine) which involves a lot of confusing enzymes & processes.

The best way is to learn by food class instead of organs. Hence, today we shall focus on one food class which is protein - specifically, protein digestion. The note is given below for your leisure:

As you can see, this note is much easier to apprehend. Here are the 2 main points you can make out of it:

1. 3 sites are specific for protein digestion - stomach, duodenum, & small intestine.
2. 3 enzymes involved in 'cutting' the substrate from big chunk of protein into tiny-winy amino acids.

Now you know already the 3 enzymes, let's have fun with them:

The 3 enzymes are like 3 best friends - with Pepsin the eldest & Erepsin the youngest. 

These are the fronts of fame :

for the legendary oldtimers...
for the shy girls with silent crush...
for our furry feline friend...
and for the total bada** guys out there!


Monday, 24 March 2014

The 3 Most Dramatic Vertebrae

Let's study about these 3 weirdos, shall we?


They are:

Axis - The Insectoid.
Thoracic - The Happiest
Lumbar - The Angriest.

Since thoracic vertebra is the happiest, let's study him. You need to know 3 things about thoracic vertebrae:

  • Labeling
  • Locations for ribs attachment
  • Labeling's Functions 

You are given the labeling below for your exercise. Refer to your books for the next 2!



Condensation of Glycerol & 3 Fatty Acids

Do you have this thought when you learnt the formation of triglyceride? I do :-)


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Teknik Menjawab - Support System in Aquatic Plants

I realize that most F5 students are currently learning Chapter 2. So, here is some quick note:

As you can see, both the aquatic plants (submerged & floating) possess the 2A : Air sacs & Aerenchyma tissue, which you must remember for the Paper 1 & Paper 2.

Speaking of Paper 2, we shall discuss on how to get perfect answers for the essay questions, such as below:

1. Explain the adaptation of the submerged plants in order to grow in the water (4 marks)
2. Explain the adaptation of the floating plant in order to stay afloat on the water surface  (4 marks) (SPM 2005)

This is an explain-type question. So, we are going to use the PEE system. Since the scores are low, we are going to use only PE (Point-Explain).

Let's go to the answer outline for question #1:

Now onward to the question #2!

You can make a table form like this (make sure the sentences are complete, without arrows (-->) like I used above :-p)

It is advisable to write in paragraph form since you can save more time to focus on the writing instead of drawing the table.

There you go, a perfect 4-marks answer. I wish you all the best in your study! :-)


MADEASY - Understanding Rhesus Factor in 1st & 2nd Birth

I have a lot of request from teachers/students about how to explain the rhesus factors in mother/embryo in 1st & 2nd birth. This post is my reply:

First, the question would be something like this:

A mother has Rh(-). Explain why her 1st-born Rh(+) baby has no problem but the 2nd-born Rh(+) baby does.

For the 1st born, look at the diagram below:

As you can see, mother is Rh(-) and the baby indeed Rh(+). Let's use Rh(-) as the 'bad guy' (呆子) and Rh(+) as the 'good guy' (善良的人). As usual the bad guy will attack the good guy. But here, nothing happen because mother's immune system has yet to produce 'weapon' (antibody) to attack the baby's 'target' (antigen). In other words, mother's immune system is simply not ready.

Now, let's see what happen in the 2nd-born baby with similar Rhesus factor:

You realize the bad guy (mother) already produced the 'weapons'. This time, the mother's immune system is ready with full antibody. As a result, the baby's Rh(+) is attacked, causing harm to the baby. 

This condition is known as erythroblastosis fetalis. 

It killed most babies before the Industrial Ages. Thanks to the modern medicine, we have ways to prevent this from happening...

Congratulations! Now this topic poses no hindrance to you. We shall meet later near the 2014 SPM exam to discuss the right techniques to answer this type of questions -and tonnes of fun- during my big seminar this year in FRIM. Wish you well in your study! :-)


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Teknik Menjawab Soalan - Rainforest Ecosystem Maintenance (SPM 2007)

Let's analyze this SPM-2007 Paper 2 (Sec.B) question...

Below shows an ecosystem in Malaysia:

Discuss why this ecosystem has to be maintained (10 marks)

This is a discussion-type question. This type has a wide scope. It means you can provide a variety of answers casually but intellectually. (beri jawapan secara santai tapi penuh intelek).

Most students go for the description-type because it seems easier. Even most teachers & most reference/ exercise books would go for description-type because it seems more convenient. Hence, the answer would be like this:

10 marks = 10 points (descriptions)

Answers outline:

1. Provide interaction between biotic & abiotic components

2. Ensure biodiversity in the ecosystem.

3. Flora & fauna can survive --> prevent extinction

4. Provide valuable resources like timbers/ rattan/ honey

5. Ensure smooth natural cycle  (water & carbon cycle)

6. Provide water catchment areas

7. For recreational activities & ecotourism

8. Prevent soil erosion & landslide

9. Prevent flashflood

10. Prevent global warming

This provide good answers. I'm sure most of you guys agree because this is the answer format that you are familiar with. However, this is not a perfect answer for getting full marks. 3 elements are missing. Let's discuss them...

How do you organize your answers? How's the flow from beginning to the end?

Why did you say that? How do you explain your answers?

Read again - an ecosystem in Malaysia. Where are the relevant examples regarding the rainforest in Malaysia?

This question is clearly an application-type. So, better to use the PEE system which we had discussed before in my previous post

In discussion-type questions, the key point is not width, but depth. It means we shall discuss fewer points, but more explanations & more examples.

The reason why depth is more important than width in writing answers for Paper 2

This is similar to you writing your assignment/ tesis/ Master's or doctoral project in the university. Everyone can list down the points via Google/ Wikipedia. But it takes real thinking to contemplate the logical explanations with relevant examples. 

So, here is the perfect answer:

10 marks = 3 points + 4 explanations + 4 examples

Answers outline:

Point 1: Provide benefits to the natural flora & fauna
Explain 1: Rainforest provides ideal habitat for both flora & fauna for their interactions
Explain 2: Their numbers would be maintained.
Explain 3: The biodiversity would be maintained.
Example 1: Predator-prey - Malayan tiger & mousedeer.
Example 2: Mutualism - Leaf-cutter ants & fungi

Point 2: Provide benefits to the whole ecosystem
Explain 1: Rainforest provides habitat for biotic-abiotic interactions
Explain 2: Maintain equilibrium of the whole ecosystem.
Example 1: Dead substances on rainforest floor provide nitrate for nitrogen cycle. 
Example 2: Trees provide oxygen & maintain the carbon cycle.
Example 3: Rivers & streams would maintain water cycle.

Point 3: Provide benefits to humans
Explain 1: Provide water catchment area for our water resources
Example 1: Forest at Gombak provides water catchment area for Ulu Klang Gate Dam provides water supply to Klang Valley residences.
Explain 2: Provide valuable commercial resources
Example 2: Rattan, timbers, honey, petai, for consumption & wood industry
Explain 3: Provide opportunities for recreation & ecotourism
Example 3: Taman Negara in Pahang & Rompin, Johor

* There are still more points you can add such as to prevent extinction, but the answers above are more than enough since they are more than 10 sentences already = more than 10 marks already!

Now, let's analyze why the answer above is considered perfect:

Clear theme (benefits) & organization with Point 1 for flora & fauna, Point 2 for ecosystem, & Point 3 for human being.

Only 3 points are listed, but discussed deeply with many explanations.

Specific examples such as the name of the dam & national parks.

Now you know the secrets of getting perfect marks for the exam. It's up to you now to plan your teaching & learning regarding this interesting topic. Good luck!