National 5 Biology

Here are some useful materials to help you enjoy learning Biology at National 5 Level :

Course Support Notes for National 5 Biology
On page 7 of these notes where it says "The Mandatory Course Areas", you will see listed what you need to know - you must make sure you at least konw the various things mentioned here - it is good to use as a basis of your revision -
Make up questions and answers for yourself or a biology dictionary based on what is here :

* * * *  Revision - Oronsay * * * * 
Fantastic Revision Resources/Quizzes for National 5 Biology from Oronsay Guest House !

National 5 Biology - 2014 Past Paper and Answers

A specimen National 5 Biology exam paper to try :

There are not many examples of past papers around to try ...but some questions from the old Intermediate 2 past papers might be useful to try as the course content was quite similar - try those ones that you recognise !

More questions to try :
Relevant Questions from 2011 - 2013 past papers have been highlighted :

You might find some questions to try in these old Credit level Standard Grade papers - but treat with caution as they may not all be relevant - check with me if you want to know which ones to try -

eChalk Learning Materials

Some of these interactive learning materials are very good - and some nice photographs of cells. You can preview the materials or pay to join the site for a year :

To place ... Lichen testing - indicator species-

Unit 1 - Cell Biology

Cell Structure

A bit about Microscopes and working out sizes of cells / magnification etc.

Transport across Membranes
  • Osmosis - Plasmolysis in an Onion Cell when its placed in 15% salt solution - watch the video but ignore the explanation on YouTube as at the time of writing this, their explanation is incorrect. Can you explain why the onion cells are plasmolysing?

Single Celled creatures

Paramecium -
and also at :

Plasmolysis in an Onion Cell when its placed in 15% salt solution - watch the video but ignore the explanation on YouTube as at the time of writing this, their explanation is incorrect. Can you explain why the onion cells are plasmolysing ?

Diffusion / Osmosis / Active Transport

Animation on Page 3 of this explanation about Kidneys:

Producing New Cells

Have a look at photographs of mitosis and you can even zoom in yourself on the root tip of an onion to see if you can spot the different stages of mitotic cell division :

Remember Mitosis - happens in your TOEsis - and all normal cells of your body.

DNA and production of Proteins

All the chromosomes in a nucleus - 
Thanks to Dietzel65 for the photograph from wikimedia commons -
(extra explanation - too complicated for National 5 but might be of interest - Karyotype from a female human lymphocyte (46, XX). Chromosomes were hybridized with a probe for Alu sequences (green) and the rest was counterstained with TOPRO-3 (red stain). The green Alu sequence markers show chromosomes and chromosome bands rich in genes.)

Proteins and Enzymes

An Enzyme Experiment with PIneapples to Try at Home !

Catalase enzyme in Liver experiment - nice demo -

Genetic Engineering


An interesting short two minute video about photosynthesis :

To see bubbles given off when light lands on Elodea pondweed plant - this is a nice short video to show this happening -

Starch in Leaf Test Experiment
Excellent video of this experiment:

Limiting Factors in Photosynthesis

The three limiting factors which we study are temperature, availability of carbon dioxide and light intensity. The Bitesize website has a good explanation of the types of questions involving graphs which you might come across :

Unit 2 - Multicellular Organisms

Revision booklet for Unit 2 - excellent resource from Fife

Stem cells
Stem cells can be used for therapy - and this teenage girl provided a very much needed match for a patient needing a bone marrow transplant

Making a stem cell from a differentiated cell - an inducted Pluripotent cell
This discovery is so important it won a Nobel Prize - probably the biggest prize in Science

in a plant

A good animation of ADH Anti diuretic hormone affecting whether kidneys keep water in the body or leave it to go out in urine :

Hormones - ADH small animation

Variation and Inheritance

Breathing Animation
Pull the diaphragm in this animation to see how breathing works :

The Heart
an animation of the heart working

Plants - Xylem / Phloem - sugar / water etc

Unit 3 Life on Earth

Food Chains

Help Deadly 60's Steve find the food chain's deadliest predator :


The following is not in National 5 content -

How the Ear Works
An animated video about how the ear works - don't worry too much about the words used for the small bones in the ear hear as there are various names for them, but watch the animation :