Surviving Biology

Kevin Yang/ION

You’ve heard horror stories from your seniors about how heartless first semester biology is, and you’re scared your GPA is its next victim. However, after the first 8 a.m. Monday class comes, you don’t see what could possibly be so difficult. Your teacher wears flannel and introduces himself by talking about the research he does on trout. His lecture, a monologue of the book’s premade powerpoint, is more basic than freshman year biology. Then, the first test comes along and you might not make the grade you expected. What happened?!

First semester biology is notoriously hard for TAMS juniors. The tests are impossible to ace without in-depth studying, and most students find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of time that biology test studying requires. There are some things you can do to make it out alive (and hopefully, with an A!)

Before every lecture, you should pre-read the chapter the teacher will cover! This helps you learn all of the information before the professor goes over it, so his lecture will reinforce the really important stuff.

During lectures, don’t fall asleep, no matter how tempting that idea sounds. Even if you haven’t pre-read, skipping out on lectures makes a huge (and negative) difference when you start reviewing for the exam. After each lecture, you should try to review your notes.  This keeps the knowledge fresh on your mind, and it will come back to you much faster when you’re studying.

Before every test, make sure you’ve read all of the chapters that have been covered ad know the vocabulary terms inside and out. Lecture notes and PowerPoints are no substitution for the book, especially for first semester biology tests! DO NOT use the testbanks that will undoubtedly be floating around your class! These are illegal, and if you’re caught using them you will be punished severely.

Finally, don’t freak out if you bomb a test. You can drop one exam grade, and there will possibly be a curve at the end of your semester. Good luck!

Article by Melissa Flanders

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