Studying for biology classes is different from studying for many other subjects. Unlike subjects in which you can memorize and regurgitate information, biology requires the student to actually learn the concepts as they are taught. You cannot cram for your biology exams and expect to be successful by the end of the term. Here is how to study for biology classes.
Learn the biology vocabulary terms. Biology has keywords that you must learn to be successful. Pay attention to the root words because those will help you decode new vocabulary words.
Recognize that the concepts build upon one another. Biology is not a class that you can study for in one night. Each concept builds upon the next. You need to keep up with the lessons as you go so that your study time for a biology test is a review rather than learning new information.
Grasp general concepts before tackling more specific ones. For example, you need to understand what factors identify an insect before you are ready to move on to the factors that identify an ant. Start with the big picture and work toward the details.
Attend all labs. Labs are offered to help the student take the theoretical information they learn in the classroom and apply it in a hands-on way. In order to grasp fully what you are learning in the biology classroom, you need to attend and participate in all labs.
Look up and learn unfamiliar words. When you come across a word you do not know, whether in a lecture or in the textbook, look it up in a dictionary. You are going to need to know what the word means in order to understand the lesson while studying for biology.
Review all notes. When you study for a biology exam, review all of your notes from the textbook, lectures and labs. Some people will even rewrite their notes to assist them in remembering the notes. Do not limit yourself only to the notes since the last test. Be sure to look over all notes from the beginning of class.
Research further online. If you are having difficultly grasping a concept, do some research online. Sometimes reading about the same topic in a slightly different way helps the student to understand the concept a little better (see Resources below).
Things You Will Need
- Biology text book
- Biology lecture notes
- Time set aside to study for biology
- Camera (optional)
- Study your old exams in preparation for your next test. Biology exams tend to be comprehensive, so what you were tested on for the first exam will likely be covered in some fashion on all later exams.
- Bring a camera to the labs. Take pictures of everything you do in the labs. You can study the photos to help you remember what you did as you study for your biology exams.
- Biology textbooks generally have study questions in the back of each chapter. Making sure you can answer those questions is a good way to help study for biology.
- Avoid Wikipedia. While Wikipedia might be helpful in many other topics, it is unreliable when it comes to studying for biology.