How to Study for Biology ? Although biology is a mandatory class, it doesn’t have to be a painful one to study for and get through. It is a subject that builds upon itself, so it’s essential to understand the basic concepts before you can understand the more complex ones. Learning the vocabulary associated with biology and staying on top of the material are the best ways to improve your comprehension of biology and be ready for every exam.
1-Have a positive attitude towards biology.
Biology complicated? but it is also very interesting if you take a step back to think about what you’re studying. Having the right attitude can make it more fun to study. It will still be difficult, but if you’re interested in what you’re learning, it won’t feel like such a burden.
It can be helpful to connect biological concepts to real-world situations. Think about how your body works. How do your muscles work together to allow you to move?
How does your brain communicate with those muscles to tell your body to take a step? It’s very complex, but all of the cells in your body work together to keep you healthy. Biology teaches you all about these processes and how they work. That’s pretty fascinating if you think about it.
2-Break down complex words into their roots.
You might find the vocabulary of biology complicated and difficult to spell. However, most words in this subject come from Latin and have a prefix and suffix. Knowing the prefixes and suffixes that compose the terms can help you spell difficult words and grasp their meaning. For example, the word “glucose” can be separated into two parts, “gluc” means sweet, and “-ose” means sugar. As “-ose” means sugar, you know maltose, sucrose, and lactose are sugars as well. The term “endoplasmic reticulum” seems difficult. However, if you know “endo” means “within/inside,” “plasmic” means cytoplasm, and “reti” stands for net, you will know that it is a net-like structure that is found inside the cytoplasm.
3-Make flashcards for the vocabulary words.
Flashcards are one of the best ways to learn the meanings of the many words you’ll come across in biology. You can carry them around with you and study them at any time. In the car on the way to school is a great time to flip through your flashcards. While the process of making flashcards is a helpful way to study, the cards themselves are only useful if you actually study them as well. At the beginning of each new unit, identify the vocabulary words that you don’t know and make flashcards of them. Study these cards all throughout the unit and by the time the test comes, you will know them all!
4- Draw and label diagrams.
Sketching a diagram of a biological process can be a simpler way to learn the concept than just reading about it. If you really understand it, you should be able to draw the entire process and label all of the important aspects. Study the diagrams that are in your textbook as well. Read the captions and truly understand what the diagram is representing and how it relates to the concept you are learning.
Many biology courses will start by learning about the cell and the various parts and organelles that make up the cell. Being able to draw this and label all of the pieces is important. The same goes for many of the cell cycles such as ATP synthesis and the Krebs Cycle. Practice drawing these a few times a week to make sure you have them down before the exam.
5- Read the textbook before class.
Biology is not a subject that can be absorbed in the short period of time you are in class. Reading the material before it is covered in class will give you a head start on the concepts and you’ll know what is coming up. The text will introduce the topics to you and you will get much more out of class if you come prepared to ask questions based on your reading. Refer to your syllabus to know what parts of the book to read before class. Take notes on the material and come to class with questions in hand.
6- Learn concepts from general to specific.
Understanding biology requires that you have a general understanding of the broad concepts before you can really get into the details. Really master the broad topics before trying to comprehend the details of how they work.