Bringing Down Goliath: The best way to Study Biology

May 2nd, 2011

So you have a huge end-of-the-year comprehensive biology test coming up, and since you’ve been cramming every chapter test since the beginning of this year, you don’t remember anything. What do you do? Where do you even start? To begin, you should realize that for a huge subject such as biology, cramming all the details just isn’t going to work. There are way too many intricate details to be able to memorize each and every one from all the chapters. And before you think about cramming again for this final, consider this: most science majors require at least a year of biology in college, and a good chunk of the information is overlap from what you learned in high school. Therefore, the better a foundation you set for yourself now, the more it’s going to pay off not only now in high school, but in college, and maybe for the rest of your future as well.

To begin, break down biology into manageable chunks of information. Don’t just rush through reading every chapter and then realize you’ve already forgotten everything, but break it down by paragraphs and really try to visualize what’s going on. Carefully analyze the diagrams, draw your own pictures, watch (relevant) youtube videos, etc. There are lots of excellent visual resources online that can make understanding the material much easier, and they’re free! After visualizing the information, you’ll find it a lot easier to memorize, and then it’s just about reviewing the information consistently to reinforce what you’ve learn, while slowly adding more details to your knowledge.

Another great way to study biology is to review the information with your friends. Choose a topic, and popcorn each other to begin describing everything you know about the topic. Everyone always focuses on different aspects, and you’ll be able to take notes on what points you forgot to pay attention to.

Remember: there’s something in biology for everyone! Whether or not you love or hate science, biology plays a very relevant part to our everyday lives. Whether you want to learn the most effective way to work out, want to learn what to do to eat healthy and stay fit, or just how to prevent breakouts, biology will teach you the basics of how the human body works and allow you to make educated decisions to improve your health!

Calling Mom and letting her know about the big Biology Test

April 13th, 2011

Today was a little bit of a difficult day. I worked with Peter, and he has a Biology test
tomorrow. Peter’s teacher was nice enough to provide him with a study guide, but Peter
decided to wait until his session at Study Hut the day before to fill it out. I was hoping Peter
had a strong understanding of the material and that’s why he waited so long, but unfortunately
that was not the case. Peter was confused with some of the questions, and tried to answer
them just to get the questions done. I could tell Peter really didn’t want to be here and just
wanted to finish his study guide so he could get out of here. So, we went over each question
together and found the answers to the questions in the text. Peter also, would try to answer
each question with only one sentence. That’s not gonna suffice in a High School Biology class,
so I tried to get him in the habit of writing at minimum 5 sentences. By the end of the session I
still wasn’t confident that Peter had a solid understanding of the material, so I emailed Rob and
told him about our session. He also felt Peter would need some more help and we’re trying
to get him to come back in for some extra help. I tried to tell Peter that he’s so lucky when the
teacher gives him a study guide for his tests and he should take advantage of that. It narrows
down the amount material, and half the time they use the same questions. It doesn’t make
sense to not complete the study guide or wait until the night before the test to study. You can’t
really retain all the information if you study the night before. Hopefully Peter can make it back to
Study Hut tonight so we can prepare even more for his test tomorrow.


April 22nd, 2009

Fewer than three weeks remain until the AP Biology Exam. Are you ready? Yes? No need to read further, then.

Still with me? Then I suppose you’ve answered no. That’s an excellent, honest first step. Maybe you’re worried that the facts and skills aren’t set firmly in your mind, that you’ll go into the test less than prepared. Doubt and anxiety are normal feelings for everyday life, but disastrous ones for tests – they can make all your brain’s resources collapse like a half-baked soufflé. Obviously there is no reason to let this happen! AP Biology is a rigorous course, and you’ve probably worked harder at it than at any other class this year. You deserve a score to show that!
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