Biology Study Skills

You, too, can succeed in biology.  The following strategies
will help you get an A in biology.  They are the result of years of interviewing students who were able to achieve success in
their biology courses.  

 

  1. Successful biology students say they study a minimum of 2 hours per day, seven days a week, throughout the semester.
  2. Biology is hard work, so be aggressive. Take it as a challenge and give it your time and your energy.
  3. Read your chapters at the start of your study and again before testing.
  4. Know and understand all your terminology. In biology it is extremely helpful to begin by studying your Latin and Greek roots.  Study these roots. Make 3" x 5" flash cards to help you memorize them and later do the same with your terminology.
  5. Biology teachers have reported that if something is brought into the lab, it is guaranteed that you will be tested on it. So pay attention to whatever is brought into the lab, even its name.
  6. Chemistry is not a pre­requisite for taking biology but taking a chemistry course before or while taking biology would be exceedingly beneficial.
  7. Make it a practice to read over the topic or chapter before going to your biology class.
  8. Attend all classes and be an active listener. Successful students take full and comprehensive notes, writing down about 66% of what is said in lecture, while failing students write half as much.
  9. After class go over the material as soon as possible and again eight hours later. Studies have shown that you are more likely to remember the information later. Fill in all the missing words or incomplete explanations. Recite important concepts in your own words.
  10. Always remember you have the right to ask questions before, during and after class. See your instructors for help.
  11. Read and study all your textbook explanations --- figures, tables, charts, graphs, etc.
  12. Whenever possible explain aloud to another person what you are learning. Work with a classmate and explain terminology and concepts to each other.
  13. Describe in your own words the similarities and differences between the different concepts you are learning.
  14. If biology is your most difficult subject, then always study it before all other subjects. You must study biology when you are most alert and fresh. Make sure to take 5 or 10 minute breaks every 20 to 40 minutes in order to clear your mind.
  15. Making up mnemonics memory techniques may be fun as well as beneficial.
  16. Take sample online tests for yourself and review your mistakes.
  17. If possible, have a friend or family member quiz you on your notes and text information. Done regularly this commits more information to long-term memory.