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How to Study for Biology in College

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Improve your ability to study for college biology with this article. You'll find tips for preparing for class, taking notes and getting ready for tests. You can also get some additional resources for your study time.

Get Ready Before Class

College biology is an in-depth subject and you need to prepare for your classes accordingly. Try to complete any assigned readings before your class or lab, focusing on pictures, diagrams and bolded terms. You should also take advantage of any notes or information your instructor posts online. You'll get the most out of these resources if you look over them before class and bring them with you.

Take Notes

Taking notes is a great way to absorb the information you're learning in class. It also allows you to review facts later. You should try to write down anything your instructor writes on the board, anything that's described as important, and any page numbers your instructor references. Don't be afraid to ask your teacher to repeat information if you think you missed something important, or if you're simply unclear about a concept.

Some instructors will allow you to record lectures so that you may listen to them again at a later time. However, you should make sure you ask before recording, as some schools do not allow this practice.

Reinforce What You Learned

It's a good idea to go over your notes once your class is over. This is a great way to make sure you understand everything that was covered.

You can also find out if your biology department has a study room with additional resources for you to check out. Set up a study group or visit your instructor during office hours to go over subjects you'd like to spend more time on.

Prepare for Tests

There are lots of great strategies for getting ready for a biology test. The ones you use will depend on your learning style and how your instructor likes to set up exams. You can check out these suggestions and use the ones that work for you:

  • Make Flashcards: Flashcards are a great way to quickly build your memory of important terms. Write the term you need to remember on one side and include a quick definition or picture on the other.
  • Label Pictures: Print off copies of the pictures from your text book and carefully label them.
  • Use a Coloring Book: This is a great way to prepare for anatomy tests. You can find coloring books that deal with human anatomy and color them in to easily practice different parts of the body.
  • Visit the Lab: Open lab time is a great way to check out models that deal with the biological information you're going to be tested on.
  • Draw a Picture: If you're having a hard time remembering a certain process (for example, the Krebs Cycle), try drawing a graphic that represents the different steps of the cycle. You could also write it out in your own words, if that's easier for you.
  • Explain a Concept: Sometimes talking through a biological process helps you absorb it more quickly and efficiently. Try to explain what you're working on to a lab partner or roommate. If you can't find anyone to work with, repeat it out loud to yourself until you feel like you've got it down.

Study Online

You can find online resources that reinforce what you're learning in class. These study guides include short video lessons that go over the biology concepts you're studying. They also offer you practice quizzes and exams that can get you ready for in-class tests. Get ready for success with these resources related to:

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