BIOLOGY 01 STUDY SKILLS WORKSHOP

TIPS ON IMPROVING STUDYING EFFICIENCY

ATTENDANCE

Go to every lecture.

TIME BUDGET

CONSTRUCT A TIME BUDGET FOR THE SEMESTER

This budget includes information based on all your coursework for the semester

CONSTRUCT A TIME BUDGET FOR BIOLOGY

Weekly basis - 8hr/week (includes all out of class preparations)

Special preparations for exams: leave 7-10 days before the exam for a comprehensive preparation. This is the beginning of the study period for the exam and will allow you plenty of time for having questions answered before the exam date.

READING THE TEXT

WHEN SHOULD I READ THE TEXT

Preview the readings before it is covered in lecture. Read it to get a general idea about the materials.

HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO READ THE TEXT?

FIRST PASS/WHEN DO I READ THE CHAPTER - Skim the text before class to obtain a general idea about what is happening during lecture.

SECOND PASS - Take notes on the reading, outline the chapter, make flash cards for studying terms in boldface type (vocabulary), notes on important diagrams.

THIRD PASS - This is when you study hard before the exam and try to understand as much as possible, while taking notes on the remaining questions that you just don't understand and must ask the lecture head or the TA.

HOW TO THE READ THE TEXT - Try and get the big picture by asking a series of questions to yourself as you are reading the text:

WHAT - what is the chapter about, ecology, behavior, chemistry, a particular system, etc...?

WHERE - where does this phenomenon occur (between individuals, inside the body, tissue or cell levels, etc...)?

WHEN - when (under what conditions) does the (do the) activity (activities) take place?

HOW - how does it take place (mechanism questions)?

LECTURE NOTES and the TEXT

Read them side by side and highlight in the text the topics that overlap with the notes

Forest through the trees - the worst mistake is for people to memorize without understanding the material

LECTURE NOTES

OUTLINING AND TAKING NOTES

Try and understand the lecture in terms of an outline - major topics divided into smaller components (like this outline)

Print the lecture notes and bring them to every lecture - follow along in lecture

After each lecture - summarize the main points in a sentence or two

Review notes after class to clean up the notes so you will understand them better before the exam which might be weeks later

ABBREVIATIONS

Use abbreviations where ever possible but be consistent (examples: AA's=amino acids, FA's= fatty acids)

CHECKING WITH THE TEXT - After class go to the text and mark in the book the important points stressed during the lecture

PRACTICE EXAM QUESTIONS

Use MasteringBiology.com

You can test yourself on how well you know the materials for each exam

Get extra credit and more familiar with the materials for each exam

Do the crossword puzzle questions in Sakai

You can test yourself on how well you know the materials for each exam

STUDY GROUPS

Find another person or persons who are interested in forming a study group and meet with them before the exam (not the night of the exam). A group has a better chance of at least one person knowing the answer to your question.

TAKING EXAMS

ATTITUDE

Attitude going into the exam must be positive

ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE EXAM

If you don't understand the question - ask a proctor

ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON THE EXAM

Survey the exam: First Pass - easy questions first; Second Pass - Problem questions next (example - genetics); Third Pass - hard questions; Fourth Pass - proofread your answers (does computer answer sheet agree with your answers on the test sheet)

STRATEGY FOR ANSWERING QUESTIONS - FOR HARD ?'S

Read each question carefully and look at the options for each question - a and b, all of the above, none of the above

Process of elimination - eliminate the absurd and work your way down to the remaining more meaningful answers