To study Biology you will need different skills to other subjects. Biology is taught as a mix of content which needs to be learnt, and concepts which need to be understood. It also tends to be quite information heavy, with a lot of learning which may mean you may need to change you studying method whether you are at school, college or university.
1. Learn the concepts
Concepts in Biology are very important and there will be many of them whether you are studying Microbiology, Genetics or Ecology. To succeed in Biology you need to learn all the concepts and be able to understand them. The best of way of doing this is answering past exam questions and revising with fellow classmates.
2. Understand Key terms or phrases
The terminology in Biology can be a deal breaker in the exam. If you don't understand just a single term then you may write your essay or answer a question on the wrong thing. Biology keywords can have subtle differences which can lead to opposite meanings.
You can learn your key terms by going through your class notes and making a list of every keyword that you don't fully understand or that you have to think about. Write them down on computer and make flashcards for each one. You will be surprised how quickly you can learn them if you go through the flashcards every day.
3. Link the ideas
The various ideas in Biology are many but you can reduce your workload by linking them up. Use mind maps, post it notes or whichever method you like, but try to get all the core ideas together in one place so you can group your concepts and cut the amount of material you need to learn.
4. Attend all classes, labs and tutorials
If you went to a university like mine, attending labs and classes wasn't compulsory but just strongly recommended. You may be able to obtain your lecture note PowerPoints but there is no substitute for attendance. Often what your lecturers focus on in classes will be what they focus on in the exam. I strongly recommend doing this, as I neglected it and paid the price. Working in the lectures is very efficient in terms of getting a higher final grade.
5. Research extra material
Think how easy work from previous years is now. To get this whilst you are studying, you need to extend yourself and take your studying to the next level. This may be as basic as doing some research on Wikipedia or in the course textbook. The extra knowledge gained from this will help you in the exam and show the marker that you have taken your studying to the next level.
Studying Biology is difficult but it is a fascinating subject that can lead onto a number of career paths. These Biology study tips will help you but also remember to start your revision early and work consistently, rather than revising in a rush the night before. Have you got any top tips for exam success in Biology? Share them below in the comments.