If you’re a Bio student, then you know that this learning area has loads of different concepts, processes and terms for you to remember. How can you make sure you do well? Here are some pointers.

Prepare for classes

Unlike some subjects, to get the most out of your Life Sciences classes, you need to prepare for them beforehand. This means reading ahead, looking at additional resources and writing down your questions before class. Making sure you’re prepared ahead of time will help ensure you don’t get left behind - especially since the curriculum is quite packed and you’ll find that your teacher may move a little quickly through sections.

Know your diagrams

Whether it’s DNA, cell division or the the central nervous system, it helps to be familiar with all the different diagrams and their labels. In order to do this, it’s a good idea to draw your own diagrams or stick the ones you find most challenging on your wall, where you’ll see them frequently. It helps to assign real life stories to diagrams - like using real flowers to help you memorise the structure of a flower in plant reproduction.

Master your terminology

When it comes to those Life Sciences essay questions, one way to score some marks is to make sure you use all the correct terminology. This means you have to break down the meanings of certain words so that you’re better able to understand and interpret them in an exam. Understanding concepts and cycles explored in each section is a good way to make sense of the different terms you’ll come across. It may also be a good idea to write down a list of all the key concepts you come across in each section along with all their meanings in your study notes. That way, you’ll know which words you have to remember and include in your longer answers.

Memorise effectively

One mistake lots of students make is trying to cram work as opposed to having a clear understanding of things in order to memorise them effectively. When it comes to subjects like Biology, where there’s so much information to remember, it’s really important to tap into effective memorising. The first thing you need to do is find your study style - do you learn better when you hear, see or do things? Then, use this to teach yourself concepts. For example if you’re more of a visual learner, you’ll probably find it easier to remember things if you draw pictures and/or diagrams. The next thing you should do is test yourself by doing past exam papers, letting your friends or family quiz you, or creating your own tests.

Ask questions

If you’re struggling with any aspect of Life Sciences, your teacher should probably be the first person you direct all your questions to. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or think you’re embarrassing yourself by asking questions in class. If you’ve made a list of questions while preparing for your lesson, you might find that the whole class will benefit from you asking them. Biology is just one of those subjects where it’s better to be curious, and ask all the questions you may have in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the concepts.

Although it can be really challenging, Life Sciences can be fun if you’re involved, resourceful and willing to put in the extra effort to get great marks. Good luck!

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