I’m having a hard time in Bio189. Any tips?

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  • #61400
    BeckieBeckie
    Participant

    Hi
    I’m having a horrible time in Bio 189. I study so much in that class, and I don’t think I am getting it. I just had my first test over 7 chapters and I think I failed it. I study night and day in that class. Do you gals know of a way to get help in that class?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!

    Take care,
    Beckie

    #61401
    shellbellshellbell
    Participant

    Hi Beckie, :wave:

    I am so sorry you are having a rough time. I have not taken that class yet, but wanted to say I am sorry, and cheer up. 😉

    Some of my studying tips, include: recording the class, rewriting my notes after class, and listening to the lecture when I am cleaning, driving.

    I hope this helps. Good Luck 🙂

    Michelle

    #61403
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    What Bio class is that, Genetics? Cell Biology?

    #61404
    BeckieBeckie
    Participant

    Ooops, I forgot to mention what kind of biology class it is.

    It is the entry-level biology class. Like Bio190. It is the very first Biology class.

    #61406
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    Different universities code the same biology classes differently. Where I attend intor is BIO 121. I skiped the first 2 bio classes and went into cell then genetics. I did just fine. I would rewrite the notes from lecture and add extra from the book in a logical flow from subject to subject. If the tests are from the book solely or both notes and book, I would outline each section making sure to get the take home message and imp. points, this is very gruelling and time consuming but for me, It was the sure way to get an A.

    —-Dana

    #61407
    BeckieBeckie
    Participant

    Thank you everyone who responded.

    Well, I do have bad news. I got a ‘D’ on my exam. But guess what, the class average was an ‘F’. I finished in the top percentages of the class. Isn’t that crazy? The instructor said that if we got 67% or better, (I got a 68%), that we are working hard and understanding the material. I think that the test just totally sucked, and they need to revamp the whole thing and start all over and give us a new test. But they wont do that. My class has 300 students in it, so she can’t grade on a curve, because over half of the students don’t even come to class. They just come to take the tests, and this is a class that no one can miss because it is really tough. So anyway, I am going to take all of your advice and I am going to study more hours than I did for the last test and hopefully I can get an ‘A’. At least now I know what to expect on the test. I think I can still pull off an ‘A’ in the class if I work my butt off.

    By the way, I already have been studying 20 hours a week for this class. I think now I have to study 30 hours, to get an ‘A’. It is really tough. Have any of you ever had a class like this before?

    My major is biology. I hope the rest of my classes aren’t this tough, because I don’t know where I am going to find the time to keep up with my other classes and being a single mom, etc. Any tips/advice would be great.

    Thanks,
    Take care,
    Beckie

    #61409
    YearstogoYearstogo
    Participant

    Yikes. I’m not actually a premed anymore (well into medical school!), but I hope it’s okay for me to post something in this forum for you. I know biology is much more than memorization, but sometimes if you are not tripped up on the memorization aspect of things, the understanding parts come easier!

    I have found that flashcards are EXTREMELY useful for getting information under your belt. However, they can be time-consuming both to make and use, and after a while you get a huge stack that’s inconvenient to cart around, and you waste a lot of time looking at ones you know really well already. I have recently started using a program for my Palm Pilot (also available in PC versions, and it might run on PDAs besides Palm) called Supermemo. My friends can’t believe I am not affiliated with and get no commission from the company that makes it, because I am always praising it! In fact, they’ll instantly know who’s writing this if any of them happen to be reading.

    You enter the information either directly onto your PDA, or much easier and faster, onto a PC. There is a free program that converts that file to the Supermemo format, then you just synch it to your PDA. I find it much easier to generate flashcards this way, no cramped hands. The beauty of the program, however, is not that you can use it like you would use regular old flashcards (though you can do that), it is that when you test yourself on a card, you get to grade yourself. The program keeps track of how you have graded yourself every time the card comes up, and decides an appropriate interval to wait before testing you on that card again. Every day, the program gathers all the cards whose time has come into a little test for you (which is also good when your motivation is lapsing, because it’s like someone else is administering a test to you), then it puts all the cards that you didn’t answer too well into a drill so you can rememorize those. If you do the program everyday, you will mostly get the cards right anyway, as they are presented to you (supposedly) just before you were about to forget them. Every time you get a card right, the interval increases.

    In the end, you get a much more efficient learning and RETENTION process. I have always had trouble remembering the journal articles that I read for my PhD, and it’s been quite frustrating. When I got Supermemo a few months ago, I converted a few big review articles in my field to flashcards, and it made such a difference at the student seminar I had to give soon after. For once, I felt like I had a grasp of the background! I know I would have been struggling for answers before doing that, but as I had a lot of the stuff on cards, my recall was very fast. A friend in the audience was so impressed that she downloaded the program, too.

    I wish I had started using this method ages ago. I always knew the material much better when I had flashcards, but writing them out was too hard on the hands. Not everything can go on a flashcard, of course, but a whole lot can. It would have made studying for the USMLE Step 1 such a breeze (well, relatively).

    For you, I think it could be useful for things like memorizing the characteristics of different amino acids, for memorizing the function of the various DNA sequences, for memorizing the different RNA polymerases, for memorizing sequences of events in the cell cycle, for … a whole lot. That is not to mention how ideal it is for learning vocabulary in foreign language class. The program is not free, but for PDAs it’s only $16 (from a company called Mapletop software — just Google) and not too bad for the PC version either (though I don’t have that one, as it can’t communicate with the PDA version). Also, you don’t need to have a new, expensive PDA — the older, much cheaper Palms work just fine (you can transfer your data and program to a new device, though, if you should get one).

    Anyway, sorry to write such a long paean to a study aide, but as I said I wish I’d had it ages ago. Not having a PC is not a problem, as you can enter your information on a Mac and just take that file to some PC somewhere (a friend, the student center, the library) and put the little converter program on that PC, etc.

    Good luck!

    Cindy

    #61411
    BeckieBeckie
    Participant

    Hi Cindy

    Wow! Thank you so much for that post. I really appreciate it. Do you know if I can use it on my laptop?

    Thanks,
    Beckie

    #61412
    YearstogoYearstogo
    Participant

    Originally posted by Beckie:
    [b] Hi Cindy

    Wow! Thank you so much for that post. I really appreciate it. Do you know if I can use it on my laptop?

    Thanks,
    Beckie [/b]

    The program comes in a version that works on a PC (including your laptop, as long as it’s not a Mac), or a version that works on PDAs. Also, you
    can use a PC to generate the flashcards to be synched to your PDA, but you wouldn’t be able to test yourself with those flashcards on the PC. Does that make sense? Good luck.

    Cindy

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