Basic Tips to Ace Your Biology Class

Student working at desk in library
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Studying for a biology class can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. If you follow a few simple steps, studying for biology will be less stressful and more enjoyable. I've compiled a list of several helpful biology study tips for biology students. Whether you're in middle school, high school or college, these tips are bound to produce results!

Biology Study Tips

Always read the lecture material before the classroom lecture. I know, I know--you don't have time, but believe me, it makes an immense difference.

  1. Biology, like most sciences, is hands-on. Most of us learn best when we are actively participating in a topic. So make sure to pay attention in biology lab sessions and actually perform the experiments. Remember, you won't be graded on your lab partner's ability to perform an experiment, but your own.
  2. Sit in the front of the class. Simple, yet effective. College students, pay close attention. You'll need recommendations one day, so make sure your professor knows you by name and you aren't 1 face in 400.
  3. Compare biology notes with a friend. Since much of biology tends to be abstract, have a "note buddy." Each day after class compare notes with your buddy and fill in any gaps. Two heads are better than one!
  4. Use the "lull" period between classes to immediately review the biology notes you have just taken.
  5. Don't cram! As a rule, you should start studying for biology exams a minimum of two weeks prior to the exam.
  6. This tip is very important -- stay awake in class. I've observed too many people snoozing (even snoring!) in the middle of class. Osmosis may work for water absorption, but it won't work when it comes time for biology exams.
  1. Find some useful resources to help you when you study after class. Here are a few resources that I would suggest to help make learning biology interesting and fun:
  • Anatomy: The study of human anatomy gives us a better understanding of the structures of the body and how they work. When taking a basic anatomy course, your goal should be to learn and understand the structures and functions of the major body systems.
  • Biology Homework Help: Need help with your biology homework? Find resources and information to help you answer some of your biology homework questions.
  • Online Dissections: Online dissections allow you to experience actual dissections without all of the mess.
  • Plant Biology: Learn about plant biology, plant viruses, and more. Also, discover some interesting and unusual plants​

Consider Advanced Placement Biology 

Now that you have gone over these biology study tips, apply them to your study time. If you do, you are sure to have a more pleasurable experience in your biology class. Those who wish to gain credit for introductory college level biology courses should consider taking an Advanced Placement Biology course. Students enrolled in the AP Biology course must take the AP Biology exam to gain credit. Most colleges will give credit toward entry level biology courses for students who earn a score of 3 or better on the exam. If taking the AP Biology exam, it is a good idea to use good AP Biology exam prep books and flash cards to be sure that you are prepared to score high on the exam.