by Catherine Uher and Sahlea Tubbeh, CAPS SI Leaders
1. Concept Maps Are Your Best Friend
In biochemistry, the material quickly builds up and overlaps. One way to keep from getting overwhelmed with the amount of information is to make concept maps. This will help you remember the information as well as make the information more clear and digestible. Also, once the cumulative final comes around, you will have already made clear study guides for yourself. The concept map above was done by Samantha Paltrow in Spring 2017.
2. Do Not Procrastinate
Like I said, the information quickly builds up and can become overwhelming. To avoid doing 10 hour marathon study sessions the night before the exam, try doing a concept map after each lecture and keep up with weekly online quizzes which are helpful in testing knowledge. Also, study a little bit each day that way when the exam comes around, you won’t have to do tons of extra work.
3. Find a Group to Study With
Finding people to study with is extremely helpful. You will learn the material better if you have people that can help answer your questions. Also, one way to test whether you understand the information is if you can explain it to someone else. Biochemistry can be overwhelming and having buddies to help motivate you will go a long way.
4. Make Time to Go to SI Sessions
As a student trying to learn the massive amounts of material that a Biochemistry class requires, I find that going to SI sessions helps to digest each pathway bit by bit. It is important to understand not only the pathway at hand, but how each pathway connects to each other. Ask these questions after you learn a pathway:
Is this pathway in FED or Fasting?
Is this anabolic or catabolic?
What are we trying to produce? Or why is this important?
How does this pathway connect to others that we have learned?
5. Test Taking Techniques
With every test comes a huge bout of anxiety, sweaty palms and blanking out. Not to worry! Here are three test taking techniques that are guaranteed to get you a higher score:
- Read the question. That is it. Try not to think about the answer quite yet. Once you have read the question, do you understand what it is asking you? This should be a yes or no question.
Here is your test question: List all of the colors of the rainbow. Step one would be, “Yes! I understand what the question is asking.”
- Review in your head all of the colors of the rainbow.
- Write down the answer
Going through this process will keep your mind from blanking on the test.
6. Make-up Questions About the Material
One of the best ways to understand the material you will be tested on is to try to predict questions that you will be asked. For each lecture, write down four or five of the most important concepts you covered. Then, create a question or two about each concept you wrote down. This will help you understand the concept at a much deeper level.
Come to CAPS if you want to learn more about test taking techniques, content development or have any other questions.