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Advice on taking Biochem?

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chemdoctor

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Hello everyone! I am going to be a Junior in the Fall and will be taking Biochem I. At the college I attend, Biochem I is one of the toughest classes haha. I was wondering what advice you guys have for studying Biochem? Those of you that did well in it, what should I go in expecting? Lots of memorization? I found Orgo I to be tricky but did well in Orgo II. From talking to older students, I was told it is advisable to study at least two hours a day for that class. What advice do you guys have? Thanks in advance!
 

maplecookie

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Hello everyone! I am going to be a Junior in the Fall and will be taking Biochem I. At the college I attend, Biochem I is one of the toughest classes haha. I was wondering what advice you guys have for studying Biochem? Those of you that did well in it, what should I go in expecting? Lots of memorization? I found Orgo I to be tricky but did well in Orgo II. From talking to older students, I was told it is advisable to study at least two hours a day for that class. What advice do you guys have? Thanks in advance!

Well, keep in mind every class is going to be structured and taught differently in different institutions. Your best bet is probably finding a friend or a friend of a friend who did well in that class to give you more personalized tips or something. That being said, at my school we had SI sessions which were like review/tutoring sessions which I found super useful especially since our lectures weren’t recorded so it gave a chance of a second pass at the material in a smaller group setting.

In terms of individual studying, it really came down to some key base memorization and then building concepts and understanding off of those. So for example, you absolutely need to memorize amino acids and charges before you can apply them to understanding things like calculating pI, etc. Do the memorizing bit as the class progresses so when the application parts come along you can keep up. That way when it’s exam time, you have a good foundation and can spend more time practicing the application which is going to be more tricky and time consuming for review. That’s pretty much what I remember doing for my biochem class, hope it helps! ^^
 
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chemdoctor

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Well, keep in mind every class is going to be structured and taught differently in different institutions. Your best bet is probably finding a friend or a friend of a friend who did well in that class to give you more personalized tips or something. That being said, at my school we had SI sessions which were like review/tutoring sessions which I found super useful especially since our lectures weren’t recorded so it gave a chance of a second pass at the material in a smaller group setting.

In terms of individual studying, it really came down to some key base memorization and then building concepts and understanding off of those. So for example, you absolutely need to memorize amino acids and charges before you can apply them to understanding things like calculating pI, etc. Do the memorizing bit as the class progresses so when the application parts come along you can keep up. That way when it’s exam time, you have a good foundation and can spend more time practicing the application which is going to be more tricky and time consuming for review. That’s pretty much what I remember doing for my biochem class, hope it helps! ^^

Yeah that makes a lot of sense. I am definitely going to be attending SI sessions! Thanks!
 

maplecookie

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Yeah that makes a lot of sense. I am definitely going to be attending SI sessions! Thanks!

Oh I also forgot the other main benefit of SI; make sure to take advantage of any practice problems and exams they provide since they are probably experienced in the format of that particular class
Good luck!
 
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TypeADissection

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Full disclosure: I did not major in science nor did I ever take biochem until I got into med school.

However, this was a true "grind it out" kind of subject matter for me. I memorized essentially everything that was thrown at me and understood what I was memorizing. Lots of repetition on a white board writing pathways over and over again starting at various points. This resulted in consistent high scores on exams versus my colleagues who majored in biochem in undergrad or had taken it previously. I think the trap they fell into was that they were familiar with all the material because they had seen it before and it gave them a false sense of security. For me, this was brand new and it was very labor intensive but not necessarily difficult. It's one of those courses where I realized how thankful I was to never have been a science major. So be prepared to "grind it out." Good luck. Cheers.
 
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