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Failing Biology...

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Bennyden

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Failing might be too much of a prediction...

I'm an undergraduate freshman and taking biology and chem this year.
The problem here is biology... Biology had been my favorite subject in middle school and high school, scoring the highest of grades for the classes.

But now in college, I am lagging behind. For the 1st out of 3 exams, I got a 56/125...
Things to blame:

  • Cramming all the materials of a whole semester into 2 exams and a final.
  • The professor makes me fall asleep and spends 1.5 hours on 1-2 sections of a single chapter, and skipping whatever he doesnt cover to catch up with schedule on syllabus.
  • The professor admits the exams go by the textbook, so I don't bother going to his lectures anymore.
  • The textbook assumes this is your sixth time taking a college level biology course.
  • The first exam was 80% catch-you-off-guard trick questions that were vaguely based on the textbook.

I am hoping somebody could give me some advice to save my grade for this class, especially how to deal with the super congested trick exams or studying techniques. My 56/125 can be bumped up if I ace the final.

Does struggling in biology now mean that I am not worthy of becoming a dentist? :(

Biology is like a withered spouse to me now.
I used to love biology.
Now it's a pain in the ass to put up with.
Can anyone save our relationship?
 

herkulease

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What biology class are you taking and what book is being used?
 

Near

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My advice is to find someone in the class that isn't failing, and see what they do to get their grade. Good luck! Don't worry, you'll get through this!
 

MuskieMan33

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Freshman in college, First semester of biology, I would guess puts you at Gen Bio 1 / Principles of Bio. Which I would hardly consider the 6th biology course. My 6th Bio course will be Immunology or Parisitology (400/4000's).

What you could do, so that the professor knows your trying, is email him and request to set up a meeting with him/her. Ask how you should study, what you should study, how to distinguish between the "critical" info and the "not so critical" info, possibly ask what should a study plan for the class should be. Like review notes, as well as taking more detailed notes from the book on the topics in particular. It could be something like reading the chapter summaries to get the good info, then fill in the blanks of the chapter review by going back through the book and getting the little things that they missed in the summary.

I'm not trying to be cruel by any means, but I hardly doubt that a freshman level bio course is as hard as your making it sound. Yes, in high school you can simply show up, stay awake, and if you do the homework, its an easy 4.0. It took me a couple semesters to finally find my groove to succeeding in college. I thought my freshman and sophomore bio classes were insanely hard, but I think it was me just not used to having to work so much more towards school to get an A. The transition from high school to college academics was the hardest part for me. You really do have to sit down and study religiously to do well. Maybe not in every class, but you get a feel for the classes that are going to give you trouble, and devote more time towards them. The teacher can make a class as easy or as hard as they want to. I would just make dang sure that the professor knows your putting your heart into it. Who knows, maybe at the end of the semester he will even give you that 2% bump you need to get into "A" category. Make peace with your professors, they can be your best friend or your worst nightmare.

On the topic of making nice with the professors. A kid in class tried to question the professor about evolution, I'm guessing because the student reads the bible and disagreed with what he had to say about evolution (actually two instances, with 2 different profs). In both cases, the professors made the kid look like the dumbest person alive for standing up, thinking he could prove evolution wrong with religion. (I'm not trying to say one is any more right than the other, BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT TO BELIEVE!!) Needless to say, I haven't seen that student for 2 years or even heard what happened to him. I still see every other bio major that was in those classes. My guess is that he transferred, switched majors, or dropped out of school. Go get help from your professor. It will help in the long run. I always treat everyone with respect as well as their opinions, even if I don't believe what they have to say, common courtesy.

Sorry for the novel I just wrote SDN, I do hope it serves some use to your biology concern though. I wish you the best of luck!! :luck:
 

Logs

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Ok freshman, listen up. From now on before regestering for class you need to do your homework regarding professors. You need to go to ratemyprofessors.com and find out which professor is the easiest.

Next, check out khan academy (google it) that website has easy to understand explanations on tons of different college subjects, including biology. This was even useful for upper level bio classes and preparing for the DAT.

Best of luck with you.
 

herkulease

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Ok freshman, listen up. From now on before regestering for class you need to do your homework regarding professors. You need to go to ratemyprofessors.com and find out which professor is the easiest.

and Hot too. :D
 

dmdluffy

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You're still transitioning and college level is quite different from high school. Just keep studying, work hard, go to lectures, study smartly. Pair up with other students, go to office hours, whatever you need to do. If you lay down a good work ethic now then you can save yourself tons of pain later. But it's your first term of college, hopefully things will get better.
 

LaughingGas

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you need to start thinking beyond the given material. When it gets to upper div bio classes, its more of application of your knowledge than straight forward stuff. You wanna start thinking "why" or "what if" situations and expand the possibilities. Trick questions are tricky cz you are thinking inside the box. Once you start thinking out of the box and see the bigger picture, you could probably solve the tricky questions. If it's multiple choice, its common sense, but doing eliminations gives you the obvious right answer.
 

kamepan

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Things to blame? Those look like the key to success right there...now you know what to work on.

Unfortunately, schools these days place an emphasis on evaluation rather than education. Always try to understand the material, but also try to understand how the professor thinks, because that translates into his tests.


  • Cramming all the materials of a whole semester into 2 exams and a final.
--->that's like any other college course. Get used to it...sorry but I struggled my first year too and then I learned to pace myself. It is a lot of material but you need discipline everyday and review after lectures.

  • The professor makes me fall asleep and spends 1.5 hours on 1-2 sections of a single chapter, and skipping whatever he doesn't cover to catch up with schedule on syllabus.
--->falling asleep??....and all professors do that. just make sure you read over it on your own time, and if you don't get it, go into his office hours. email him and ask if that is important material as well, go talk to your TA.

  • The professor admits the exams go by the textbook, so I don't bother going to his lectures anymore.
--->wait...how is this something to blame for?? Wasn't HS all reading, memorizing and plug and chugging anyways?

  • The textbook assumes this is your sixth time taking a college level biology course.
--->Any concepts you don't understand, google them. Anything you can't visualize, go on youtube and watch it. Tests are all about understanding the concepts.

  • The first exam was 80% catch-you-off-guard trick questions that were vaguely based on the textbook.
--->Good, now you know what kind of questions he'll ask. Study those, study the format for the q's, see what patterns they follow. See what he likes to "trick" you on...This is typical of college, they want to see if you can apply not just memorize.

The biggest things are learn how to apply the knowledge you learned. Secondly, always ask for help from the prof or TA if you aren't sure of something...and study with people in your class. You guys will be able to brainstorm what the teacher will ask as well as be able to quiz each other.
 

crax

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may i ask if you keep up with reading the chapters (and understanding the material) as the course goes on? or do you instead try to cram reading in prior to an exam? Do you read all of the chapters?

Read the book, and go over notes, it takes some time (kind of funny when you see how much youll be studying in the future) and then make some study sheets before exams. look over your old exams and see if reading the notes/tbook would have done you better.

As a freshman, you seriously should just eliminate the BS time you use (napping, facebook, bull****ting with friends) and put in ~2/3 hours of efficient library time a night in. You dont have to tell anyone either, there are many places on campus to study. with 3 hours of studying, 16 credit hours, the gym, and sports, you still have plenty of time to go out, and hang with friends many nights a week. If you can adapt to this, you will do well.
 

CedarZ4

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Freshman in college, First semester of biology, I would guess puts you at Gen Bio 1 / Principles of Bio. Which I would hardly consider the 6th biology course. My 6th Bio course will be Immunology or Parisitology (400/4000's).

Not to discredit the courses you are taking or your school, but it really does depend on the school.

Immunology is a 200 level at my school.

Although the general rule is Gen Bio1/Principles is a 101 class, I wouldn't doubt it if the OP went to a school where other science courses would "PreReqs"

Unless he addressed this, I didn't read the whole thread. Just pointing that out.
 

tayloreve

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Ok freshman, listen up. From now on before regestering for class you need to do your homework regarding professors. You need to go to ratemyprofessors.com and find out which professor is the easiest.

Next, check out khan academy (google it) that website has easy to understand explanations on tons of different college subjects, including biology. This was even useful for upper level bio classes and preparing for the DAT.

Best of luck with you.

Tru dat. I look up all my professors before I sign up for their class. Bad ratings, wait to take the class another quarter when someone else teaches it lolol.

For my Gen Bio class, I read the textbook like my life depended on it. Even on the weekends. Went through and highlighted all the important stuff.

& I always told myself that Gen Bio was a weed out class and I refused to be weeded out! :mad: that always made me study more :D
 

Dgeorg6

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The first thing you need to do is stop putting blame on the professor. The grade you received is solely your fault. The sooner you start taking responsibility for your grades, the sooner you will start doing better. Freshman biology is going to be a TON of information no matter what. In high school you used to get tested on two sections of a chapter or maybe 1 chapter at a time. In college biology classes you will get tested on anywhere from 4-7 chapters per test and if the final is cumulative there is a good chance it will be based on about 20 chapters of information..

And those "trick" problems, are what almost every test you take in college will be made up of it. They are ment to make sure you understand the full concept of whats going on, not just memorized the definition.



To succeed you have to learn to study ahead of time, be very efficient at managing your time, and getting your priorities straight.
 

olive6

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whenever i figure out that a class is taught by the book, i just start skipping class and use that time to read all the chapters and highlight!!! works for me haha
 

CedarZ4

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whenever i figure out that a class is taught by the book, i just start skipping class and use that time to read all the chapters and highlight!!! works for me haha

Very difficult for a freshman to actually pick up the book and read, though!

In class, you are forced to learn, even if it's not as affective as reading the book alone.

You tell yourself you'll skip class and spend that time reading the book instead. You either end up playing video games, or, catching up on that sleep you were deprived for the past 3 nights! How do I know?

Guilty:oops:
 

olive6

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that may or may not have happened to me on a few occasions.... ;)
 

Bennyden

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Thanks guys, this was all very great motivation and advice!

Yes, I have been falling behind I'm work, since it takes me 5+ hours to slowly go through a single chapter with notes, just to forget 50% of it after three days.

I must get back to studying religiously!

EDIT: the biology class consists of 600+ students, so it's not so easy to be recognized by the single professor, or even approach him during crowded office hours.
 
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MuskieMan33

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Well you have thousands of people here who have been where you have been. I know I ask for help from SDNers when I need some advice or some help with something. lol.
 
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