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How to do good in lab classes?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by asigna, Sep 16, 2012.

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  1. asigna

    asigna 2+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2012
    Hey guys I have two labs this year as an incoming freshman: Bio and Chem.

    Im wondering if you guys could tell me ways on how to do good in the class, get an A, study for lab practicals? etc

    Im not really sure how to do good/study for lab practicals. I want to get the best grasp on the material.

    If you guys could just let me know, I would really appreciate it.

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  3. Samiamm

    Samiamm Banned

    Jun 13, 2012
    Read the pre lab, the experiment, and learn what it's trying to show you before hand ie if the lab is showing you how limiting reactants effect mass weight etc. learn about limiting reactants before hand etc. etc?
  4. La Presse

    La Presse Due to the fact.... 5+ Year Member

    Mar 20, 2012
    At Caillou's House.
    Agreed. Similarly, you need to work on technique, read the experiment before class several times, know where everything is. Tie experiments to lecture topics, etc.
  5. Jojoviss

    Jojoviss 2+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    The big parts of lab are the daily assignments for labs meaning quizzes (read pre-lab information) and lab notebooks. The other big assignments are the lab reports and your TA should tell you how to complete those. They are just meant to supplement the class for hands-on activity and not usually meant to be extremely difficult.
  6. dsoz

    dsoz Accepted OHSU C/O 2017 5+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2011
    For my bio classes, it was a lot of the memorization. If there is a dissection, know all the parts. If there is an experiment, know what you did, why you did it, and what order you did the steps. Know all the equipment you used, and what the numbers mean that come out (spectrometer, etc.)

    For chemistry, know the reactions that occurred, why they occurred, and what other reactions are similar. Know how to calculate % yield and % error from lab-like data. If there is a visible sign of a reaction, know it and what it means (bubbles, color change, etc.)

    Granted, I had gen chem and gen bio a long time ago. But just be an active participant in the lab time and understand WHY you are doing something, not just do things that you are told to do. Somewhere along the way someone should be explaining it all (or it should be in the lab manual for you to read).

    Good luck. Work hard and do well. :)

  7. Ashley1989

    Ashley1989 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2012
    Hello, cold
    Know what you're doing before hand, why, and how it corresponds to lecture. Also take pictures of the microscope slide through the eyepiece and make a picture bank for the practical.
  8. Bangersandmash

    Bangersandmash 2+ Year Member

    Jul 28, 2012
    Proper english might help to get decent lab report grades. The question you should be asking is how to do well in lab classes.
  9. dance13021

    dance13021 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2012
  10. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    follow directions and game the TAs. They care about the lab about as much as you do (which is not at all).
  11. lobo.solo

    lobo.solo 5+ Year Member

    May 4, 2011
    This ^
    Get the underlying concept/theory behind each experiment.
  12. loonfromnool

    loonfromnool Fortes Fortuate Adiuvant

    Aug 15, 2012
    Sweet Home
    ABSOLUTELY^^. My bio lab was taught by a grad student & it was pretty much the easiest thing ever. We were literally out in an hour every week lol.

    For chemistry read the pre-lab, but know there is really no substitution to just doing the experiment. If your professor is nice ask as many questions as possible if you're unsure of something. Work slowly and carefully. I took my time in labs and wound up with high A's, where as people who breezed though them pulled B's. Don't expect every experiment to go perfectly though lol. Lab practicums suck. There isn't really anyway to prep for them, but usually by that point in the semester everyone is too fed up to care :laugh:
  13. littledinosaur


    Aug 25, 2012
    :thumbup: My thoughts exactly.
  14. Quizlet04

    Quizlet04 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2011
    As a former TA, current teacher, and current student, I can confirm this. If you do your stuff on time, relatively well, and have a fun attitude, you can get away with a ton. Some of my favorite students were those who turned in assignments that were both correct and funny. I had someone draw a pokemon on a test. That was probably worth two points. If the TA knows you and likes you, you're more likely to get help when you need it and get forgiven if you screw up a bit.

    In general, two words: Be precise.

    Read all the instructions and then actually follow them. To the letter. Don't half-ass or try to fudge any part of your lab. The twenty extra minutes spent going over your lab report to look for missing decimal places is worth the points you'll get for not screwing up. If something says 15mL of solvent, triple-check that it's 15mL. You might take a little longer at lab, but you'll only get a 2% error instead of a 20% error.
  15. MedPR

    MedPR Banned

    Dec 1, 2011
    How to do good? Clean up for all the other lab groups.. hold doors and pull chairs for the girls, and always say please and thank you.

    How to do well? Study.

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