x1240tony

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Sep 20, 2010
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Arijos0222

"The Opportune Moment"
Oct 21, 2012
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In the coming summer I will be starting college. I will be majoring in Biology. Now, my future school's science classes are very rigorous. My high school however, was very laid back. :thumbdown:

Anxiety has always been one of my many downfalls, and it has gotten the best of me. I am extremely nervous. My course load this year is pretty laid back, so I currently I am attempting to prepare myself for General Chemistry and Biology.

The thing that scares me the most is that, I don't know a lot about these subjects. I understand most of the concepts so far, but when it comes to practice problems, I can't seem to figure them out. I stared watching the MIT OCW Chemistry and I could not figure out any of the homework problem sets.

I haven't take Biology or Chemistry since freshman and sophomore year, respectively. I ordered Chemistry: The Central Science by Brown, Chemistry for Dummies, and I also ordered Campbell's Biology.(15 dollars for all of them off eBay!) Hopefully things will be able to make more sense.

My question is this. How can I prepare myself for rigorous courses in college? My teachers told me that low grades are the norm in college, that only the elite 1% can do well. Are there any resources I can use to help me learn online?
Well yeah, low grades ARE the norm. Not because they are super-rediculously hard, but because these individuals have majors/careers that don't need 3.5 GPA's+. That doesn't mean however, that you can't do well on your own. You made a good start with ordering the books... Also use any internet resource. Khan Academy comes to mind.

BTW maybe someone should move this thread to Pre-Allo to get a more broad range of advice?

Good luck OP
 
Nov 19, 2012
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I am in a very similiar situation, my high school is great when it comes to social sciences and language arts (I have actually already recieved a few credits in such areas through a program with a local community college); however, there is still alot to be desired in regards to science courses, chemistry in particular. As a senior going into a four year university as a pre-med I am also feeling a bit of anxiety, but like you I am being proactive about the situation and preparing myself. I am actually going to start reading my textbooks on pre-calculus and general chemistry toward the end of this week. I will be tackling about a chapter a week as I want to do a ton of practice roblems and really take it seriously so if you end up having a similiar plan for your own studies I would not mind at all if you PM me wanting to compare notes, work through a practice quiz, or whatever.
 
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OCDOCDOCD

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May 26, 2012
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High school teachers really over-exaggerate the difficulty of college. In reality AP classes tend to be harder than intro college classes. Also, there are definitely far more than 1% of students getting good GPAs. If there truly were only 1% of college students getting good GPAs then graduate and professional school admissions wouldn't be nearly as fierce as they are.

I wouldn't worry about chemistry either. Every intro class in college assumes you know absolutely nothing about the subject before coming in. You'll be fine as long as you can keep up with the material. I really wouldn't worry about trying to learn chemistry before taking chemistry.

And again, I really can't stress this enough, high school teachers are full of **** when they talk about college. Virtually nothing my HS teachers told us about college ended up being true. I'm sure you've already gone through this twice before with elementary school teachers telling you middle school was going to be way harder than 5th grade, and then again when middle school teachers told you high school is when things get serious. They weren't right then, so why do you think they'd be right now?
 

Medstart108

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Mar 24, 2012
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In the coming summer I will be starting college. I will be majoring in Biology. Now, my future school's science classes are very rigorous. My high school however, was very laid back. :thumbdown:

Anxiety has always been one of my many downfalls, and it has gotten the best of me. I am extremely nervous. My course load this year is pretty laid back, so I currently I am attempting to prepare myself for General Chemistry and Biology.

The thing that scares me the most is that, I don't know a lot about these subjects. I understand most of the concepts so far, but when it comes to practice problems, I can't seem to figure them out. I stared watching the MIT OCW Chemistry and I could not figure out any of the homework problem sets.

I haven't take Biology or Chemistry since freshman and sophomore year, respectively. I ordered Chemistry: The Central Science by Brown, Chemistry for Dummies, and I also ordered Campbell's Biology.(15 dollars for all of them off eBay!) Hopefully things will be able to make more sense.

My question is this. How can I prepare myself for rigorous courses in college? My teachers told me that low grades are the norm in college, that only the elite 1% can do well. Are there any resources I can use to help me learn online?
If you haven't taken bio or chem since sophomore year you will need to study. I really like Campbell's biology. You don't need to read everything, but make sure you know glycolysis, kreb cycle, cellular respiration, the function of the nephron, dna replication, dna synthesis, protein production, action potentials. (at least these were the main parts of bio for me). Also the evolution part of biology is good to learn.

SAT or AP bio books are a great way to summarize information. If you need to review that high school 1st sem college sort of material.
 

BABSstudent

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Oct 29, 2011
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BTW maybe someone should move this thread to Pre-Allo to get a more broad range of advice?
No need to move it. Lots of pre-allo people check the high school boards and it will probably help more people here than in the pre-allo thread.

For the OP, don't worry about studying in depth until you get to college. I know you want to prepare now, but learning without a teacher is hard. I know the books can teach you, but not everyone learns well like that.

In college there are normally tutors for the introductory courses that you can use. The professors also take the intro courses pretty slow (which you might not agree with me on this when you first start out) and the amount you learn is entirely doable.

I don't suggest reading the textbook without a course syllabus because your teacher will only assign parts of the book for you to learn. Why preread the entire book if he only wants to cover the first half and he even skips bits and pieces of that first half?

As with anything that you have problems with, practice is the key. Form a study group if you want since there will be other students in your shoes. Go to your TA for help or the office hours of the professor. However, nobody can gauge your understanding of the material like you can. Be honest with yourself and get help when you need it.
 

OCDOCDOCD

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May 26, 2012
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If you haven't taken bio or chem since sophomore year you will need to study. I really like Campbell's biology. You don't need to read everything, but make sure you know glycolysis, kreb cycle, cellular respiration, the function of the nephron, dna replication, dna synthesis, protein production, action potentials. (at least these were the main parts of bio for me). Also the evolution part of biology is good to learn.

SAT or AP bio books are a great way to summarize information. If you need to review that high school 1st sem college sort of material.
I took gen chem in college without even remembering what an atom was (only reason I passed the gen chem entrance exam at my college was because I quickly skimmed the wikipedia article on "chemistry" 20 minutes before the test), and I took intro bio in second semester sophomore year in college despite having last taken biology in freshman year of high school. I got A's in all of them, and it wasn't terribly difficult.

OP will be fine even if he goes in remember absolutely nothing about either subject.
 
OP
X

x1240tony

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Sep 20, 2010
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Thank you all. I was thinking of x posting, but I think I got enough replies. This made me feel more confident. I'll email the professor or my future advisor and ask for a syllabus.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
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Jul 14, 2007
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I took gen chem in college without even remembering what an atom was (only reason I passed the gen chem entrance exam at my college was because I quickly skimmed the wikipedia article on "chemistry" 20 minutes before the test), and I took intro bio in second semester sophomore year in college despite having last taken biology in freshman year of high school. I got A's in all of them, and it wasn't terribly difficult.

OP will be fine even if he goes in remember absolutely nothing about either subject.
Pretty much this. You need no prerequisite knowledge in any intro college course, there's no need to be worried. However, the rate at which you are expected to learn new information is going to be much faster than what you're accustomed to in HS, but that will be true for all college and everyone gets used to that.

I agree, AP courses are harder than most intro college courses. Just put in the time (when it's time) and you'll be fine. Now is not the time, you don't need to do quite so much before classes even begin.
 

nysegop

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Apr 15, 2012
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Just keep swimming!
[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmyUkm2qlhA[/YOUTUBE]

Hmmm...I would start by taking core classes only. Don't start out with a bunch of electives. Start adding those on as a sophomore and junior.

Read books. Start now.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_5?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=biology&sprefix=biolo,aps,236

Read course descriptions before you take the course. Do a general/preliminary research of the topic before it is discussed in class. That way you will have some idea (hopefully) of the information being taught.


YES! Khan academy is a great resource.