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BIOL 1710: Biology for Science Majors I

Resources to prepare you for a college-level biology course and to supplement the topics covered in your course.

Reading Science Textbooks

As you've probably already noticed, reading a science textbook is not at all like kicking up your feet and reading a relaxing novel. It's hard work! The resources below will help you read science textbooks more effectively.

Chunking Information

Chunking is learning information in categories, rather than trying to memorize a myriad of small details. The human brain has about 7 slots for information in the short-term memory, so you want to put more than a single fact in each slot. Try some different organizational schemes for chunking to see what works best for you. Here's an example:

Category: Photosynthesis

  1. Purpose of the process
  2. Organism or cells involved in the process
  3. Molecules involved in the process
  4. Steps of photosynthesis
  5. How photosynthesis can be inhibited or accelerated
  6. Tools/methods used to measure/test photosynthesis
  7. Similarities/differences from other mechanisms you've already learned

George A. Miller is the psychologist who came up with the concept of "chunking." Learn more about chunking here.

What's Your Learning Style?

Have you figured out the way that you learn best? Here are some suggestions for studying depending on your learning style:

  • visual - look at images, animations, graphs, charts in books and on the Internet
  • aural - record the biology lectures and relisten to them
  • kinetic - rewrite your lecture notes; draw biological mechanisms
  • solo/quiet - ask at your favorite library where the quiet study sections are
  • group/noisy - try the first floor of the Willis or Sycamore Library Libraries where group study is welcome

Test Yourself

Testing yourself over material you've read is a good way to determine whether you've actually learned the information. The two websites below give you the free tools to create flash cards and quizzes to test yourself before the real exam.

Ask Us!

Need help? Then use the library's Ask Us service. Get help from real people face-to-face, by phone, or by email.

Ask Us!

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