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These notes follow the Kenya Syllabus. The notes have been prepared by qualified professional teachers.
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HOW TO PERFORM BETTER IN
Conceptual understanding is the goal
Memorisation is important
with basic information but real learning comes from conceptual understanding.
Conceptual understanding in Biology means:
Seeing the “big picture,”
the hierarchical structure of biological systems
(e.g. the Calvin cycle is
part of the photo-system that is in turn part of photosynthesis).
Being able to understand
how and why biological systems function
Knowing not just the
definition of terms but why they are important in context.
For instance, you would be
able to define glycolysis and explain the role it plays in the larger process
of cellular respiration.
Make learning a daily routine.
Repeat study over several
shorter periods over different days. Study the material weekly, not just before
tests. Leave plenty of time between study and self-testing so you’re not
just testing short-term memory and repeat until you know that you can always
get them right. Well before an exam, take a subset of the material and
study it as if the exam on that topic was tomorrow. Finally, don’t put it off
until the night before the exam.
If your professor provides
materials ahead of class (e.g., lecture outline, PowerPoint) get them and use
them to guide your note-taking.
Have a positive attitude towards biology
Biology can be complicated,
but it is also very interesting if you take a step back to think about what
you're studying. Having the right attitude can make it more fun to study. It
will still be difficult, but if you're interested in what you're learning, it
won't feel like such a burden.
It can be helpful to
connect biological concepts to real-world situations.
Think about how your body
works. How do your muscles work together to allow you to move? How does your brain
communicate with those muscles to tell your body to take a step? It's very
complex, but all of the cells in your body work together to keep you healthy.
Biology teaches you all about these processes and how they work. That's pretty fascinating if you think about it.