HOW TO ACE THE BIOLOGY FINAL: It’s all about starting early

To help students prepare for the upcoming winter finals, Octagon staffers share tips and tricks for finals in subjects in which they’ve done well. The Octagon will be posting these how-to guides over the course of this and next week.Kamira Bio

When I was in biology with teacher Kellie Whited, I remember getting this super-long list of the chapters we needed to know for the upcoming final.

Studying all the subjects like meiosis, plant reproduction, and Punnett squares seemed like a daunting task, and I really didn’t know where to begin.

Dr. Whited designs her final, composed of 100 multiple-choice questions, not to trick you, but to make sure you understand and know everything in the book. Therefore, all you need to study is that lovely textbook.

However, the key is to start early.

If you find that you’re one of those people who can read a chapter quickly and remember everything in it, then you’re lucky and probably won’t need to study for too long.

For the rest of you, who need more time to understand concepts and memorize terms, give yourself enough time to study a chapter a day. Reviewing a chapter should take about an hour or two.

If you have trouble remembering key terms, take quick notes as you’re reading. Writing something down helps me remember that specific topic or term.

Pay attention to those highlighted terms in the book, too. But don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the figures and diagrams. They are very helpful for understanding concepts. And you never know when one of those figures might show up on the final.

The final doesn’t take that long when you know the material. Many people finished in fewer than 45 minutes. So if you often make careless mistakes when reading directions, you might want to go over the questions again to make sure you haven’t misinterpreted them.

When you’re stuck on a question, don’t panic. It’s one out of 100. Make an educated guess and move on. You will most likely have enough time at the end to think about it some more.

And don’t be too eager to push the final aside once you’re done. Quickly check your answers to make sure you’ve written the correct letters on your sheet.