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How to Study for Biology: Tips From a Teacher

Linda Crampton has an honors degree in biology. She has taught high school biology, chemistry, and science as well as middle school science.

A microscope and slide from a school where I taught biology

A microscope and slide from a school where I taught biology

A Fascinating Subject

For many high school students, biology is a fascinating subject. This is especially true if the course includes lots of lab experiments, field trips, and multimedia presentations. Biology may sometimes seem overwhelming, however. There are many facts to memorize, especially in the senior years. Students are sometimes surprised to discover that they also have to analyze and interpret data, use reasoning skills, and apply previously learned knowledge to new situations. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to study biology effectively.

I’ve taught high school biology for many years. I also help students prepare for graduation examinations. The tips and techniques described in this article are ones that help my students develop good study skills and do well in biology tests and exams.

DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is the molecule of life that all biology students study.

DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is the molecule of life that all biology students study.

Use Class Time Effectively

In order to learn biology, you need to have accurate information to study. Make sure that you use your time in the biology classroom or lab effectively in order to collect this information.

  • Get enough rest, eat nutritious food, and limit junk food so that you're alert and ready to learn when you arrive at school.
  • Attend all classes unless you have a very important reason for missing the class or unless you are ill. If you do have to miss a class, find out what was taught from your teacher.
  • Complete all the required class assignments and homework.
  • If you have errors in your marked assignments, find out what the correct answers are or what you did wrong. Make a note of the correct information.
  • Make notes in class even if you’re not asked to. Write notes about what the teacher says and about what he or she writes on the blackboard, whiteboard, or overhead projector.
  • Don’t be afraid to approach your teacher for help (either during class or after class) if you don’t understand notes, facts, or procedures. The teacher may well be less intimidating when dealing with students individually than when dealing with an entire class. He or she will probably be very pleased that you are making an effort to understand the material. Other people can also be of great help if they’ve studied biology and if they understand the section that you're studying. These people include your parents, siblings, and friends with good work habits.

How to Take Notes

  • Make your own notes about information that your teacher presents in class.
  • Use point form if the information is being delivered quickly, writing down key words, terms, or facts. Use abbreviations and symbols, provided you know what these mean. Leave spaces for later clarifications.
  • Make sure you read over the notes to ensure that you understand them, preferably on the day that you created them.
  • Tidy the notes up so that they are easy to read. Fill in any gaps in the information and clarify anything that’s confusing. Reference sources, such as textbooks and reliable Internet sites, can help you do this. Asking your teacher for clarification can also be helpful.
  • Consider keeping all notes in a separate notebook or binder. Once your notes are accurate, read through them frequently to help you remember information.
  • If you type your notes on an electronic device, remember to back them up frequently and in multiple places.

Read and Use Textbooks Effectively

  • Use your textbook regularly. Read the section that relates to your current classroom topic for reinforcement and clarification, even if the reading hasn’t been assigned.
  • Make brief summary notes on important sections of text. Consider highlighting the most important points in the textbook if this is allowed.
  • Illustrations are very important in biology. Study drawings, diagrams, charts, tables, graphs, photos, and captions very carefully.
  • Try to relate graphics to the text as you read. The graphics may help you to understand the text better and may also make memorizing facts easier. If a graphic is very important, copy it into your summary notes.
  • Read what’s printed in the margins! Sometimes when I ask a question in an assignment, a student tells me that the information that they need isn’t on the relevant pages in their textbook. The information is there, but it’s printed in the margin, which they haven’t read.
  • Take advantage of the textbook’s organization. For example, if your textbook has extras such as chapter introductions, chapter summaries, vocabulary lists, and appendices, make sure that you read them. If there are questions at the end of the chapters, try to answer them.
  • If your textbook has an associated website, make sure that you visit the site. The publisher may provide additional information and practice assignments. If the textbook is accompanied by a code that is needed to use the website, don't lose the code.

It's not advisable to try to memorize something that you don’t understand. Facts have a habit of escaping from the mind if they’re learned by rote.

Create Cue Cards, Index Cards, or Flash Cards

Some of my graduating students write biology facts on index cards and then store the "cue cards" that they've created in a file box, which they often carry around with them. Creating and reading the cue cards helps the students to memorize facts. If they write a question on one side of each card and an answer on the other side, they can use their cards as flash cards for group or individual study. Answering questions and then checking to see if the answer is right is a great way to memorize information.

I always congratulate my students for their effort in creating their cue cards, but I also remind them that although remembering facts is essential, that’s not all there is to biology, especially in the curriculum that we have to follow.

Use Mnemonics as Memory Aids

Mnemonics are words, phrases, sentences, graphics, or sounds that act as memory aids to help people remember facts. You may enjoy creating your own mnemonics, but remember that to be effective they must be both meaningful to you and easy to remember.

An example of a biology mnemonic that is often used to help students remember the order of classification categories is “Limping Dreadfully, King Phillip Came Over From Great Spain”. The first letter of each word is also the first letter of a classification category: Life, Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

An example of a visual mnemonic is one that's used to remember the difference between a dromedary camel and a bactrian camel. A capital letter D at the start of "Dromedary" has one hump when it's turned on its side, just like the dromedary camel. A capital letter B at the start of "Bactrian" has two humps when it's turned on its side, like a bactrian camel.

The video below shares a mnemonic song about cells. Songs and poems or rhymes may be effective memorization tools for some students.

How to Make a Concept Map

A concept map is a graphical chart that shows relationships and connections between concepts, ideas, or topics in biology and other subjects. Concept maps are popular because they help people understand and learn. They're sometimes used as brainstorming tools.

A concept map is hierarchical and is read from top to bottom. The most general and most inclusive topic is placed at the top of the map. The topics become more specific and less inclusive as the connections go down the page. Arrows link related topics. The nature of the relationship between the linked topics is written on or next to the arrow.

To create a concept map, start by writing the name of the most general concept in a box or a circle (a "node") near the top of a piece of paper. Next, draw some boxes containing concepts that are related to your starting concept and connect them to the starting concept with arrows.

In the section of a concept map shown below I wrote the word “pancreas” in my first box. The pancreas produces insulin, trypsinogen, lipase, and pancreatic amylase, so I wrote the names of these chemicals in boxes and connected the new boxes to the pancreas box. Trypsinogen is converted into trypsin, so I showed this connection next. Both insulin and trypsin are made of amino acids, so I linked them to an amino acid box, which is shown at the next level of the map.

A section of a concept map

A section of a concept map

Tips for Concept Mapping

You will need a large sheet of paper to draw your concept maps because you'll probably find that you can make many connections between the nodes. Be careful, though—some maps can become so complex that they are confusing. Stop drawing connections if your map becomes hard to read.

Some people "draw" the maps with Post-it notes or sticky notes, which can be rearranged if necessary. Software programs can also be used to create concept maps. Some of these programs are free. A drawing program may work, too. Do an Internet search for "concept map software" to discover graphics programs that are specifically designed to create the maps.

Create Mind Maps

Mind maps are meant to be spontaneous, relatively free-form diagrams that show associations between topics or ideas. Creating a map can be a very useful learning process. As in the creation of a concept map, it stimulates a person to think of new connections and relationships and helps the person to learn.

The main topic of a mind map is written or drawn in the centre of a page. Related subtopics are written around the main topic and connected to it by curved lines. The names of the subtopics are written above the lines. Each subtopic can contain additional subtopics. The connecting lines generally become thinner as they travel further away from the centre of the map.

Mind maps often include images and colour. They can be fun to make and interesting to examine. Mind mapping software programs are available if you'd like to create the maps on a computer.

It's more important that you draw concept and mind maps that help you learn rather than ones that follow all the correct rules, unless you're taking a course in which the rules are important. Learning the rules can help you discover the potential benefits of concept or mind mapping if you're unfamiliar with the techniques, however.

Make a Study Plan

  • Balance extracurricular activities, part time work, family obligations, your social life, and relaxation time with study time. Make up a study schedule and stick to it. If you have to miss a study session because of an unexpected event, don’t panic, but get back to studying as soon as you can.
  • For most people, studying frequently for small periods of time is more effective than studying for a long time occasionally. This is especially true when someone is studying biology. The amount of information that has to be learned in most biology courses builds up quickly. If you don’t keep on top of all this information, the quantity of material that you will have to memorize when you finally sit down to study could be overwhelming.
  • Consider buying an agenda or planner to record important dates and information, such as the due dates for assignments, test and exam dates, dates of special events, your study schedule, and a “To Do” list. If you use an agenda on a computer, back up your entries frequently.
  • Make sure that your study area in your home has sufficient room and is organized, even if the rest of the room is in chaos. You need a quiet area with adequate lighting and space for your notebooks or binders, textbook, agenda, writing and drawing instruments, and your computer and printer, if you have them.

Develop Effective Study Skills

  • Active studying is often more effective than passive studying. Reading information in silence and trying to remember it can be an effective study technique, but you also need to do something with the information as you study. I’ve always remembered a favourite saying of one of my high school teachers: “If you’re not studying with a pencil, you’re not really studying”.
  • For active learning, your could write down questions about the material in your textbook or notebook and then try to answer the questions without looking at the books. You could also create cue cards, flash cards, mnemonics, outlines, summaries, concept maps, mind maps, diagrams, and charts. Reading aloud, even when you’re on your own, may also be an effective study technique for you.
  • If possible, form study groups with other people in your class to quiz each other and help each other understand topics. Just be careful that the study group doesn’t turn into a socializing group. To prevent this from happening you could decide on the length of the study period with your group and then take part in a fun social activity together once the study period is over.
  • A very effective way to learn a topic is to try to teach it. Teach a short topic in your biology course to the other people in your study group. Answer their questions afterwards, just like a teacher would. Make notes of any questions that you couldn’t answer and find out what the answers are. Also make note of any factual errors in your presentation that were pointed out to you.
  • If your school has a homework room or offers after-school academic help, take advantage of this help if you need to.

Use the Internet and Evaluate Websites

  • You have one great advantage compared to me when I studied high school biology: the widespread existence of the Internet. Use the learning resources that it offers. Access the Internet at school or in a public library if you don’t have a computer and an Internet connection at home.
  • Remember that there are a lot of ways to waste time when you're online. You mustn’t get distracted during your study time. Save the computer games and social activities for after your scheduled study period.
  • If your teacher gives you useful web addresses for your biology course, make sure that you save the addresses and visit the sites.
  • Use reliable sites when you are searching for academic information on your own. For example, look for web addresses that end in .edu or .gov or visit well known news sites, magazine sites, online museums, learning centres, or book publisher sites that have good reputations. Articles on other educational websites and by qualified individuals can also be helpful. Use multiple sites for research, even if the first site that you visit seems reliable.
  • Online dissection sites can be useful, either to replace a classroom dissection or to review a dissection that was done in class. Do an Internet search for the animal dissection of your choice.
  • Sometimes a curriculum guide or syllabus for a particular course is published online, often listing specific facts that students are supposed to know. This is not only useful for teachers but is also a great learning resource for students. I give my Grade Twelve (final year) students a list of these prescribed learning outcomes. It acts as a checklist for what they need to know. Ask your teacher whether there is a similar site for your biology course.
  • Don't forget to bookmark useful websites after you discover them.

Write Practice Exams

  • Online exam practice sites that also provide answer keys are very useful, not only for checking that you know biology facts but also for practice in answering questions written in a certain style or questions that require reasoning abilities.
  • Going through previous exams is one of the best ways to prepare for an upcoming examination. This is especially true if you expect the exam to include questions that require you to use higher level thinking skills. You need to practice these skills so that you can apply them in real life, in future courses, and in your upcoming biology examination.
  • Even if your biology curriculum is not identical to the one covered by an online examination, the exam can still be useful. You may find that your biology course is covered in examinations from different grades (years) when you're looking at the exams from other countries.
  • I've shown examples of exam question sites that my students and I use in the "Resources" section below. Ask your teacher whether sites that are designed specifically for your biology course exist.

Testing yourself is an important technique for learning facts or procedures and for practicing and assessing your analytical skills.

Make an Effort and Get Help When Needed

Ultimately, how well you do in a biology course depends on how determined you are to succeed. Fortunately, there is a tremendous amount of help available for today’s biology students. My students succeed using the strategies described in this article. You can, too.

Biology Exam Resources That May Be Useful

Questions & Answers

Question: What is binomial nomenclature?

Answer: Binomial nomenclature is a system used to name organisms scientifically. It consists of two words—the genus name and the species name. The genus is written with a capital letter while the species isn’t. The words are printed in italics when using a computer or underlined separately if they are handwritten.

Carl Linnaeus, the famous eighteenth-century Swedish scientist, is honored as the creator of the binomial system for naming organisms. The genus and species names are often derived from Latin but are sometimes based on other languages. The similarity in the scientific names of two organisms can sometimes tell us how closely related they are.

Question: What is histology?

Answer: Histology is a subdivision of biology. It's the study of the microscopic structure of tissues and the way in which the structure is related to function.

© 2012 Linda Crampton

Comments

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 22, 2019:

You're welcome, Reza.

Rezaabedini on May 22, 2019:

Thanks.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 20, 2019:

Hi, Reza. I’m glad to hear that you do well in exams. It would probably be a good idea to have a discussion with your teacher about the tests. Teachers sometimes create tests in different styles or emphasize different skills or topics from other teachers. Your teacher may give you some guidelines or suggestions about what he or she considers to be most important in the course.

If you need more help after talking to your teacher, then look carefully at the tests that you’ve already written to examine the types of questions that he or she asks. Of course, you should study the whole course and be ready for any types of questions, but it’s sometimes useful to look at the learning outcomes that a particular teacher considers to be most important. They may think that analysis and interpretation is more important than memorizing facts, for example.

Reza on May 20, 2019:

These advices are useful.Thank you for these.I use these ways and i got good marks at exams but i can't pass the tests very well. What can i do?

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 21, 2018:

I appreciate your comment, bikolo.

bikolo on September 21, 2018:

Thank you for your advice.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 28, 2017:

Thank you for the comment, A. Joseph.

A. Joseph on June 28, 2017:

very good coverage of the subject

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on January 18, 2017:

Yes, mnemonics are a good idea, as I've mentioned in the article. Bulleted notes could be useful, too. Thanks for sharing the idea.

Austin Setser on January 18, 2017:

1) I make bulleted notes

2) Mnemonics

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 26, 2012:

Thank you for the visit, Mary. I appreciate your comment and votes very much, as well as the recommendation to your grandchildren!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on June 26, 2012:

I can understand how this Hub was awarded HOTD! It was very deserving. You put a lot of time and effort into it, and I can tell by the comments this Hub was well received. Thank goodness I no longer have to worry about Biology, but I have Grandkids who do, and I will make sure the two of them read this.

I voted this UP, etc.etc.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 22, 2012:

Thank you for the comment and the congratulations, Stella. Yes, concept maps or flow charts do work well. I talk to myself a lot when I'm studying, too!

StellaSee from California on May 22, 2012:

Hi again Alicia I usually make a flow chart/concept map when I'm learning a process (say like glycolysis) it seems to help me more than just read and reread my notes. Something else I also do that helps is I 'talk' out the process to myself. But the downside to this method is that I got to make sure no one's around...otherwise I look crazy! Congratulations on winning Hub of the Day :D

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 13, 2012:

Thank you very much for the comment and the congratulations, Ingenira. Yes, acronyms are a great mnemonic!

Ingenira on May 13, 2012:

Wow, this is such a comprehensive hub - All I need to know to study well in Biology. It certainly deserved Hub of the Day award. Congratulations !

I like the "Concept Map" idea.

For me, using acronym to remember works very well for me.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 05, 2012:

Thank you for the comment, Kate! Good luck with your high school studies.

Kate on May 05, 2012:

This is great! I am still a high school student wish i had know this at the beginning of the term!!

Many thanks!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you for both the comment and the congratulations, RTalloni!

RTalloni on May 03, 2012:

Congratulations on your Hub of the Day. Well done, well earned. This could help any student become a better student!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you, iefox5. I'm sorry that biology was such a problem for you in high school!

iefox5 on May 03, 2012:

Biology is a headache for me when I was in high school, this article should be recommended to high school students.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you very much for the comment and the congratulations, ThePracticalMommy! I appreciate them both.

Marissa from United States on May 03, 2012:

Wow! There are so many great tips for studying biology and studying in general! I like that you make it a point to encourage students to take notes, even if they're not asked to. Too many students would just sit back and not take the opportunity to take notes from the lesson if they were not explicitly told to by the teacher.

Well done! Congratulations on the Hub of the Day! :)

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you very much for the comment and the rating, Prasetio. I love biology, too! I think that it's a fascinating subject.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Hi, HSAdvocate. Thank you for the comment and for the very good suggestion! I do some work with Latin and Greek root words in my Grade 11 Biology class. As you say, It does help the students deal with scientific terms!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 03, 2012:

I love biology. Congratulations.....You deserve to get HOTD. Very well explanation about biology. It's one of my favorite subject when I was in Senior High School. Thanks for share with us. Rated up!

Prasetio

HSAdvocate from Home on May 03, 2012:

Lots of good advice here. I would know I teach Biology! One thing I have my students do that I didn't see in your hub is I make my students memorize the meanings of "root words", the Latin derivatives that make up many words in science for example: homo = same, hetero = different, gene = kind. So when they see a word like homogeneous they know it means "same kind".

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you for the comment and the vote, livingpah2004, and for the congratulations too.

Milli from USA on May 03, 2012:

Very informative and useful Hub. Voted up!

Congrats on Hotd!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thanks, CyclingFitness. Yes, creating a mind map is a very useful learning strategy. Many students find them fun to make, too!

Liam Hallam from Nottingham UK on May 03, 2012:

Fantastic study guide. We never had mind maps while I was at school but they are a great way of putting the pieces of the jigsaw together in your own way.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you for the comment and the congratulations, ComfortB. I agree, taking notes in point form or shorthand is the best method of capturing the most important points of a lecture, since it's impossible to write down everything the teacher says, and it does help reinforce the information in the mind when the notes are rewritten or clarified!

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on May 03, 2012:

Congratulations on your HOTD award!

On note taking, I have found out that if I write my notes in some sort of shorthand texts and then rewrite it in proper english, I tend to remember/retain more of the content. Great hub. Thanks for sharing

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Hi, Judi Bee. Thank you very much for the visit, the comment and the votes!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you very much for the great comment and the congratulations, Tina! I appreciate the vote, too.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you for the comment, the votes and the share, urmilashukia23. I hope your daughter finds the hub useful too!

Judi Brown from UK on May 03, 2012:

Congratulations on HOTD! Very good hub, with great ideas. I'm long past my biology exams, but I can pass it on to my daughter.

Voted up etc

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you for the comment and the congratulations, Express10.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you for the comment and the congratulations, Thomas! Thank you for posting the hub to your friend's Facebook page, too.

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on May 03, 2012:

This is a fantastic hub and so qualified to be the Hub of the Day! This hub is packed with so much useful information and a goldmine for every student! It is important to make the most of those precious years and learn as much as possible. One of the most important thing is as you wrote, it is better to understand and not only learn by rote. Congratulations and voted up!

Tina

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on May 03, 2012:

Great information about Biology. My daughter is majoring in this subject and I am forwarding this to her. Voted up and useful! Shared on facebook.

Congratulations on Hub of he day!

H C Palting from East Coast on May 03, 2012:

This is a very useful hub, congratulations on being HOTD.

ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on May 03, 2012:

alecia,

Excellent information here! I had an ex who was a Biology major who practiced much of what you are preaching here and would have benefited from the rest!

Personally, I don't do science...hence the history degree but my roommate is taking a bio class as we speak and her final is next week...I shall post this to her FB page.

Thomas

PS...Congrats on the Hub of the Day!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you, John. I appreciate your kind comment!

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on May 03, 2012:

What a brilliant hub Alicia. Science is something I've never been very good at. You did an excellent job in explaining biology.

Congrats on winning HP's HOTD

John

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you very much for the comment, theraggededge. It is exciting to have the hub of the day!

Bev G from Wales, UK on May 03, 2012:

I agree with Carmen, this hub is invaluable for anyone studying anything. It's so encouraging to see 'one of the team' achieve HotD!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you, Carmen H. I appreciate your visit and comment.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Thank you very much for the comment and the congratulations, random creative!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 03, 2012:

Good luck with your Plant Biology final, Londonlady! Thanks for the comment.

Carmen Beth on May 03, 2012:

The tips and techniques here are not only beneficial to biology students but all students too. A useful hub!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 03, 2012:

Very detailed hub! A lot of these suggestions are applicable to many other academic subjects well. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

Lali Writes on May 03, 2012:

Good hub, I have a Plant Biology final later today and I can't say that I use ALL these tips, but concept maps and good note taking have been the key to my "A's". Thanks for writing this :)

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 02, 2012:

Thank you so much for such a wonderful comment, drbj!! I appreciate your visit, the comment and the vote very much!!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on May 02, 2012:

Alicia - this information is so necessary and complete, it should be compiled in a small leaflet and distributed to every high school student in the country. I suggested printed media rather than online so written notes could be made in the margins by readers. Absolutely awesome. Voted Up naturally.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 02, 2012:

Thank you very much for the comment, Susan! I hope the hub is helpful for your son.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on May 02, 2012:

I'll be passing your hub along to my son as he's taking a biology course in the fall.

Very useful and in-depth hub!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:

Thank you for the comment and the votes, Brainy Bunny, and thanks for the plan to suggest that your daughter reads this hub! I hope she finds the ideas useful.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:

Hi, Maren Morgan. Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. Recording the teacher's lectures is a good idea, if the teacher allows it. There are some good podcasts available for high school students, too, which would help students who are auditory learners.

Brainy Bunny from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on May 01, 2012:

Wow, this is so thorough! Almost all of your study techniques are applicable to many other subjects, too. I'm going to suggest my daughter read this, since she always complains that she doesn't know how to study. Voted up and useful.

Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on May 01, 2012:

Wow - much good advice for every subject. it does seem a little skewed towards visual learners (I am such a critter, so I recognize many tips that would appeal to me.) For the auditory learner, recording the class lectures (if permitted) and listening to them many, many times could be helpful.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:

Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, Tom!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:

Hi, Austinstar. There are so many good study techniques that are popular now! I never heard about concept maps or mind maps when I was in high school. Thanks for commenting.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:

Hi, GoodLady. Thank you so much for the visit, the comment, and the votes! I appreciate them all.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on May 01, 2012:

Hi Alicia,all good information and advice that will be very useful to all students who will be taking biology class .

Vote up and more !!!

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on May 01, 2012:

And to think I only used to use an outline (which I took down while in class). I could have used all of these tricks!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on May 01, 2012:

How comprehensive and informative and thorough your Hub is. A must for anyone studying any subject. Voting up and interesting.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:

Thank you, teaches. I appreciate your comment and your vote very much! Yes, asking the teacher questions when you don't understand something is a very valuable learning strategy.

Dianna Mendez on May 01, 2012:

Wow, this was really good reading on the subject covered. Your tips and advice will help students achieve goals. I agree with your tip to ask the teacher if you do not understand -- this is what will make it more memorable for you. Your concept mapping is awesome. Voted up.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:

Thank you very much, angela_michelle. Good luck with your biology class!

Angela Michelle Schultz from United States on May 01, 2012:

I will be actually taking a biology class this summer. So I should probably read your article a couple times. LOL. Great job!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:

Hi, Augustine! Thanks for the comment. I agree, in an advanced high school biology course a chemistry background is very helpful in order to understand the biochemistry section of the course.

Augustine A Zavala from Texas on May 01, 2012:

Good Hub! I wish someone would have told me to take chemistry before biology. That would have been very helpful! Thank you for sharing.