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How to Study for AP

With any college-level biology course, the same rules apply. You will learn a new language and new things about the world around you (or about the body you reside in). However, biology courses are rarely EASY. I have compiled a list of "Tips to Success" below. When students ask for my help in pulling their grade up, this is the list of suggestions that I give them. Please read through this list and use this advice to your advantage.

#1 - Be an active learning. Just listening to material then trying to go back and memorize it is not the best way to learn and understand. You should be an active participant in this learning process in order to gain a better understanding of concepts discussed

#2 - Prepare yourself. While there is no required prerequisite or corequisite, there are several recommendations. A STRONG background in high school biology is essential to being successful in any college level course. For A&P, consider a introductory level course such as BIO 01, 100 or 101 as a prerequisite to give you an intro to topics discussed in A&P.

#3 - Read, listen, talk and write. Using all your senses in the learning process, can help you stay ahead of the material.

Read
- Read through the chapter before coming to class. Don't come to class completely clueless and expect your professor to do all the work. Also, re-read this material after the lecture to reaffirm the material

Listen
- Come to class! Save yourself and come to class. Just listening to the material can allow you have a better understanding and helps you move more quickly through those "easy questions" you see on an exam

Talk- This goes back to active learning. Participate in class and you will be more likely to retain the information. Also, consider studying in a STUDY GROUP. You will learn more when you actively discuss the material with other.

Write
- Take notes!!! Don't take advantage of powerpoints - you should also be using writing notes during lecture. Try re-writing notes into study guides as well - why carry around a binder of powerpoints when you can carry around 4-5 pages of a study guide.

#4 - Ask questions - If you don't understand a topic, ask! And, why wait till after lecture?, you will possibly find that someone else had the same question. Also, don't forget that I have office hours for a reason, email me to schedule an appointment and use this time to your advantage.

#5 - STUDY! No one likes to hear that they have to study everyday, but, Get over it!!!! You do! And if you don't have the time, then maybe you need to take a different class that is less intensive. In general, most biology course require 3-4 days of lecture combined with 3-4 days of study time. Start with a least 1 hour a day, then increase this on days when you have more time. Also, take advantage of STUDY GROUPS, they work! Last, don't just review notes to study....make flashcards, take practice quizzes, watch videos, visit other biology websites - use your resources!

#6 - Manage your classes! One biology course is hard enough, don't torture yourself (or your grade) by overextending yourself. Lighten your course load and, unless you can TRULY handle it, limit yourself to one biology course a semester.

#7 - Use your resources. The publisher offers several resources to help you succeed. Take advantage of practice quizzes, labeling games, etc. provided through your test book. Plus, many instructors pull test questions from the publisher's test bank, it may be to your advantage to already have an idea of what the publisher feels is important and how questions may be presented on your exam. The campus also has free tutoring options available - use them! Last, your instructor is here to help you - use your instructor to your advantage.

#8 - Don't neglect the lab - Please remember that the lab portion of a course can be anywhere from 25-40% of the final grade. This grade can make a significant difference in your final letter grade. Take advantage of this study time and make use of your LAB INSTRUCTOR. Also, note that the lecture and lab may not necessary cover the same material and you may have to devote study time to each individually
Contact Dr. Harris:
  smharris@tcc.edu
  harriss@tncc.edu

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