Returning to what Biology is all about; it is a natural science that deals with the study of life and living beings. It studies their physical shape and structure, biological processes, chemical processes, molecular mechanism and evolution, with respect to time. It basically identifies each cell, as a basic unit of life and deals with the notion that each being is made up of millions of cells.
Scope of Biology in Our Education System
The education in life sciences must gain national recognition, owing to the different developments in the field. In our current education structure, the children get their first exposure to biological sciences from their interactions with living organisms. Initially, 2.5 million children start studying the subject and at the next level about 2 lac students study the subject at college level.
The numbers streamline to 25,000 students globally, who study the subject at Masters level and finally PhDs. These end-level students move onto research work and become practitioners.
So, what does Biology explain?
- Biology explains the parts of the body. With the education that we receive in biology, we can understand about the various processes that occur in our body. The basics of anatomy, physiology and allied sciences can be absorbed by studying biology. The subject has the paved the way for many careers like scientists, doctors and other technical professions in the life sciences.
- Biology has helped us to understand our environment. There are millions of living beings, apart from us humans who live in the ecosystem. There are microorganisms not visible to the naked eye and then there are mammoth animals. Biology helps us to identify the various organisms, based on their physical features, cellular compositions and habitats. Then, we also learn about the various interactions of the organisms with their environment and other habits.
- Biology gives us the complete knowledge about the different types of nutrition, their modes and benefits upon the human body. Today, we know which food has which type of nutrient and we can adapt ourselves to various food habits, based on that.
- Thanks to biology, we as a consumer are far more aware than out ancestor about the diseases that can engulf the human body and the necessary precautions and medicines we can take to cure ourselves. We know that most of the diseases are caused by microbes in the air, water, food that we eat and from the infected animals. Currently, we are aware of most diseases and their causes, like malaria, dengue, rabies, AIDS, plague amongst others. We are informed about the measures that we can take to save ourselves from these diseases.
Biology Curriculum Developments
With major upheavals and changes in our education system, colleges and universities are re-examining their courses and curriculum. The needs of the students have changed from the olden times, leading to need for new pedagogical methods. A strong foundation is required in the mathematics and other sciences, to study the biological sciences and understand the repercussions of the subject and research methodologies.
There are numerous ways to enhance the quality of under-graduate education in biology.
- The first recommendation that comes forth is the understanding of the basic chapters in biology. In order to make the students understand, how the same cell gives rise to various analogies in organisms multiple concepts need to be used. For this simple reason, the context of chemistry, physics, mathematics are required to be understood to understand the underlying concepts of biology. Co-operation between all the different natural science and their proper understanding is required, to understand and score better in biological sciences. It is the sole responsibility of the teachers to make the students compare between and relate to different concepts both from a biological point of view and non-biological avenues as well.
- The second recommendation that we have here is that biology major’s students should get thorough education in chemistry as well. There are many aspects of biology that are intertwined with chemistry, biochemistry and physiology. You must have observed that biologists work closely with chemists and vice versa. Learning the subjects, should not dependent each other but an automatic flow and need should be there woven into the fabric. Chemical Biology is hugely dependent on the study and learning of chemistry.
- Certain principles in physics are directly co-related to the biological subjects. Certain measurement related sums and mathematics are involved which are directly correlated with the scientific measurement of organisms.
Tips and Tricks to Score Well in Biology Examination
Most students love to study biology. They can easily score good marks, if they study hard. Most students think, they have great scope in scoring high in the biological sciences. The questions and the syllabus may appear easy, however the way students present in front the teachers during the exam is important. The marking depends on how the students, represent himself or herself in the examinations.
Perfection in presentation is what, differentiates a good student from a bad one, or weak one. The examinations in biology consist of both objective as well as subjective type of questions. The students get about ten to fifteen minutes reading time in examination hall.
- When you are answering to question, do answer in the order the questions appear in the paper. Try not to change the order. You can leave a gap for answers; you are not sure about and later go back to that question. Never waste time in prodding over a question, over which you have no clue. That way, you will lose a time as well as marks, when you fail to complete the paper.
- Do try to remember the local names or common terms about the various technological terms that you might encounter. These have to be studied with due diligence. If you forget the meaning of one, you may not necessarily remember the name of the other. The terms are all fixed and can have no alterations.
- The common mistakes which students make are not to read the questions in the paper properly. You do not utilize the reading time. Concentration is the key here. It is advisable not to peek into others paper, during this crucial time. Some questions may appear complicated, when they are actually not. By not concentrating, you tend to answer the wrong way and tend to lose marks.
- The way to write answers in biology is quite different from writing chemistry or physics answers. The physics and chemistry answers are more formulae bound and straight forward. However, in a descriptive subject like biology, you need to chart out the structure. Try to write in point form and not in bulk or huge paragraphs. You should uses bullets and numberings, when writing long answers in biology. Highlight important point and use flow charts and diagrams. That is the way to score well in biology.
- The usage of diagrams and their labeling are of prime importance, in a subject like biology. The answers must be accompanied with diagrams as much as possible. You should use proper pencils to create the correct diagram and accompany it with the answers.
- Forgetting to cite proper examples is another crime that may prove devastating for your biology examinations and prospects in general. It is an integral part of studying biology and thus cannot be avoided.
- Some of you students have this tendency to write more than the required amount. Please do remember one thing, teachers do not have so much time when examining papers, if you miss out on the factors like highlighting stated earlier that can fetch you good marks. If you write more, you do not necessarily score more. Teachers examining the papers may miss out on the important points and mark you less than you deserve. You can write short answers, but keep the main points highlighted and bulleted. That way, you will catch the attention of the teachers in the right manner.
- Please try to avoid haphazard patterns of writing your answer. May students tend to jump from one part or explanation to answer biology question, which is close to suicide. In this manner you can irritate the examiner and he or she can even fetch you bad marks.
Studying well for Biology Examinations
Examination is a cause for stress and worry, globally. You and I are not out of the purview. The main key to overcome all such obstacles is to be planned and be prepared. Always, the purpose of an examination is to test what you have learnt and is an extremely important way to measure your knowledge. If you do not inculcate proper studying habits, the end loser is you, yourself and not the university or the examiner. Let us find out, how you can prepare well for your biology examination.
- Be a bit organised. It is a very important key to crack your biology examinations. Good time management skills are required in completing your biology answer scripts on time. You need to complete your task at the right time. Time once lost, cannot be gained back.
- Start studying for your examination, with ample amount of time in hand. You should plan it out well. Do not wait for the last minute to close important chapters and projects. You will not retain important information that you have studied and may write in the wrong context given a gap of time.
- Always go through your text books and lectures, as these are extremely important. These are your most important tools, always keep that in mind. Your text book is a store house of knowledge, with all pieces of information about the topic that you are studying. You need to filter out the important ones, from the notes that you take in class. The key concepts and definitions, which is an irreplaceable part of your biology subject, can be found in the text books.
- If you have difficulty, in understanding concepts, please ask. There was never any harm in asking. You can always ask your professor or teacher for any doubts that you may have. Never keep things on the back burner. It will backfire against you, later on. Always, get these doubts answered first.
- Group study is another important way to fulfill your educational goals. When ten students sit together and discuss about their doubts, answers and projects. A lot of brainstorming takes place and you could get all your doubts cleared. Get points noted down from all the group members, then zero in on a solution for each one of them.
- Use flowcharts, diagrams and study cards to understand terminologies and concepts. You remember more, when you see an object. That way, you will remember everything in an instance. Rely more on diagrammatic representations. That way, you will keep it till the examination hall.
- Better still, in this new age there are lot many sites, offering homework and assignment help. You can take help from these homework help companies. These companies are out to help you 24 x 7, in your biology assignments and examinations. They maintain maximum security and safety of your personal details. What more could you ask for?
- These homework help companies have hired the best staff, from Masters to PhD and specialists. So, getting the best out of them is simple. Just send in your questions, ask for quotes, get directed to the respective subject matter experts and you are goo to go. Get referrals from other peers and delegate your work. It never harmed anybody. Take help from online tutors and core high in any subject. Biology is a subject which requires clear communication and contextual study and you can achieve just that by being street-smart with your work. A little help does not harm anybody, does it?
Mary Clooney is a Biology Expert and has joined the Princeton faculty team in 2017. She is a professor of Biology and is very proficient in her stream. She has done her graduation and masters from Princeton University in the U.S. She guides students at Princeton, on the natural sciences both offline as well as online.