One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Bootcamp is how to better prepare for the Biology Section. One of the hardest things about the bio section is that it covers a mountain of material. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your study.
How long should I spend each day studying for the biology section?
If you are following the 10-week schedule, the materials for each day can take between 4 and 7 hours to complete. You should aim to spend at least one hour per day on biology-related topics (though some days will be more and some days will be less).
Be consistent with your study!
It is very easy to postpone studying biology, or to fall out of habit if you skip a day, but consistent study paired with review is the best way to retain the information you are going to need.
Can I just use the High-Yield Bio Notes?
The high-yield Bio Notes are a great resource for a quicker review. They're designed to be to the point, so the explanations of concepts are more succinct. Supplement the Notes with the Bio Videos as needed for a fuller explanation of concepts.
Note: No matter how much you study the biology material, it is impossible to predict what questions you will be asked on your DAT. Be prepared for a couple of curve-ball questions about topics that you did not study for. Make an educated decision to choose the best answer, move on, and don’t let it get you down!
Be smart with your study!
Spend more time reviewing material on topics you have not seen in a while or are less familiar with. If you just took a university course on a certain biology subject and you’re strong in it, don’t spend as much time reviewing that subject. Instead, focus more of your efforts on the material from that biology course you took three years ago and promptly forgot.
Evaluate your progress
As you are studying, perform periodic self evaluations of where you are at with the material.
- Skim through the condensed bio notes for about 10 minutes and write a list of those areas that you feel weak in. This will help ensure you don’t only study what you’re comfortable with, or spend too much focused time on niche subjects that are lower yield.
- Make a list of common topics that you have personally seen come up on practice exams and in practice questions. Compare with the list above and prioritize your time studying those topics that overlap.
- Keep a separate list of topics you want to spend more time reviewing. Note down the page and the subject – this will make it easier to flip back to topics you want to review when you have the time.
Use the question banks and practice tests
Do not overlook these as a study tool! Each explanation goes into a concept-specific review of what is covered in the question. After you take practice tests, take time to go through each explanation. Take note of the kinds of questions you tend to miss; this can help you pinpoint areas where you are weak and give you a good idea of where you need to focus your study.
Mix it up!
Bottom line, if you feel like you aren’t being effective with your bio study, you probably aren’t. If you feel like you aren’t learning, switch things up! Try flashcards, our YouTube playlist, or break up your study into small sessions so that you aren’t reading bio material in huge blocks. There are plenty of resources available to help you learn, so experiment and see what works best for you!
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