Login | Register
Enrol now for our new online tutoring program. Learn from the best tutors. Get amazing results. Learn more.

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

March 07, 2021, 02:41:18 pm

Author Topic: Going into Biology 3/4  (Read 558 times)  Share 

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Bluebird

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Respect: 0
Going into Biology 3/4
« on: January 23, 2021, 01:24:26 am »
+3
Hi ATARNotes,
I'm very new to the site so please be forgiving with me!
As the summer holidays draw to a close, I've been trying to come up with a strategy going into biology 3/4. I'm in year 11 and have not done bio 1/2.
I came up with the idea of using my bio 3/4 classes to take down notes from the teacher and once I go home, I do a summary of the key ideas of the lesson using the Cornell note-taking method (I know you're supposed to do it immediately after class but I'm not sure if I'll have time between classes to write down summaries).
After I do a summary of the key ideas, then I create flashcards on Anki on concepts/information that is important from the day's lesson. Additionally, I'll also try to do as many practice questions as I can from Edrolo, my textbook, teacher handouts etc etc...
Is there anything that I could change about my study strategy? Any suggestions?

Also some more miscellaneous questions:
Where else can I find some practice exam questions for VCE bio?
When should I start doing practice exams?
Ideally, when should I aim to finish the course?
How do you make your Anki cards? What do you put into the cards and what do you filter out?

Sorry for the barrage of questions! Thank you for taking the time to read this text wall!


Chocolatemilkshake

  • MOTM: JAN 21
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
  • a sonic what?
  • Respect: +358
Re: Going into Biology 3/4
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2021, 08:30:08 am »
+13
Hi ATARNotes,
I'm very new to the site so please be forgiving with me!
Welcome to AN!
I came up with the idea of using my bio 3/4 classes to take down notes from the teacher and once I go home, I do a summary of the key ideas of the lesson using the Cornell note-taking method (I know you're supposed to do it immediately after class but I'm not sure if I'll have time between classes to write down summaries).
After I do a summary of the key ideas, then I create flashcards on Anki on concepts/information that is important from the day's lesson. Additionally, I'll also try to do as many practice questions as I can from Edrolo, my textbook, teacher handouts etc etc...
I think this is a great plan to go in with. Just be aware that it should be a fluid plan and at the end of the day, you might need to alter the way you study to suit your needs better. I personally didn't use flashcards but I think the most important thing would be that you are regularly using them and following the Anki timeline (don't just create them and not revise them). Make sure you understand what you're revising as well and that you are not just memorising definitions (don't feel like you need to know anything word for word). I definitely think practice questions are important (well more important) although sometimes the textbook questions are just revision/recall type questions (so you don't have to religiously do all textbook questions but only the ones you find useful. I haven't personally used the Edrolo textbook but I have heard the questions are quite good. I can't confirm though).

Another thing I would suggest, maybe watch the Edrolo videos before class or have a brief glance over the content ahead of the class. That way you've had a quick overview of the necessary knowledge and it will probably make it easier to understand the teacher during class, ask any necessary questions and take your notes. Finally, when the exam nears make a mistakes log book where you record your mistakes (both silly errors and knowledge gaps) and try to revise this too.

1. Where else can I find some practice exam questions for VCE bio?
2. When should I start doing practice exams?
3. Ideally, when should I aim to finish the course?
4. How do you make your Anki cards? What do you put into the cards and what do you filter out?
1. Hopefully your school/teacher will be able to provide a lot of practice questions throughout the year (I suggest doing the VCAA questions throughout the year if you can - StudyClix sorts them for you if you want to request that resource from your school. You can save the 2019/2020 questions if you want). I think there are other practice questions you can purchase if you want (such as ATARnotes Topic Tests) although it is certainly not necessary to spend extra money on resources to do well.
2. I think you should try to start doing practice exams after you've finished the course around 2 months before the exam (if you're keen and it's your only 3/4), although that is just a guideline.
3. Given that it is your only 3/4 I would try and finish at the start of September so that you have around two months of practice exams. Again, that is just a guideline, you can finish earlier or later and do just as well.
4. I didn't use Anki cards so I can't really give good advice here. Something I will suggest is adding some of the common mistakes you are making in practice exam questions (especially towards the end of the year) and make sure you are including key words that may be necessary when facing certain types of questions. And of course, prioritise practice questions over using Anki cards as it is possible to know the content really well but still struggle to answer questions using this knowledge.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 08:33:13 am by Chocolatemilkshake »
Christian & BMedSci/M.D @ Monash (2020-2025)

Bluebird

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Respect: 0
Re: Going into Biology 3/4
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 12:23:05 pm »
+1
Another thing I would suggest, maybe watch the Edrolo videos before class or have a brief glance over the content ahead of the class. That way you've had a quick overview of the necessary knowledge and it will probably make it easier to understand the teacher during class, ask any necessary questions and take your notes.

This is really a good idea that I hadn't considered, thank you!

Finally, when the exam nears make a mistakes log book where you record your mistakes (both silly errors and knowledge gaps) and try to revise this too. 
I like this idea too. Do you have any tips on how to revise and improve on mistakes? Usually, when I make a mistake, I look for what I did wrong and move on (it's not a good idea, I'm trying to work on it).

4. I didn't use Anki cards so I can't really give good advice here. Something I will suggest is adding some of the common mistakes you are making in practice exam questions (especially towards the end of the year) and make sure you are including key words that may be necessary when facing certain types of questions. And of course, prioritise practice questions over using Anki cards as it is possible to know the content really well but still struggle to answer questions using this knowledge.
Yeah, I used to rely on flashcards for everything but only developed a surface level understanding of the content. I think now I'll start prioritizing practice questions as much as possible! Do you have any advice on knowing what keywords to include in practice questions?

Thank you for reading and responding to my post!



Chocolatemilkshake

  • MOTM: JAN 21
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
  • a sonic what?
  • Respect: +358
Re: Going into Biology 3/4
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2021, 06:52:44 pm »
+6
Do you have any tips on how to revise and improve on mistakes? Usually, when I make a mistake, I look for what I did wrong and move on (it's not a good idea, I'm trying to work on it).
Well looking for what you did wrong is certainly the first step to eliminating the mistake later! I think attempting the question again can never hurt, especially if you record the question and repeat it a few days/weeks later (you'll notice that you're inclined to making the same mistakes - well I definitely was). And don't be too hard on yourself, mistakes are inevitable and as long as you are making an effort to learn from them (rather than ignoring them) then you are on the right path!
 
Most of my revision tips and other general exam tips can be found here (or here for me answering questions). Here's the link to a main post with most of the guides if you want some other perspectives/opinions (definitely recommend cookiedream's guide though).
Do you have any advice on knowing what keywords to include in practice questions?
I think this is something that you will figure out for yourself when you start doing practice questions (maybe closer to the exam though). I recommend highlighting the key words or phrases when you are marking your answers so that when you revise them (please try to revise them), it is clear to you where you got the marks (i.e. highlight "genetic variation exists" for a natural selection question or "tertiary structure" for a denaturation question). Use the exam answers/marking guides to help you with this. Other than that, I found making short, digital summaries with the main common topics quite helpful.

Also this is just what worked for me but you might find something else that works better for you.
Christian & BMedSci/M.D @ Monash (2020-2025)

Bluebird

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Respect: 0
Re: Going into Biology 3/4
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2021, 01:26:10 pm »
0
Well looking for what you did wrong is certainly the first step to eliminating the mistake later! I think attempting the question again can never hurt, especially if you record the question and repeat it a few days/weeks later (you'll notice that you're inclined to making the same mistakes - well I definitely was). And don't be too hard on yourself, mistakes are inevitable and as long as you are making an effort to learn from them (rather than ignoring them) then you are on the right path!

Thank you! I'll definitely remember this piece of advice when doing practice questions.
I read through your revision and exam tips, they were very insightful and helped me a lot when planning for the coming year.

I recommend highlighting the key words or phrases when you are marking your answers so that when you revise them (please try to revise them), it is clear to you where you got the marks (i.e. highlight "genetic variation exists" for a natural selection question or "tertiary structure" for a denaturation question). Use the exam answers/marking guides to help you with this. Other than that, I found making short, digital summaries with the main common topics quite helpful.

Thank you for the advice on the exam answers/marking guides, I'll use those too once I start doing practice questions. How often did you revise your questions? Did you do it at the end of the day or week or did you record them in a mistakes book?

Thank you for answering my questions :)

Chocolatemilkshake

  • MOTM: JAN 21
  • Forum Obsessive
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
  • a sonic what?
  • Respect: +358
Re: Going into Biology 3/4
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 07:07:00 pm »
+3
How often did you revise your questions? Did you do it at the end of the day or week or did you record them in a mistakes book?
I revised questions closer to the exam during my exam revision. I didn't really have a regular session but revised them as I felt necessary as this worked for me. But if you need or work better with a schedule then go ahead (just find what works best for you). I recorded my mistakes in a document just on my laptop under the subsections in the study design. That way I could pick to focus on a certain topic for revision and revise all the general mistakes I had made in one area. 

I admit that during the year I focused more on simply learning, understanding and enjoying the content. I only really focused on revising/fixing mistakes + expression closer to SACs. So definitely try to work on reducing mistakes although that is not something you need to be thinking about yet (focus on getting the content down pat first :)))
Christian & BMedSci/M.D @ Monash (2020-2025)

Bluebird

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Respect: 0
Re: Going into Biology 3/4
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2021, 05:11:07 pm »
+2
I revised questions closer to the exam during my exam revision. I didn't really have a regular session but revised them as I felt necessary as this worked for me. But if you need or work better with a schedule then go ahead (just find what works best for you). I recorded my mistakes in a document just on my laptop under the subsections in the study design. That way I could pick to focus on a certain topic for revision and revise all the general mistakes I had made in one area. 

I admit that during the year I focused more on simply learning, understanding and enjoying the content. I only really focused on revising/fixing mistakes + expression closer to SACs. So definitely try to work on reducing mistakes although that is not something you need to be thinking about yet (focus on getting the content down pat first :)))

This response is late but thank you for answering my questions! I'll definitely start a mistakes log and use it for refining my answers.