Mod Concepts Bioscience (BIO 1305) is knows as the “weed-out” class of pre-med students at Baylor. What makes it worse is that it is one of the first classes that freshman take when they come to Baylor. First semester freshman have not yet learned the strategies for success and studying at Baylor University. With these 5 tips, anyone can ace this daunting class though and enjoy it as well!

1. Make Note Cards

This cannot be stressed enough! Buy hundreds of note cards and they will become your lifeline. Note cards are good for all types of learners because the student can read the question and answer, say it out loud, and physically write it down. All three of these things help solidify the information in the brain and the cards are easy to flip through and cover the ones that weren’t as well known multiple times.

2. Skim the Chapters

Trying to sit down and read the whole chapters in the Biology book can take longer than actually learning the material and there may not be enough time to read it all. Always at least skim the chapter though and read more in depth on areas that weren’t as comfortable or newer. Some professors take questions straight from the book, so in those cases read more in depth but also focus more on the chapter summaries in the back for a quicker overview.

3. Go to Class

An 8 am or 9 am class may be easy to hit the snooze alarm for, but it will hurt when the test comes. Sitting in class and physically hearing a professor talk about the material is one of the best study modules because it creates connections in the brain that are useful on the test. The brain can actually recall the professor saying something in class if there is something that wasn’t studied as well.

4. Study Groups

Students learn the best by teaching other students. Find a study group with both people that know more and people that know less and meet up before the test. The people that know more can teach what they know and you can teach the ones that know less than you. This benefits everybody, especially you! Some students may have great memory recall tricks (ways to remember certain information) that you may find helpful as well.

5. Go to Supplemental Instruction (SI)

SI’s are free tutors, GO! Even if you understand the chapter for that session go anyway. SI’s are close with the professors meaning they normally have insights on the upcoming tests and will share them with the class. Also, having someone explain something further or in a different way can help solidify ideas and concepts to make you more prepared for the test. If the SI gives out a “practice exam”, try to take it like a real exam in the time normally allotted without any notes to see where you stand.

With these 5 tips success is in the future! Remember to plan the weeks ahead to know when all upcoming tests are and start studying 2 weeks ahead! This gives time to thoroughly learn the material and avoids all-nighters. Good luck!



Holli Crawford

I am a sophomore Health Science Studies pre-Physical Therapy major at Baylor University!