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CSUN offers Biology 106 course which is general biology for biology majors and is also a requirement for medical school for pre-med students. Biology 106 is only half of general biology so it is important to take Biology 107 after taking Bio106. This class also requires iPad because CSUN‘s biology department are using apps for biology classes. This class is hard and requires a lot of effort from the students. Here are tips to pass Bio106.

1. Read the book and do homework

The book for Bio106 is an online book which is why iPad is needed for this class. It is also the same book for Bio107. The book highlights in yellow the most important details for students to know but that does not mean that you will only read the highlighted parts of the book. The book also requires students to answer few questions after each sections. Sometimes the professor assign this as homework and is 10% of the grade. When the student is finish answering the questions with right answers the yellow highlights become green to show you that you mastered that section of the chapter. Which is also a good way to test yourself whether you need to study more or not.

2. Go to PLF Sessions

CSUN offers PLF sessions for some science classes. PLF is different from the lecture. It is an outside the class activity which helps the student to do better in class. The professor don’t go in this session but he/she sends another student who took the course from previous semester and got an A in the class to help the current student. Sometimes this is optional but sometimes this is also part of your grade. It is 10% of the grade and it is very easy to earn. You just have to go in each session which is held once a week for just an hour. This is also helpful if you feel intimidated asking questions to your professor because you can ask the facilitator instead.

3. Take good notes

If you are someone who hates reading or takes a long time reading, taking good notes during lecture will be very helpful. Since Bio106 involved many details which is all found in the book another smart way to know and remember which one is the very important details is by listening to the professor and adding it to your notes. This way you will not forget them and can look back at it.

4. Practice Drawing

Bio106 involves the study of relations between different species of animals which is shown by drawing a phylogenetic tree. It’s similar to a family tree you used to draw when you were a kid but more complicated. It requires you to know characteristic of each species, who evolves first, and what evolved. Practicing how to draw this and memorizing will help you do better in class and will make it easier for you.

5. Attend Class

Bio106 is usually held in big classrooms containing around 100 students. You might think that it’s a big class and the professor won’t know whether you come or not. That is true and the professor doesn’t care if you go or not but bio106 class have online quizzes either in the beginning of the class or at the end. It is also the professor’s choice whether it will be every class or just once a week but he/she will never announce it. The quiz also requires a code that you will only know if you come to class. So make sure to attend all lectures and don’t be late.

Dr. Chhandak Basu prepares his biological and physical sciences class for a quiz on Oct. 1 in Chaparral Hall that they will take using their iPads, as part of the university’s myCSUNtablet initiative program with Apple, Inc. which started this semester. Photo credit: Luis Rivas / Opinion Editor

6. Go to Office Hours

Going to office hours in general is good. For bio106 you can go to office hours if you need help with drawing phylogenetic tree or whenever you have questions because not all questions are answered in class since there are a lot of students. Also, make sure to go before and after midterms. Go before midterm so you can ask professor all your question have a bigger chance on getting good grade in class. Go after midterm, because sometimes professor don’t show the right answer to you unless you go to their office hours. This way you know which one was your mistake and which one you should study for finals.

Taking Biology 106 will take so much time and studying for you to pass. Just keep reading and be motivated and you will for sure pass the class. Every points count in this class. It also requires a lot of memorizing and understanding so never procrastinate when you have a test coming up.


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Gyana Cezanne


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