How to Succeed in Science Courses*

How to
Succeed in
while really trying!
Dr. Kris Dougherty
“A day without learning
is a day without living.”
Lou Holtz
be living life to the fullest
in science courses!
General Success Skills
Learning styles
Time usage
Class preparation
Effective reading
Test taking strategies
Study environment
Get help
Know your learning style
 Are
you a visual, auditory or kinesthetic
At this website, you can take a survey to
determine learning style and get tips to
help you study more effectively.
Time usage
 Where
does your time go?
 Are you overscheduled?
See handout for two tables to help answer
these questions.
 Do
Study at regularly scheduled times
 Do
you schedule your study time?
you use your study time effectively?
Take short breaks as needed
Study on the go
Preparation for Class
 Read
the chapter before attending class
Don’t come to class “cold”
Take notes
 Know
what you will be doing – read and
follow schedule
 Prepare questions to ask in class
 Start to learn the vocabulary
 Sit in front, away from your friends
Effective reading
SQR3 Method
Survey – overall look at selection
Question – write down questions you think will
be addressed in a section and try to search for
Read – note details, take time
Recite – work on recall. Try to answer questions
from recall
Review – Reinforce memory
I would add “Reread” – especially after class
Test taking strategies
 Come
early to test
 Be well-rested and fed
 Bring required materials
 Take a few deep breaths
 Survey the test- do higher point
questions first
 Read all directions and follow
Test taking strategies
 Read
questions carefully
 Look for key words
 Do easier questions first
 Go with first answer
 Eliminate choices methodically
 Look for hints/answers in other questions
 Essay questions:
 Use
specific words - avoid “it”, “things”
 Be clear – say what you mean, mean
what you say
 Use proper grammar and spelling
Study environment
 Dedicated
study space
 Organize your space
 Control interruptions
 Remove distractions
 Inspirational or motivational setting
Get help
 Free
tutors at every campus
 Office hours
 Communicate with professor
 Textbook websites/course website
 Study guides
 Study groups
 Ultimately
your success depends on you.
 Is this really what you want to do? If so,
commit to the process.
 You earn your grades.
 W.I.N. strategy – Lou Holtz
Specifics to Science
 Time
 Preparation for lab
 Performing experiments
 Tackling vocabulary
 Application/Critical thinking
 Metric system
 Building foundation
Time commitment
 Science
with lab = 4 credit hours, but
equivalent to 6 credit hours of class time
 Should plan about 12 hours study
time/week per science with lab course
 Possible biggest barrier to success is lack
of time for preparation – overscheduled
or lack of commitment
 Find creative ways to have more study
Preparation for Lab
 Read
lab before attending class or lab
Don’t come to class “cold”
Come prepared to do the lab
 Prepare
questions to ask during pre-lab
 Complete pre-lab if required
 Wear proper clothing, shoes,
goggles, lab coat, etc
Performing Experiments
 Experimental
Follow directions carefully “IODIGTDAB”
Do not skip steps
Follow safety rules
Follow proper disposal
 Answer
questions/make and record
observations during procedure
 Record all data – do not change data
 Interpret data and complete post-lab
For each lab:
Address these 4 questions
 What
did you USE?
 What did you DO?
 What did you SEE?
 WHY DID YOU SEE what you saw?
Tackling Vocabulary – learning
science may be like learning a foreign
Drill, drill, drill
Learn common root words, prefixes, and
Apply what you already know
Examples “hypo-”, “hyper-”, “emia”
Anabolic vs. catabolic
Spelling is important
ileum vs ilium
ethane vs ethene
nucleus vs nucleolus
What’s a nucleous?
How many new words to
 Streptococcus
pneumoniae bacterium,
often called pneumococcus, is a small
gram-positive flattened coccus that often
appears in pairs. It is α-hemolytic on blood
agar. S. pneumoniae is normal flora in the
upper respiratory tract of 5-50% of people.
How many more new words to
 Pneumonia
is likely to occur when mucus
containing a load of bacterial cells passes
into the bronchi and alveoli. The
pneumococci multiply and induce an
overwhelming inflammatory response. The
polysaccharide capsule of the bacterium
prevents efficient phagocytosis, with the
result that edematous fluids are released
in the lungs.
Application/Critical Thinking
 Move
beyond memorizing
 Understand concepts
 Apply ideas to new situations
 Think for yourself
 Useful for your career and all areas of your
Metric System
 Used
by all science and medical fields
 Need to learn the base units and the
 Know relation to English units
 Be able to convert within the metric
system and between metric and English
 Feel confident with the system
Building Strong Foundation
 Science
classes continually build on prior
 Be sure to master key information as
presented during the semester
 Professors will expect you to perform at
higher and higher levels as you progress
along your academic path
Words of Wisdom from
Successful Students
“Read every chapter twice”
“Make complete study guides”
“Read ahead – don’t wait until last minute to study”
“The only thing i did was to listen to you during the lectures
and try to interract, answering your questions and trying to
come up with my own questions which would help me to
understand the subject better. Rereading the material
after the lecture helps a lot as well. i downloaded the
lectures online and put in on my phone. and i was listening
to the lectures on my way to class. it was taking me about
35 minutes to get to Lake Nona campus and it added up
a lot. and explaining the material to my classmates is a
great way to remember.”
Words of Wisdom from
Successful Students
“Five rules for success”
 My first rule for success is to set and complete both
short and long term goals.
 My second rule for success is be dedicated and
well prepared.
 Thirdly, a consistent systematic approach to life
whether it be studying for school, training in sport,
or developing a healthy relationship is essential to
being successful.
 Fourth, and I cannot stress the importance of this
rule enough; you are only as successful as your
level of responsibility.
 My final rule for success is to always remain humble.
 Get
Ready for Biology, Adapted from Get
Ready for A&P by Lori Garrett
 Wins, Losses, and Lessons by Lou Holtz
 Valencia faculty
 Valencia students

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