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What is the best way to study for Biochemistry?

I am a plant and soil major having to take biochem. The past 2 years I have been at a juco and now am transferring to a university. Any study techniques, material or ways to prepare for it are helpful!
#science #agriculture #biochemistry #biology #chemistry

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Nitesh’s Answer

Hi Caitlyn!

I am currently working on a project where I have to study the nutrients present in soil, and I am using all the biochemistry I ever learned! Biochemistry is cool and very useful to a wide range of careers! I do admit that it can appear daunting, usually because of the association with "chemistry". But I think Maxwell has given you some great suggestions and I agree with all of them, and I have some more.

Find someone who has recently taken the course, and discuss it with them as you go through it yourself. They will be aware of difficulties you are likely to face and will have useful ideas to share. Also, they might be able to explain things that you are having trouble with, sometimes better than a teacher/professor, because they have been in your shoes not too long ago!

Next, find someone to study with, and take turns teaching each other. Trying to explain what you are learning is one the best ways to get deeper understanding of the material yourself!

I hope you have a great time at the university!

Nitesh recommends the following next steps:

Find someone who took the course recently.
Find someone you can "teach" the course to, while you are taking it.
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Maxwell’s Answer

Biochem can be super intimidating at first but, in my opinion, it is incredibly cool once you start thinking about it. You're literally learning how the machinery in every cell of our body is working!

Anyway, my biggest suggestion is to try and look at the concepts that you are learning as a part of a larger whole. It can seem pretty monotonous and seem unnecessary to memorize all 20 amino acids, but if you think about how you are learning the 20 building-blocks of all life, you can see how relevant it can be! For things like amino acids, I highly suggest making flashcards or downloading an app. I had one one my phone (don't remember the name) that basically acted like flashcards.

Next, ask questions! This isn't a big issue for all students, but it can be for some, and with a topic as complex as biochem is can be invaluable to talk through new concepts and ask for clarifications. Many concepts build upon each other, so understanding the basics can make things much easier later on. Along with this, there are some very good YouTube videos (try to find reputable sources, like Khan academy or content posted by a university) that do a good job explain lots of different concepts.

Lastly, if you are like my and need to be able to really visualize the things you are talking about, buy a molecular model kit. These are the little model sets that come with colored balls to represent different atoms (carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, etc) and sticks that represent different bond. This way you can look at things like amino acids or metabolite intermediates and see how they might bend or fit or break or join.

Good luck and enjoy the awesome experience of learning Biochem!

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