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Bad at Biology

I am interested in the medical field, and I honestly can not see myself in anything other than medicine, but biology is one of my weak points. I don't find biology boring, rather the information just doesn't stick with me. I'm not sure what to do. Is going down the path to go into the medical field still an option for me? Is that smart?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Karissa’s Answer

You have to memorize a lot of information in Biology. Do you like Chemistry or Physics? You will also need those classes to get in to medical school. If you do not get good grades in Science, and are unwilling to do anything besides teacher assigned work, then medical school is out of the question. If you are determined you will get a tutor, go over the questions you did not pass on the test, create flash cards, copy your notes, study with a friend and visit the teacher after school for extra help.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Yes, I like chemistry and physics! Puja
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Thirada’s Answer

Hi Puja! Science and math classes are usually hard, so it's not strange to be struggling with the coursework. If you like biology enough, you should be willing to put in the effort to improve at it. Luckily, math and science are things you can get better at with hard work!

I recommend going to your teacher after school for help. Try getting a tutor, joining a study group, etc. One thing to keep in mind: there is usually a problem, or something that causes difficulty during studying. You need to figure out what the root cause is, and fix it. For example, a student I knew had test anxiety. Going to the teacher after school didn't help her because she understood the content, but would blank out during exams. Instead, she took practice tests as a kind of "exposure therapy" to get used to the pressure and decrease her feelings of anxiety. I'll give another example: I was taking a difficult math class and was not doing well. I understood the concepts, but couldn't solve the questions on the test, because they were difficult and required some problem solving/application skills. I found that getting a tutor didn't help, since the tutor was just explaining things to me (but I already understood the material). Instead, I did extra homework and practice problems, building my math skills in general. Since it's a skill issue, it took several months to improve my grade because I had to level up my math skills, which takes lots of effort and time. You'll have to identify what's the right approach for you. Don't be afraid to try several things, because the first thing you try might not work. Improvement requires patience and learning from your failures. If you are truly interested in the medical field and biology, don't give up!

Another note: there are ways to help information stick better...

1. Instead of just reading a textbook, try watching informational videos, since this can help you visualize the information. Alternatively, you can draw diagrams or build infographics or 3D models too.
2. Try to connect new things you learn with previous knowledge. When learning something new in biology, think, did you learn something in chemistry, physics, or psychology class that might be linked? If you can connect new knowledge with old knowledge in a meaningful way, it can be easier to store the information in long term memory.
3. Practice tests! You can use your biology notes to create practice tests for yourself. After checking your answers, you will remember what you got wrong. This works much better than simply reading your notes! Perhaps you can have your friends give you mini practice tests during study group sessions too.
4. Sleep! If you don't sleep enough, the information doesn't properly get processed and stored in your memory. Most of what you learn gets thrown out the window!

I hope this helps! I wish you the best with your studies!
Thank you comment icon Hi! Thank you so much for your advice and giving me examples! I hadn't thought of those methods. I'll be sure to put them to great use! Puja
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Shandirai’s Answer

Absolutely, your journey towards a medical career is still wide open, even if biology feels like a mountain to climb at the moment. Numerous successful medical professionals have been in your shoes, confronting similar hurdles. Here are some uplifting reasons to stay optimistic and continue pursuing your dream:

1. **Passion and Dedication**: Your intense longing to contribute to the medical field is a powerful motivator. This passion often ignites triumph, driving you to overcome obstacles and strive for excellence.

2. **Growth Mindset**: It's crucial to view your biology challenges as temporary hurdles, not immovable walls. Armed with the right resources, techniques, and determination, you can improve your understanding and mastery of the subject.

3. **Study Techniques**: Experiment with different study methods to find what works best for you. Strategies like active participation, peer teaching, using visual aids, and breaking down information into manageable chunks can enhance your memory retention.

4. **Supportive Network**: Don't hesitate to seek assistance. Tutors, study groups, and professors can provide guidance and fresh perspectives that might make the subject more digestible.

5. **Practical Learning**: Sometimes, understanding how biology directly applies to medical practice can make it more fascinating and memorable. Try connecting biological concepts to real-world medical scenarios.

6. **Wide-ranging Curriculum**: Medical education covers a vast array of subjects beyond biology, such as chemistry, physics, and social sciences. Excelling in these areas can bolster your overall academic performance and boost your self-confidence.

7. **Power of Perseverance**: Many medical students have overcome initial difficulties with certain subjects. Your perseverance and adaptability will serve you well not only in your studies but throughout your medical career.

Remember, the journey to becoming a medical professional is more of a marathon, not a sprint. Each step, even the challenging ones, contributes to your personal growth and prepares you to provide compassionate, knowledgeable care in the future. Keep your goal in sight and believe in your capacity to reach it.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for breaking everything down! I really appreciate it. I'll be sure to keep it in mind. Puja
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Lora’s Answer

Hi, Puja,
Biology tends to be a lot of rote learning, for sure. However, learning how each system connects to the next system can make it more fascinating and thus, more rememberable. My uncle, a cardiologist, also struggled with the sciences but he found a great tutor and a supportive community to help him get through. You don't need to master the sciences, but you do need to understand them and their application with anatomy and with medicine. Learning biology is a "chore," but it also has the potential to be super cool and fun. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Hi, that's so cool! Thank you so much! Puja
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