Doing well in science requires the development of effective study skills as well as the ability to participate in class. If your science class includes labs, you should learn how to perform well in them as well. If you have good study skills from other courses, you will be able to use many of them to do well in science.
Method 1 Developing Effective Study Skills
1. Take detailed, well-organized notes. The notes you take in class will assist you in determining what to study between classes. Don’t try to take notes on everything the teacher says. Instead, pay close attention to any information your teacher suggests will be on tests.
Having assistance with taking notes is a service that many schools can provide for students with learning disabilities. If you require this accommodation, contact your school’s academic accessibility office.
It might be useful for recording your lecture classes. Most smartphones have voice recorders built in, or you can download a recording app. Recording a lecture allows you to listen to it again later.
2. After class, go over your notes again. If there is anything in your notes that confuses you or that you believe is incorrect, consult your teacher or a classmate to ensure you have the correct information.
If you wait too long to read your notes, you may not remember enough about the class to understand them.
It may assist you in rewriting your notes in a more condensed manner. This assesses your understanding of the material in a way that ensures you have truly grasped the meaning.
3. Look for a quiet place to study. You’ll need a quiet place to study that is free of distractions and interruptions. This could be in your bedroom, a library, or a different room. You must be honest with yourself about your own requirements.
For example, if you are easily distracted by looking out the window, relocate your work area so that you cannot see outside from where you are working.
If you need to avoid being distracted by background noise, put headphones over your ears.
Some people benefit from generating white noise with a fan facing the wall. This eliminates the possibility of being distracted by random sounds. You could also use your phone to download a free “white noise” app.
4. Study in increments of time. Sitting and studying for an indefinite period of time will result in boredom and distraction. Instead, study in blocks, with short breaks in which you stand up and move away from your study area.
Set a timer to remind yourself to take a break after 45-60 minutes.
Set a second timer to remind you to return to your desk. A 10-minute break is usually sufficient.
5. Refer to a variety of sources. When studying your notes, use internet searches to supplement your understanding rather than just the textbooks you’ve been given. Another source may be able to explain your subject matter better than you. Khan Academy, for example, is an excellent resource for a wide range of scientific topics.
These resources can be used to supplement your work.
You can understand the lectures better if you use visual information, graphics, videos, or other media.
If the information you find contradicts the science you’ve learned in class, take careful notes and contact your teacher. This could serve as a starting point for further discussion.
6. Discover the reasoning behind the facts. Science may appear to be a collection of facts, but each fact was discovered by someone attempting to answer the question “Why?” Understanding how things fit together will assist you in making sense of the facts you are learning in science class.
For example, imagining a cannon firing may help you remember Newton’s Third Law: “There is an equal and opposite reaction to every action.” But what exactly does this mean?
When fired, a cannon, which is larger than a cannonball, propels the ball a long distance. However, the ball exerts its own force on the cannon, causing it to be pushed back a few inches in the opposite direction. This is an illustration of Newton’s Third Law.
7. Learn how to use the metric system. Because the metric system is the most widely used internationally, it is used in a great deal of science. The metric system, which uses units of ten to measure length, mass, and time, is based on units of ten.
For example, 10 millimetres equal a centimetre, 10 centimetres equal a decimeter, and 10 decimeters equal a metre, which is the metric system’s base unit of length.
The Imperial system is what most Americans use, but even American scientists use the metric system at work.
Learning basic conversions from Imperial to metric can be beneficial, especially in chemistry.
8. Consider teaching someone else. When you believe you have a good understanding of the material, try explaining it to someone else. Teaching someone else is the best way to determine whether or not you truly understand the material you’ve been studying. If you can put your knowledge to the test on a friend or family member, you will be able to assess your own knowledge.
It can be helpful to imagine what questions you would ask if you were the professor.
Using your own experience or knowledge, try to come up with new examples for the information you’ve learned.
9. Learn your own best study techniques. Each person has slightly different methods for studying that work for them. Your own study skills may include the use of (and creation of) flash cards, as well as the creation of stories based on the information you’ve been given. You could compose your own songs to help you remember important facts and details.
Form a study group with other students in your class if you learn best in groups. Take care not to use this group for socialising, but rather for effective learning.
If you prefer to study alone, make sure you can stay focused on your work without being distracted by other activities.
Method 2 Participating in Science Class
1. Read the assigned reading. When your teacher assigns reading from a textbook or a website, read it before coming to class. If you don’t have time to read it thoroughly, it’s a good idea to scan it to get a sense of what it’s about.
Even if you don’t know exactly what the professor will discuss during the class, you can anticipate the general topic of discussion.
Many teachers will go over the same material you were assigned as part of the class discussion. This means that if you’ve read the assignment, you’ll be ready to answer questions and participate in discussions.
2. Participate to the best of your ability. Your grade will most likely be influenced in part by your ability to participate in class. This means that, even if you are a quiet introvert, you must find ways to contribute to the overall class activity.
Rephrase what others are saying to ensure that you understand what they are saying.
When you don’t understand what’s being said, ask questions.
Raise your hand to respond when someone asks a question to which you know the answer.
Be an active listener if you’re working in a small group. Pay attention to your classmates and share your ideas with them without dominating or demanding that they always do what you want.
3. Pay close attention to any suggested reading. If your instructor makes materials available online or suggests specific videos or websites, use these resources to prepare for your labs. Many teachers make online notes, review sheets, or other materials available for their students to review.
Prior to class, always read these notes. Bring them to class with you and use them as a reference during class discussions.
If your teacher uses a specific image several times, try to get a copy of it and label it so you can better understand it.
4. Keep an eye out for protests. Science classes frequently include demonstrations by the teacher or other students that you are expected to replicate. If you want to do well in science, you should pay close attention to any demonstrations that are done in class.
Check that no one is blocking your view of the demonstration. If you can, adjust your seating so that you can see. If you need to stand up or change seats, ask your teacher for permission.
5. Develop your test-taking abilities. When taking a science test, you’ll want to double-check that you’ve correctly interpreted each problem before attempting to solve it. If necessary, draw a picture or a diagram. When you’ve finished answering the question, check to see if your response makes sense given the parameters of the question. If not, reconsider your strategy.
It can help to restate the problem in your own words to ensure that you truly understand what is being asked.
Check your work for accuracy twice before submitting it, and make sure your writing is legible.
Method 3 Doing a Good Job in Labs
1. Be ready for the lab. Many science classes include labs, which are demonstrations of techniques taught in textbooks or lectures. Your teacher will expect you to arrive prepared to begin your lab.
Prior to class, read the lab instructions. Mark the areas where you require clarification.
You should also go over your notes from the previous class, as the lab may be related to the previous lesson.
2. Bring all of the materials you’ll need to your lab. In addition to your lab notebook, you will require sharp pencils, a blank pen, a calculator, and any other materials requested by your instructor. Dressing appropriately is also essential for success in labs. Dress in clean, comfortable clothing. Wear comfortable shoes because you will be standing for the majority of your lab class.
Your lab may require you to wear safety goggles, gloves, acid-proof aprons, or other protective clothing.
Certain labs may require closed-toe shoes. It’s best to avoid wearing sandals, flip-flops, and other open-toed shoes.
3. Learn how to create a report. Written reports are usually required for labs taught at the college level. While the specific method of presentation may differ depending on your teacher’s methodology, you can expect your report to include the following components: title, abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, references, and literature cited.
The report must be typed and follow the citation format specified by your instructor.
The report’s goal is to persuade others to accept or reject your hypothesis. This will be accomplished in your report by displaying the data gleaned from your research as well as your interpretation of the data.
4. Maintain a laboratory notebook. This journal should be bound, not looseleaf, with numbered pages that are never removed or torn out. It is a permanent record of your laboratory observations. Your lab report will be based on the records you’ve kept in your notebook.
Keep no notes in your lab notebook about your classwork, lectures, or other study materials.
Create a system for taking notes in your lab notebook so that you can easily find all of the information you’ll need to write your report. It will be easier to write your lab report if you thoroughly detail your lab activities.
Some labs may require you to wear long pants.
5. Collaborate effectively with others. Many lab experiments are designed to be completed by a group of two or more students. This means you won’t have time to complete the entire experiment on your own and will have to rely on the efforts of the group.
You must be aware of the outcomes of what others have done throughout the process, even if you did not do it yourself.
Working effectively in a group is part of the learning process in a lab.
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