Middle school biology can be tricky to learn. Students are expected to understand and retain a plethora of confusing and complex concepts, which is tough for even the brightest of minds.
From complex terminology to bodily processes — biology classes can lead to information overload if not taught properly.
Middle school biology covers a diverse range of subjects – which later become independent – with a specialized field of study.
So revising them effectively can be a bit difficult, as there’s a high chance of getting things jumbled up. You need a plan for your middle school biology revision and to ace upcoming exams.
If you are unsure of how to start, check out our ultimate guide to middle school biology revision.
A biology tutor might not be around to help, but you always have revision material to refer to. However, understanding the entire course requires familiarity with the curriculum.
Understand The Curriculum
A clear understanding of the curriculum and its purpose can expedite your learning. However, knowing where to find middle school revision guides is equally important.
You can read on the importance of guides on our blog for revision guides and resources for biology courses.
The middle school curriculum becomes slightly easier to revise once you are aware of the key objectives of the curriculum. Let’s take a deeper look in the course overview:
Biology Curriculum — An Overview
As the starting ground for higher education, the middle school biology course is designed to build a solid foundation. As such, the course deals with the very basics of biology and builds from there to more complex concepts.
The curriculum often starts with an introduction to living organisms and how they function. The aim of the chapter is to allow students to distinguish between living and non-living things — based on characteristics.
Biology classes on the chapter revolve around highlighting the differences in lifecycles of different organisms. You also learn how the environment affects living organisms.
Once the concepts are clear, biology courses then focus on the basics of cells. Understanding what cells are and how they function is the main goal.
When you’ve learned about the building blocks of life – cells – it is time to learn about organisms made up of cells. Most biology courses have a section or chapter dedicated to cells.
The impact of the environment on living things is then taught in detail in ecology. It teaches students about different environments and how living creatures adapt and survive in such circumstances.
The environmental factors and how various species interact with the environment further improves a student’s understanding of biology as a subject — and allows him/her to draw inferences.
A biology tutor can help improve your understanding of key concepts of reproduction, heredity, cell division, or DNA.
Understanding genetics is a prerequisite to understanding evolution—biology classes on evolution highlight changes in organisms and how each organism adapts to survive.
You learn to classify all living organisms based on traits and characteristics, followed by a study of human anatomy. It includes chapters on organs, skeletal structure, muscle anatomy, etc.
Biology lessons on such topics make you aware of how the human body functions.
Some biology classes in middle school are dedicated to plants, which help students understand natural processes such as photosynthesis.
The middle school biology curriculum gives you a holistic view of life and how it thrives. From microscopic details to complex bodily processes, it covers pretty much everything.
Revising the entire curriculum can be a challenge. Here are our key tips for revision to retain all that you study.
Note: Understanding the curriculum is different from understanding test formats. For exam-specific guidelines, you can read our blog post on exams and the grading system.
Tips For Revision
Even if you have been attentive throughout your biology classes, revising such a lengthy course can prove to be an obstacle.
To help you revise better, SuperProf has outlined some proven tips that will help you recall your biology course better:
Mnemonics help retain more information. It is when you associate objects, words, pictures, or phrases that are easy to remember with the information you want to remember.
This helps recall the information when you repeat the phrase. Since catchy objects are easy to remember, the information associated with them can be effortlessly recalled.
For instance, you can use words that rhyme with biological terms. Make acronyms or phrases that are easy to repeat.
A good example is how people remember the first twenty elements of the periodic table through mnemonics — with easy-to-remember words or objects.
You can create mental pictures and associate them with the concepts for enhanced retention!
Create A Concept Map
A concept map is a flowchart that links different biological processes together. Creating your own concept map helps you grasp and retain the information better.
Initially, you can seek help from a biology tutor to make sure your concepts are clear. Biology tutors at SuperProf can help you make distinctive concept maps that will allow you to retain the most complex of concepts with relative ease.
A concept map helps you connect the dots, associate different concepts with each other, and understand differences.
A quick glance at a labeled diagram from the human anatomy class is enough to cause information overload. But with a clear and precise description of each visual – body parts and organs – diagrams are easy to recall.
A picture of human lungs is easier to recall than a paragraph defining it, or a lengthy lecture from your biology class.
Flashcards are used in middle school to help students memorize key concepts. Flashcards are most effective in understanding and retaining complex biology terminology.
When you have a handful of terms to remember with definitions, writing each of them on separate cards with their definitions at the back of the cards can be useful.
These flashcards can help you quiz yourself and revise quickly before going in for an exam. They ensure retention and can be used in fun ways during your biology class. You can make games out of it in the classroom, i.e., pass cards around and defining the word that each student ends up with.
Make A Mental Map
Mind maps are similar to concept maps. You can pick the concepts that are most important and build a map around them to identify and remember the different processes.
A mind map doesn’t have to be in the form of a flowchart. You can build it however you want. It’s your mind, and you know what is easy for you to remember.
It could be similar to google maps, or it could be a multidimensional model in your head. You can remember it in any — as long as you are able to recall it during your tests.
The middle school biology curriculum is easy to revise if you are clear about the purpose of each course. You need to mentally prepare yourself for exams to get better grades. Reviewing past papers on a subject can also give you the much-needed confidence before a test.
Check out our blog post on past papers and exam boards to familiarize yourself with different formats used in education today.
Once you understand the curriculum, use the tips and tricks discussed above to improve your knowledge and make your biology revision easy. The techniques from the piece can improve your grasp on concepts and help you improve performance in biology courses.
Use mind-mapping techniques, diagrams, or flashcards to optimize your learning and improve retention.
A bit of help from a biology tutor can help you implement these tips and tricks more effectively. A teacher can set you on track and guide you through each course.
SuperProf can help achieve your academic goals with well-designed courses and qualified tutors. All of our tutors are subject-matter specialists with years of experience — to help craft a better future for students everywhere.
Choose us to excel in school and achieve your dreams!