I'm taking one course this semester which is Biology. I'm having an extremly difficult time trying to organize my study habbits, and even more difficult time grasping the material. We're using the book "Asking about Life" by Tobin/Dusheck. Has anyone tutored any students who've used this book by any chance? And if you want to know specifically what I'm having a hard time with I'll be frank, all of it.
For something like intro bio, I'd assume it's just memorizing bodies of discrete information from the textbook. This should be easier than a more abstract kind of course.
So this is the study approach I am recommending. The only caveat is that you should actually stick to it and follow it.
For every class, before class,(you must do the reading before it's covered in class, otherwise you won't understand what's going on in class. Trust me, I am speaking from experience.),read and take notes of the material you are reading.
Take class notes as well when you are in class (this shouldn't be much of a problem since the material would be mostly review for you).
After class, consolidate your textbook and class notes into one (it would probably be just your text notes plus some stuff from class that wasn't in the text). After you are done consolidating, throw out the original text and class notes. Consolidated notes would be what you will study from.
Several days before the test:
DAY ONE of test studying:
--re-read all the consolidated notes relevant to the upcoming test
--make a single, big summary outline of everything that will be on a test (this way, you'll see and understand how everything fits together).
DAY TWO OF STUDYING
--re-read the summary outline you've made
--do all the review questions in the textbook you can lay your hands onto(preferably in writing; it's better to overstudy)
DAY THREE OF STUDYING:
--create note cards of all the material for the test (question on one side, answer on the other)
DAY BEFORE THE TEST
--quiz yourself from your note cards
--make a summary outline of all material for the test from memory. Compare it to the original one you've made by looking at your consolidated notes.
Daily studying should take you 3-4 hours--just constant studying in small portions day to day and will include reading and taking text notes for upcoming class and consolidating notes from previous class.
Studying for the test would probably be done in large marathon sessions and can take an entire day. You should be able to pass with this approach.
And as an aside suggestion. Since all you need is to pass, why don't you just take the class pass/fail, meaning without a grade.