How to be a Pro In Genetics: Study Hacks that actually Work

    How to be a Pro In Genetics: Study Hacks that actually Work

    Genetics is one of the pre-medicated courses that happen to be the most devastating. Implement our tips to achieve success in your genetic class instead of panicking at the first sign of uncertainty.

    Why Genetics Matter?

    Genetics: G, T, C, but how are you going to get the A? Often it feels like DN-no way (the last pun, I promise).

    If you are on the pre-med route, you actually prepared for the notorious courses everyone tells you about. Organic chemistry is probably the highest on the list, but genetics are also strong.

    While not generally recognised as a traditional weed out class for premeditation, there is just a lot of knowledge to recall. After all, in our genomes, people alone have 24,000 genes. Don’t worry, you’re not going to have to know them all!

    However, the MSAR needs or recommends that 80 per cent of medical schools take genetics as part of their pre-medical courses. So, if you think about writing genetics from your preparation course, you might want to revisit it and get ready to research hard with the following tips.

    After working on the genetics teaching team of my university, I have gained some tips for the subject. In this post, I’ll clarify the various things about genetics (and why it’s so difficult to master). Then I’ll talk about how best you can achieve.

    What about genetics, what’s different?

    Biology took a lot of rote learning in high school. For instance, until we knew it cold, we repeated “the mitochondrion is the cell’s powerhouse.” The heart’s chambers, the organelles and their functions were remembered and genetic information was encoded by DNA. But this dependence on memorization in college biology, and particularly in genetics, disappears.

    I hear a few calls from the crowd, “but I learn by memorization!”

    Ok, I’ve got two good news bits for you:

    1. New study habits you should always learn, and
    2. I’m about to show them to you.

    Where does rote memorization take place, you ask? There are two main skills that are really important for your genetics study:

    • Problem management
    • Concept application

    Another aspect of genetics that is fairly unique is its emphasis on application and connection.

    The solution to Genetic problems

    In presenting Dr Tony Griffiths at the International Genetics Congress, the topic needs a comprehensive resolution of the issue. Many students understand what they say in class, but have difficulty with the examination. Why does it happen? In the classroom, the teacher discusses each response and leads some students to mistrust. “I’ll be good at an exam,” you might think of yourself, “I understood precisely what the professor was saying.

    While it is great to know what is learned in the classroom, be aware that when they are explained, problems are generally understandable; it is far difficult to find a solution for themselves. It would be intuitive if your professor explained the justification. The development of your own logic is completely different, and this is what you have to do on examinations.

    Study Hack: Become the professor. If you can teach someone else the material in your own words, you do not need to memorize things word for word. Instead, you will be fully grasping the bottom line of the lessons. Start a study group and take turns teaching each other the lessons!

    Concepts implementation

    The emphasis on application and relation is another aspect of genetics that is very interesting. “An alien world….” is the start of my favourite questions The theory is that you must be able to apply it to understand genetics. Therefore, it is important not only to know but also how it was discovered and confirmed, to hear passively in class. Such scientific thinking will encourage you to be a good classroom thinker and a better future doctor.

    Study Hack: Think about analogies that relate directly to what you study. Similar to the first hack, if you can use a completely different example to explain a concept from your class, you can be certain that you have a solid grasp of the information that your teacher can relate to any examples your teacher tries to stump you with.

    What’s next?

    It turns out that the above two study hacks actually form part of a theory that describes exactly how the mind goes from hearing information to interpreting it and eventually to researching and creating informed answers by using that information. With Bloom’s Taxonomy, we shall dig into this concept a little more.

    The researcher who published his thesis on knowledge mastery, Benjamin Bloom, focused during his life on various learning taxonomies and in 2001 published the Taxonomy of Objectives: Classification of educational objectives. This then became Bloom’s Taxonomy’s most commonly used scheme.

    Although it’s relatively recent, less than 20 years old, theory in education is already generally accepted. It says that all of us have the experience to memorise, define, etc. “know” category. However, “apply” is two levels higher. “analyse” is just above the application (drawing connections).

    Below is “understanding.” Thus, it is absolutely inadequate to comprehend what is said in the classroom. In order to perform a test well, you have to be able to recall (“remember”) or address (“understand”) more than an idea.

    Bloom’s Taxonomy

    But there is good news! Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a clear metric for the knowledge you need to succeed in genetics. Because of this, you can tailor your studying. Below, I explain three genetics tips based on Bloom’s Taxonomy that are supplemented by my experience as a genetics teacher.

    Tip 1: Ask questions, answer discussions

    Ask questions, answer discussions

    You assess the expertise and the subject by asking questions, searching for inconsistencies or contradictions in both. This uses the category “analyse”: the same category used during the examination. Try to discuss answers with friends before emailing your professor.

    This will force you to assess and argue points using the “evaluate” category. This will allow you to use learning categories like the “submit” and “analyse” based upon Bloom’s taxonomy.

    This way, questions are raised, and then potential answers are found before they are presented to your colleagues or teaching staff, which shows an attitude of development. It not only shows that you are actively thinking about the material, but also takes your time to decipher what you think might be the answer, but also sells your professor time in answering you. You better trust your own ability to solve problems if any of your “conjecture” ends up being correct. (AKA didn’t guess the second time you took the test.)

    How can you have this tactic implemented?

    Read the content yourself first. Before you ascend to the top of the pyramid, it is necessary to “remember” and “understand.” Then join a group of students. Review your notes and search for vague or contradictory issues.

    Ask a question and talk to your classmates about the answer. It’s perfect if you can reach a consensus! If not, please email or teach help to your professor. Make sure you and your colleagues also mention the potential solutions. Return to the material and explain how the new knowledge is related and clarify that after receiving the response from one of them.

    Tip 2: Learning aids research

    Learning aids research

    Since genetics is often a major class, many schools provide more support for teaching outside the teacher. This offers an opportunity for individualised learning if supplementary training (or small-group) is required. You will definitely profit from it. If you’re in a study with the support, consider pretending to be the teacher and let the teacher ask you questions about the material. The teacher will know, and concentrate on, where other students do not understand. If you send a response, you can pick and defend your response using the “consider” tab.

    If the Professor and other large-scale community tools are the only teaching resources available, you can do the same with a colleague. Try to anticipate and ask each other questions. Reply, then assess your reply.

    This not only enables you to do the examination and better understand the subject, but also to learn the skills required to communicate medical science, which is an advantage as a doctor.

    Tip 3: Practice research-based questions

    Practice research-based questions

    Ask questions and make assumptions. It is “analysis” to identify issues since you are looking for relationships in the content. The hypothesis is formulated using the skills of the category “build.” This is not only a way to help you understand, but also an excellent way to practise science.

    Using the content for unclear places. Are there unknown causal mechanisms? Are you confused by a middle move (or lack thereof)? Perhaps two concepts appear to be mutually contradictory. There are real questions of science, which are uncovered to help you practise and demonstrate deep material knowledge. How medicine progresses is this curious attitude!

    Furthermore, you’ll have the ability to synthesise material in different biological disciplines if you look for obvious discrepancies. As an additional bonus, you can ask these questions to your professor and possibly even begin joint study!

    Final Words

    Memorization is not enough in the genetic class as we have discussed; higher levels of learning including troubleshooting and application are essential. The taxonomy of Bloom outlines the kinds of understanding necessary to achieve success. Using my three research tips to support you in genetics with the pyramid in mind:

    1. Debate answers to questions
    2. Practice with teaching aids, acting as the teacher yourself
    3. Try to think of, and answer research questions

    If you combine these three ideas with other strategies that have proved to be psychological, you will soon be on the road towards an A. In addition, not only do these tips help you understand the thinking of genetics, they also prepare for your future career as a physician. Your genes are now effective!

    How to be a Pro In Genetics: Study Hacks that actually Work

    Rajat Singh
    Rajat Singh is the Editor-in-chief at Bioinformatics India, he is a Master's in Bioinformatics and validates all the data present on this website. Independent of his academic qualifications he is a marketing geek and loves to explore trends in SEO, Keyword research, Web design & UI/UX improvement.

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