Helpful Hints for a Good Grade in Genetics 311
1) Keep up with your reading.
The pages I've assigned in your textbook are an important supplement to the
lecture. They expand and reinforce the material I plan to cover verbally.
I know it may be tough going in places, but if you've done your reading before
coming to class, you'll be able to ask questions on the most difficult material
right when it's most relevant.
2) Study actively.
OK, the subject matter is dry in spots. So find some sort of trick to
keep yourself actively involved. Use a highlighter pen, develop an
outline of the chapter, list key principles or questions as they come to
you...anything to keep yourself from dozing off.
3) Keep up with your problem
solving. Genetics is quantitative analysis. Please solve,
or attempt to solve, all the problems assigned from your text before coming
to class. Do the practice problem sets as review after class, but before
each help session. If you come to the help session two nights before
the test unprepared, and watch me solve the problems for your classmates,
and figure you can do that yourself when the time comes, you're in for a
4) Participate in class.
Don't miss lectures, for heaven's sake! If you don't understand, ask
me a question. Are you afraid of looking dumb in front of your
classmates? Nonsense! Your classmates will thank you for requesting
clarification, or at least, slowing me down. And I'd much rather explain
something once to the group of you than 35 separate times in my office.
5) Review the material
after class. A good rule of thumb is to spend two hours in study outside
of the classroom for each hour spent in the classroom.
6) Feel free to study with others. Many students find it helpful
to talk about the material with classmates, form study groups, quiz and
be quizzed. But too much company can be distracting! Sometimes
it's best to find a quiet place.
7) Extra help is available,
if you need it:
- You're visiting the Genetics Web site right now, which is a good start...try
out some of the cool links.
- There are currently two web sites for Tamarin, the new one (which requires
a password from a card shrink-wrapped with new textbooks) and an old one (which
is free access). Both have tutorials and online practice quizzes dedicated
to each chapter of the book. See:
- The study guide by Deborah C. Clark provides key concepts, problem-solving
hints, and practice problems.
- A CD-ROM entitled "Genetics, from Genes to Genomes" is provided with
your text. There are lots of colorful graphics and gee-whiz animations
for you there. Most of the subject matter is pretty basic, and some
of it seems hokie to me. But there is also some really good stuff.
There's an excellent review of mitosis and meiosis in the section on Transmission
Genetics, for example. And the "allele frequency simulation" at the
end of the section on "allele frequency" (page 12, under "Populations and
Evolution") is really cool. Check it out.
- There are several commercially available study guides, with lots of
extra problems. The Schaum's Outline series (carried by our Bookstore)
has a book by Stansfield that's pretty good.
- The library has an entire shelf of genetics textbooks, all with practice
problems at the end of each chapter. Look around QH 430.
- Check out the services of the College Skills Lab, 216 Education
Ctr. There are regular study skills seminars scheduled throughout the
semester, plus individual assistance by appointment.
- Clemson University hosts a superb site called College Survival Skills.
You can take quizzes that test your ability to take quizzes! Read
"ten things you should never do or say to your instructor."
- Of course, I'm happy to see you
during office hours. Any other time is usually fine
too, put please make an appointment.
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