How to Study for the NET Exam: 2 More Tips
Let’s continue with some more tips for studying for the NET Life Sciences exam. (Missed part 1?)
The NET exam is such a behemoth of an exam, not only because it covers so many domains, but also because it tests both broad concepts and specific details, in almost equal measures. So you have to prepare accordingly, learning both the overall biological paradigms (what the role of anaerobic and aerobic respiration is, for example) and the details (the molecules involved in fermentation).
Today, I’ll go over two study tools, each of which I find quite effective for learning different types of material.
1. Make a study guide
With a study guide, you’ll be looking over all of the material and identifying what is important. This helps you connect topics to each other, and connect information within a topic. The idea is to make a short summary of the topic (let’s say, one subtopic from the syllabus, like “Mechanisms” from Unit 11 “Evolution and behaviour”). Your aim will be to get all the essential information down to one side of an A4 sheet of paper.
Does that sound like too little space for details? It is! Study guides should be focused more understanding the important concepts of a topic. You can add examples and diagrams if they help you comprehend or remember the paradigms, but avoid details like enzyme and substrate names or molecular structures.
The process of creating the study guide is in itself a revision of the material, and this will be a handy reference to consult when you forget a topic.
But what about those details I told you not to include? How will you learn them? Well, for that we have the next study aid.
2. Use flash cards
This is considered active learning because you’re practicing remembering the information. After all, that’s what you’ll be doing in the NET exam! You’ll be prompted to remember the information, not just look at the information and think that you know it.
I recommend using flashcards primarily for details like amino acid codes or the names and substrates of enzymes in the Krebs cycle. Flashcards are perfect for this because what they test best is your memory (how well you’ve memorized details). I know people sometimes use them for things like definitions and paradigms, but I’m not a fan of this because those are broad concepts that you shouldn’t be memorizing – those are the things you should spend time understanding deeply until you can put them in your own words. Doing this will make part C questions so much easier to tackle, since they require you to apply your knowledge, for which you need a deeper and broader understanding of those topics.
So flashcards are best for memorizing – and testing your memorization of – details, rather than for studying broad concepts. And since NET Life Sciences has plenty of details to remember, flashcards can be a very useful tool!