Autumn.wmf (12088 bytes) Concepts of Biology (BIOL116) - Dr. S.G. Saupe; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Review Guide - Exam 1

     The exam will be a mixture of objective (e.g., multiple choice, definition, fill-in-blank) and subjective (non-objective) questions.  The subjective questions could include completing/analyzing diagrams or experiments, short answers (require a few sentences), definitions, and matching.  The multiple choice questions will be scored electronically so you will need to bring & use a pencil.  The subjective questions can be answered using pencil or pen (I strongly recommend pencil).  The exam is designed to last one hour.  In general, the exam could include:  (1) anything covered in class; (2) items in textbook that pertain directly to concepts covered in class; (3) lecture notes on-line pertaining to material covered in class; (4) study sheets, handouts or other materials used/assigned in class; and (5) questions from videos seen in lab (i.e., video worksheet).  Below is a brief summary of the main topics that are "fair game" for the exam.

Study Hints:
    Since the exam will focus on material covered in class, it is imperative that you take good notes.  You should write down EVERYTHING that was said/done in class.  Be sure to record everything - not just what was written on the blackboard.  The reason for this is because sometimes we will discuss important things - that are testable items - that are not written on the board.  By having it in your notes then you will be less likely to forget studying it for the exam.  You may want to check out the study tips for the course.  In general, about 50% of the exam questions will be "concrete" while the other 50% will require higher level thought skills.  As an example....a concrete, lower level question might be: Water is moved through a plant by:  (a) transpiration; (b) root pressure; (c) capillary action.  This should be easy; obviously transpiration is the answer.  Now, based on the same concept I could ask the following question:  If the roots of a plant are placed in boiling water, which of the following would most likely stop first?  (a) transpiration; (b) root pressure; (c) capillary action.  I won't tell you the answer, but as you can see, the question is now assuming that you know what each of these three processes are, and looking at what happens under different circumstances.

    The take-home-message is that don't just memorize your notes, strive to understand them.  Could you explain your notes to someone else?  One way you quickly realize how much you know is to try and teach someone else.  And from a practical perspective, remember that for the multiple choice questions you have the answer in front of you.  You simply need to sort it out from the incorrect answers.  Thinking skills will serve you better than memorizing.

    Some people say that if you have no clue about the answer on a multiple choice test, choose A.  Although it sometime works because when writing a question the writer usually writes the correct answer first, this strategy won't work on my exams because I alphabetize my choices and/or list them according to length.  It is a good strategy when taking a test to scratch off the answers that you know are not correct.  Hopefully, this will leave only two or three answers from which to choose.

    I find that making concept maps can be very helpful, also.  To make a concept map, prepare a list of the topics/ideas from a given section of material.  Then, create an organizational-type diagram, draw lines interconnecting the different ideas.  On the connecting line, indicate how the ideas relate.  Start with the broadest, most general concept first and work from there.  This can be a nice way of visualizing relationships between concepts.  See me or the web sites indicated in the study tips for more details

    Be sure to check out the textbook website and go through the activities/exercises/quizzes available.  I have also posted a copy of a sample exam to study.

Plant Way of Life

Chapter 34 - Plant Body

Chapter 35

Chapter 37


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Last updated: February 18, 2004        � Copyright by SG Saupe