How I survived BMB 401
- Oct 5, 2017
Today I want to talk about the time I took BMB 401. I took Comprehensive Biochemistry in the summer, before my junior year. I had a ton of upperclassmen friends and they all warned me about this class, which is why I decided to take it over the summer since I knew I had enough time to spend on studying.
BMB 401 is an online course with in-person exams. All the exams were on Thursdays at 3pm, which meant I had to be responsible for finishing the lectures and having enough time afterward to study. The class is set up in a way that if you watch one lecture video every day of the week, you'll have four days to study for the exam.
Here's why you need to stick to the aforementioned schedule:
Since it was summer and I wanted to go on adventures with my friends, I failed to do one lecture video per day. It's two days before the first exam and I still have four more lecture videos to watch. I did end up watching all the lecture videos but I only slept for four hours that night.
The day of the exam I woke up at 8am to study up until my exam at 3pm. The exam was nothing like anything I have seen before. It was in a language of its own. I wasn't surprised when I saw my grade the following week. I had failed this exam.
Naturally, I started to have an existential crisis. I was rethinking everything. Do I really want to go to med school? Do I really need a college education? Are all my upper-level science courses are going to be like this? I took some time to just think and reflect, and figured out that I did horrible on the exam because I wasn't caught up with the lecture videos for the first unit
On the Monday following the exam, I made myself a schedule for the lecture videos for unit two. I made the schedule in a way that gave me Sunday through Thursday to just review my notes and take the practice exams for unit 2. And guess what? I got a 4.0 on that exam. I had an increase of 20% in my exam grade from the first exam to the second exam.
Biochemistry is a complicated subject to get a good grasp of, but with lots of practice and studying it isn't too bad. My advice for anyone taking BMB 401 is to watch all the lecture video while taking notes, read through those notes, and do all four practice exams Dr. Foley provides. It's going to be a long journey but if you spend the time and effort it'll be a rewarding experience.