For medical career aspirants it is a no-brainer that Biology is the most important subject in Class 11th and 12th. This article will focus on things to keep in mind during preparation with some insight into scope of biology in biotechnological fields.
The biology paper is for 70 marks (theory) in CBSE and the following is the weightage of the individual chapters. Reproduction (14 marks – 20%), Genetics and Evolution (18 marks – 25%), Biology and Human Welfare (14 marks – 20%), Biotechnology and its Applications (10 marks – 15%) and Ecology and Environment (14 marks – 20%). In AIPMT, 90 questions are asked in Biology (Botany + Zoology) with each question 4 marks.
Notes and Diagrams
Preparing notes at the time of teaching would become very useful in a conceptually dependent subject like Biology. Not only does it help in the process of remembering the terms while writing, it also helps in the student’s last minute preparation strategies. This subject is heavy on theory so to facilitate the student’s consistent interest, it is useful to draw diagrams and to base the preparation structure around them. Repeated practice of drawing diagrams can help drawing neatly. Diagrams and labeling are also asked in entrance exams like AIPMT and AIIMS. A question might have a huge theoretical answer but this can be reduced to a simple explanative answer by drawing the necessary diagrams (case in point – DNA structure, cell biology etc.).
Chapters like Genetics and Biotechnology need to be understood well to make them easy. They go hand in hand and hence should be prepared together. The chapters that carry 14 marks each (reproduction, ecology and human welfare) are broad which contain a lot of detailed sub topics and hence should be prepared first.
Do not try to cram the subject as it will make you miss out on important points for exam. Instead, prepare on a consistent basis of at least 2 to 3 weeks prior to the exam. Participate in the class as some of the concepts can be brought out clearly on clarifications from the teachers. It is also a healthy practice to compare notes and ask doubts among friends as ideas when shared lead to more ideas.
If you know your concentration is going to wander of course it is better to take breaks in between topics. During these breaks try to recollect what was studied and/or try practicing diagrams and be resourcefully productive.
One strong advice from alumni would be to create “flashcards” for remembering definitions and labeling parts in diagrams. It is better to take notes in class in points/bullets as the order of answers fetches you more marks. It is important to revise the course at least 3 times before an examination. For lengthy biological names use mnemonics. Break up the names in a way that will aid in remembering them.
Past year papers
It is a good practice to sit and write the past year exam and sample papers with a timer set to simulate the exam day. This will help in creating awareness of time management and will help relieve stress caused due to availability of less time in answering theoretical long answer type questions.
The 30 marks of Practical exam can be easily scored if one pays attention in the lab classes. Even though you will be assigned lab partners, it is important to experience firsthand as the final examination will only be that way.
Biology can also be taken up by engineering aspirants looking to continue in the field of biotechnology. Biotechnology has courses like Cell Biology, Microbiology, Immunology, Genomics etc. which were having their foundation in class 11 and class 12 Biology. Largest numbers of Biotech students have found careers in research fields in various universities and laboratories. They are funded well by both government and private organizations both in India and abroad. Biotech careers are also found in Pharmaceuticals industries, Medical Coding and drug testing facilities. Hence the engineering aspect of biology is also very much an option for students to consider.
Toppr wishes all the students the very best in their board exam preparations!