Parasitology—the study of parasites and their relationships to their hosts—is one of the most fascinating areas of biology. It is also one of the most complex. Understanding life cycles is challenging, and you will not become proficient in it unless you utilize all of the study materials and work with them on a regular basis. Also, it is in your best interest to attend all lectures and labs!
Keep in mind that my exams will require you to be able to synthesize and apply knowledge to answer many of the questions. Modern science requires critical thinking skills and the questions are designed to encourage development of those skills. They are not intended to "trick" you, but rather to make you think critically in a scientific context.
How do you prepare for questions that require reasoning (application, analysis, or synthesis) rather than mere rote memory answers? Don't just read and re-read your notes until they are familiar. Instead, study with a purpose. Practice self-testing. Draw lifecycles and label the stages. Write your own exam. Use the additional information and other learning aids on this website to learn the material. Keep your lab notebook up to date. Study with your group or form a separate study group.
Make time to meet with your group. Take seriously your "job" of working with your team members (and consider forming a study group).
Monitor your progress in Canvas. In particular, monitor your performance on exams. If you did not do as well on your first exam as you expected, don't panic. Talk to me. If you do poorly on the second exam as well, you should re-evaluate your position and preparation.
Consider taking advantage of free on-campus tutoring, especially the STEM learning center in SCI 1009: Click here (this is an external link).The tutoring center can be reached at (303) 615-1919.
Parasites are amazing creatures!
You will learn a lot this semester. Let's work together to make that happen.