Category: Biology

Challenges Associated with Biology as a Subject!

By Sarah J Mitchell
18 Apr, 2017
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Have you ever thought why biology is so boring? Or why are you even compelled to study the subject? What’s so interesting about it anyway? Well, it’s only natural to question so much about biology. It comprises various aspects of living organisms and what constitutes the living world and so on.

However, needless to say, biology is disliked by many because of the factual way it disseminates information to the students and how badly they score in the exams. Well, think about it? Would you really be interested in a subject so much if you scored badly in it? I guess it’s a hard no.

Why is biology so difficult and challenging?

However, in order to assess the difficulty level of the subject, it is first necessary to determine why it is so challenging to students. An answer might be because it is a part of the science group. This, however, is not a clear enough answer. Well, I remember disliking biology mainly because it constituted so much of cramming, especially for the diagrams where you had to remember each minute detail or marks would be deducted.

In order to assess such difficulties, listed below are the reasons why students find biology so challenging to tackle.

‘Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.’

Intimidating textbooks

Have you seen the size of the biology textbooks? Are they huge? As you progress through different standards, the size of the textbooks increases which is surely intimidating for kids. Anyone would be intimidated by those thick books which can be used as weapons! Students fairly judge the subject based upon such appearances which are why they find biology so challenging as they have to go through the entire book to learn something.

Fairly didactic

Remember sitting through the biology class and dozing off to sleep? Well, you are not to be blamed. It’s the course and the method that is responsible for it. Biology is mostly factual, and the teachers generally preach to the class. There’s very little scope for questions as the whole process of teaching the course is fairly didactic. So, the teacher-student interactions are restricted to minimum. No wonder it becomes so boring sitting in the class and listening to lectures.

Too many technical terms

Like all other science subjects, biology comprises of various technical terms which the students have to memorize; threes no way out of it. However, unlike other science subjects, the technical terms and scientific terms in biology are not that easy to remember, no matter how many mnemonics you use.  There countless scientific names you have to remember when it comes to trees and flowers which indeed confuse students and make them opt out of biology.

Not too much scope for thinking

Since the subject is mostly based on facts, there isn’t much scope for inquiry or critical thinking. Most of the reason for biological reactions and occurrences are provided along with the chemical reactions that enhance it. Other than some handful of topics like genetics, etc. there is hardly any scope for critical analysis which again bores the students and challenges them to stay awake.

Too many diagrams to remember

Have ever noticed a biology book without enough illustrations? If you are someone who hates drawing, then certainly don’t opt for it in high school.  The subject comprises of multiple diagrams from remembering the anatomy of a flower to drawing the helical structure of the human DNA. And the main problem is that you have to remember and memorize every minute detail of each of those diagrams to score in your exam.

Very little scope for experiments for students

The experiments in biology are very limited and also gross for some. Remember how as a kid you had to perform a photosynthetic experiment by keeping the plant in shadeand the sun and compare the results? Well, that is the good part of biology which has a definite result. But there are parts of biology which are gross and also has undefined outcomes. For example, the dissection of a frog or cockroach to identify some muscles is gross.

Another undefined experiment is the study of potato cells where you have to identify the phases they are in which is rather challenging and undefined.

Too many challenging topics

Biology comprises of several sub-topics which are rather challenging. The study of genetics and epigenetics, for example, is one such topic. It comprises of a number of questions more than facts and is rather confusing to the students, right out of high school. Other such topics include human anatomy, cell division and its various phases, genes and chromosomes, synthesis of DNA and so on.

Vast difference between college and school syllabus

Another challenge faced by students is when they graduate from high school and step into college or medical school to pursue a career in biology. There’s a vast difference in the practical teaching between these two classes of institution and the students face a rude shock. In college, there’s a lot of practice that the students have to indulge in which backs the theory classes which is quite in contrast to what they had in school. Thus, the students face difficulty adjusting to the new structure of teaching.

For dealing with other subjects as maths, you can also check out How to improve at your mathematics homework?

Interest last only for a while

No matter how enthusiastic a student is about biology, it does fade with time. This is one of the prime challenges that students encounter- to keep up their enthusiasm about learning biology throughout the school year. It is hard to be enthusiastic about a subject which is so full of facts and is so dull. Even the mode of teaching is not interesting enough for the students to actively participate and learn through the process.

Too diverse a subject

Needless to say, biology is a diverse subject which comprises of various things. It involves the study of plants, their behaviors, reproduction and such other things. It involves the study of living organisms, microscopic as well.  It also involves the study of ecology at the initial level. There’s also the study of cells, skeletal system, and various other topics. Thus, it is challenging for the students to keep up with the needs of these various topics.

Too much cramming

Unlike other science subjects, there are hardly any deductions that need to be made in biology. It mainly involves a whole lot of cramming which can be challenging to students who are used to an analytical and practical method of studying. It also hampers the cognitive ability of the students as it is hard to keep track of so many facts and remember every little intricate detail about it.

Not enough help available

Another challenge which many students face is that they are unable to find the requisite help that is required to study the subject. Since it is a factual subject, not many are too keen to help and assume that the students can work alone. However, if the students face such problem, they can turn to educational websites available online as they provide help under all circumstances.

Thus, biology is a challenging subject for the students to work on their own. However, with the right amount of help and mere dedication you will be able to surpass all hurdles to emerge victorious at the end of it.

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