How to get good marks in science?

Science Success Step One

Attend every class and pay attention in order to get good marks in science.  If you are not getting enough sleep, you are probably not getting the most out of every class.  So go to bed earlier and get enough sleep so that you will already have absorbed most of the information while in class.  If anything is unclear, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification because chances are, many other people will probably have the same question.  You can either ask for help while the teacher is lecturing or after the lecture if you are shyer.  If you still do not understand, try to read it from the textbook, find another book on the library, or find the information on the internet.  Sometimes other people can explain the concept more clearly to you.

Science Success Step Two. 

Do all homework assigned.  That is one of the simplest, yet most effective, method of getting good marks in science.  Even if the homework is not for marks, you will benefit by practicing and doing the homework.  Only by practicing will your skills improve to the level that you will do well on exams and tests.  Remember to check your answer to see if you did anything wrong.  You may want to make a special note for questions where you answered incorrectly so that you can come back and review the error later and so that you don’t make the same mistake on the exam.  Before the exam, try to find some type of pretest either on the internet, in your textbook, or from your teacher.    You can also come up with your own pretest by thinking of potential questions that you think that the teacher will ask.  This is so that you practice all the concepts learned in a particular unit all at once and try to synthesize all the information learned.  You may find that you are rusty on certain points and may want to brush up on them after the pretest.

Science Success Step Three. 

Make a review sheet of key concepts.  By having a review sheet handy, your last-minute studying will be much easier.  Also, organizing the information for yourself is another level that helps you digest the information.  It’s up to you how much information you put on it, but try to put it in a succinct manner and have as many key ideas on it as you can.  Be innovative in how you draft your review sheet.  For example, it can be in the format of a table or perhaps some diagrams that summarize the key concepts.

Science Success Step Four. 

Review regularly and often to get good marks in science.  The most critical time to review concepts that you had just learned is right after learning it in order to consolidate the material.  Also review regularly afterwards.  This makes memorizing or internalizing concepts much easier before the exam because you will have tried to incorporate the learned material into your brain with as little effort as possible.  Cramming certainly works for some people but in the long run, you do not really remember much after the exam, and that information may actually be critical in your next course.  Therefore, it sets you off at a disadvantage immediately at the start of the next course.  Another critical time to review, though, is before the exam because you will get your brain juices ready to attack the questions.  Therefore, even though exclusive cramming is not the best, some cramming before your exam is actually beneficial.

Science Success Step Five. 

Taking time out for relaxation and exercise will enable you to get better marks in science.  Your marks may actually improve because you allowed your brain to get its required rest.   School shouldn’t only be about studying and getting high marks.  In fact, when applying for scholarships or other types of school, schools often look for leadership experience, community service, or excellence in some other field.  Therefore, have some fun, do some volunteering that you would enjoy, and enjoy the school experience as much as possible.  At the same time, though, do not go overboard and take on too many activities that you feel drained out.  Try to find a balance because then you will excel in your life as well as in school.

Science Success Step Six. 

Seek understanding over memorization in your quest to get high marks in science.  Whenever it is possible, try to understand how the teacher arrived at a particular conclusion or how they got a particular answer instead of just memorizing the answer.  See how they derived their conclusions.  It makes the studying much easier, and will be more fun, in general.  You will also seek to exercise your brain and allow it to think, which it is designed to do, rather than just plain rote memorization.  Try to see points from different angles.  Try to look for unity and patterns – where has such a concept appeared before?  It will make for a much more enjoyable learning experience.

Science Success Step Seven. 

Use each test as a learning experience.  Don’t be too disappointed if you did not do well on a particular test.  Use each as a stepping stone to greater success next time.  Learn from your mistakes and figure out how you can do better next time.  If you like, you can even go see your teacher to ask that person how you can improve and do better next time.

Science Success Step Eight. 

Remember that school is only a pavement for other tasks.  Therefore, do take some time out of your busy schedule from school to determine what you would like to do in life.  The tasks that you take to prepare for the next step of your career life may well make a difference to your ultimate career success.

Science Success Step Nine

Develop the answer writing skills in different categories of science

i. For definition

Principally give mathematically expression in physics e.g. define 1   pascal pressure

Let F= 1N, A= 1m2 then P= F/ A

                                           = 1N/ 1m2

                                             = 1Pa

Hence 1 pascal pressure is 1N force acting normally area of 1m2.

Similarly in chemistry give molecular formula, chemical reactions etc

Eg define compound

Compound is the substance formed by the combination of elements in fixed ratio by weight.

For example water is a compound formed by the combination of two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen

2H2+ O2       –>      2H2O

Similarly in biology give examples and draw sketch where ever possible.

Eg define pseudopodia

Pseudopodia are the locomotor organs of prozoans like amoebia.

ii. Similarly differences are to be written in three columns

Eg write differences between force an pressure

Basis Force Pressure
DefinitionExternal agency which tend to pull or push an objectForce acting normally per unit area

iii. Solving reasoning questions

Reasoning questions test your understanding level. Donot start your answer with because, write the question statement and only use because.

For example:

Acids are sour in taste. Why?

= Acids are sour in taste because they give hydrogen ion when dissolved in water

iv. Drawing/ sketches

Draw sketches with pencil and label with it. Use well sharpened pencil. Draw sketches in portrait form. Sketches in left hand side and labeling of parts in right hand side. If it is chemistry drawing donot miss to write reaction at the base of the figure.

v. Describing experiments

Describing a experiment is the place where most of the students fail out. The sequence is objective, materials required, theory/principle, procedure, observation and findings and conclusion. The procedure is to be written in simple past passive voice in a paragraph. Most of the students write in points which are actually a wrong method. If sketches are there it should be presented just aside the procedure.

vi. Making copy look smart

Draw margins 1 inch on both left and right and demarcation lines after each answer. Donot jump on question number and do not write half of the answer of same question in one place and half answer in another place. Do question serially.

Getting good marks is in science, of course, not an end-all-and-be-all, but it does bolster your self-confidence and does prepare you for other more challenging endeavors in life.

Narayan Sapkota ( Association of Science teachers Nepal, STAN) Science teacher, Sudesha School


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