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    Hi I am a struggling dyslexic student looking for tips on studying biology at uni.

    This is my academic experience as a uni student:

    I have just started 2nd year of my biology degree, and I am not enjoying it! Although I find the subject interesting, I get so stressed out listening to lectures because it is information overload all the way through and my brain constantly switches off. This is not helped by my dyslexia, which means my working memory is poor and can not remember what the lecturer has just said 1 second after, especially if I am trying to write notes at the same time.

    If you study biology, you probably know that we have to know EVERYTHING said in the lecture for the exams. Luckily all my lectures are recorded, but even when re-watching and running it back again and again I still miss stuff the lecturer says or can't make any sense of the sounds/words they are making! + this takes up a lot of time!

    Last year I got a first but I want to do things differently this year! My first came from writing everything in every lecture down (taking up most of the days of my holidays and the week before exam week) Actual exam week was like living in a prison in hell, I was going mad writing stuff down for the whole day, every day with only lunch, dinner and toilet breaks. I would then look at the one past paper we are allowed for each exam and not have a clue, until I had read through all my revision notes for that exam the day before or the morning of the exam day! (Since I only finished them the day before each exam). I feel like any more pressure and I would have failed the exam- a first or nothing technique! I am anticipating the same again for january exams this year .

    This year I have tried writing lectures up properly as I go, but am way behind!

    Does anyone have tips for concentrating on and revising biology lectures please? Or does anyone have similar experiences? Especially if you are dyslexic or also have a learning disability.

    I don't want a first, I just want to pass without too much suffering!

    It sounds like you're just not an auditory learner. Neither am I. I'm much more of a visual learner so I had to print out lecture slides and highlight them in neon colours. Do your lecturers upload slides/notes on the the student intranet? That might be the best solution for you. If they don't upload them, it might be worth explaining your situation and asking if they could give you printed copies? I just went to some lectures for attendance reasons and stopped viewing them as my primary learning activity and viewed them as supplementary to the notes. Luckily our slides for each lecture were uploaded before the lecture so I studied them and then when I attended the lecture I didn't stress about it and just allowed whatever information to sink in and didn't worry about the rest that went completely over my head.

    Edit: Also, Biology is one of the worst subjects to listen to lectures about if you're not an auditory learner. My first degree was in humanities - so there weren't vast amounts of facts/figures and things that you had to memorize, and even sitting through humanities lectures was difficult as a visual learner. Now I'm studying Biology at degree level and I study it all via visual learning (no lectures) - I can't imagine trying to learn this stuff through auditory learning, it would just go in one ear and out the other. It's different for different people but I don't think very many people can learn science subjects purely through auditory learning - you need to see concepts on paper - especially with long words and definitions. For example, with the emulsification/digestion/absorption of fats I have to see the diagrams on paper and look at the labels and figures, with things such as that you can't just be expected to listen to how it happens and understand it all - you need to see it.
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Updated: October 25, 2015
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