Biochem 2B03: Nucleic Acid Structure and Function

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Rating: 4 out of 5.
Dr. Rosa da Silva (Fall, 2020)

Biology 2B03 is basically Biology 1A03 with more detailed modules. Time management and persistence are essential to do well in this course. Although group and tutorial assignments are relatively easy to do well in, memorizing weekly modules is where most of the time is consumed and can be stressful. During fall 2020, the midterms for BIO 2B03 were only 50 minutes long, with 30 multiple choice questions and 10 mark short q/a. Although many multiple-choice questions were straight to the point, others (esp. short q/a) required critical thinking. My tip to do great in the course is to NOT slack at any point, memorize weekly modules as soon as they are posted and have a study group (or frequently revise module material), so during the test, you spent the least amount of time thinking about one question. I personally got exhausted doing 30 mc questions, so my advice would be to attempt short q/a first, as this is where most students lose marks during the tests! Another tip I used was to make flashcards (I used Anki) to memorize different proteins, their abbreviation and their functions; otherwise, everything will become overwhelming! Make flowcharts for some modules content as well. Dr. Silva also conducted weekly office hours; I’d say even if you don’t have a question, go to the office hours and just listen. Dr. Silva actually takes time explaining complex content in detail. In short, take this course seriously, manage time, use active learning strategies, don’t be scared to ask questions, and you’ll be golden.

Textbook: Not required

Methods of Evaluation: Tests, assignments, group projects, weekly quizzes

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Dr. Hope & Dr. Singh (2017)

Very good course to get the foundations for understanding molecular biology techniques used in lab today. There’s a lot of content in this course, so make sure to keep up with the lecture notes and don’t leave all the studying to the day before the midterms – you won’t have enough time.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Dr. Hope & Dr. Singh (Fall, 2018)

Fall 2018 with professors Singh and Hope. Tldr; GO TO LECTURES. Profs are amazing, very good at explaining concepts and have really good slides. Slides are enough, the textbook is good for clarifying concepts but not really necessary if you pay attention in class. The textbook does have a lot of extra detail so you have to fish out the relevant bits. Office hours are held by TAs and are useful for one to one attention and the TAs are great at handling questions. The midterms are fair if you study the lecture notes well. The group assignment is based on papers which are so tedious to read, you do need to spend a fair bit of time to understand the paper. The exam is where most people stumble, you have to understand the papers the profs go over in class, it can be hard but overall is a great course; well structured, good profs, easy to do well if you put in effort.

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