What Is Biology?

Biology is one of the natural sciences. It focuses on living organisms and includes a wide variety of concepts, from physical structures of cells and chemical processes to physiological mechanisms and evolution. Biology studies the structures, processes, and functions of living organisms and how they interact with their environment.

Bio is derived from the Greek word bios meaning life or living organism. The beginning of biology can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Babylonians, who developed a very basic understanding of living organisms about 4000 years ago. However, the ancient Greeks also believed that matter was made up of smaller entities, such as atoms. In this view, different forms of matter, such as water, food, and air, were separate entities.

The academic field as it is known today has a long history, dating back to ancient times, although it came to prominence in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The word was first used in the 1700s by a Swedish scientist, and then by a German who translated Carl Linnaeus’ work. The increase in the use of the microscope, in the 1600s and 1700s, led to scientists’ explorations of cells, bacteria, and other tiny organisms. Many biologists do not consider themselves ‘biologists’, and some consider a specific branch of biology as a specialized field.

Biology is a big field to study and explore. There’s a lot you can learn about, and there are many opportunities in life to leverage what you learn. With so many different branches in the field of biology, a private biology tutor can help you feel comfortable as you examine topics in any of these. Some of the different topics in the overarching biological sciences include the study of the environment (ecology), animals (zoology), genetics, plants (botany), and many more. Evolutionary biology and research is well-known. The field of biology also includes topics like how drugs work in the body and how the body’s immune system works. The list below outlines a few of the branches of biology but is not an exhaustive list.

Subdisciplines of Biology

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry
  • Botany
  • Molecular biology
  • Immunology
  • Zoology
  • Pharmacology
  • Neuroscience
  • Microbiology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Cell biology
  • Genetics
microscope for biology

How to Approach Learning Biology

Learning biology can be broken down into several stages. First, it involves developing an appreciation of the “big picture” of the subject, including basic science. These include biology concepts such as life forms, genetics, and evolution. For instance, if you want to know how cells work, you have to be able to understand how cells function in an ecosystem, which includes environmental factors. This can start with learning about cellular energy and how the energy circulates in the environment. To understand this further, you also need to know about the role of proteins in the cell. This is where research and experiments become crucial. For instance, we need to know how to grow new cells that look and behave like the body’s cells.

Common Biology Homework Curriculum Topics

The majority of biology problems in each grade can be solved by using the same basic mechanisms and concepts. Thus, biology homework problems can be used as a springboard for discussion or as a jumping off point to investigate more in-depth topics and related concepts. Here are some examples of grade-appropriate biology homework questions:

  • What is embryology?
  • How are the body’s cells organized?
  • How are the liver and the lymphatic system connected?
  • What are the parts of the heart and blood vessels?
  • In biology, are chromosomes identical?
  • What causes cancer?
  • How can biology be used to increase overall intelligence?
  • How can we monitor the brain and its function during illness?
  • What are birth defects?
  • How do blood cells develop?
  • Who are bones made of?

Biology and Exam Testing Tips

There is no doubt that biology is a very difficult subject to grasp. This is especially true if you do not understand the concepts and how they are interconnected. The subject of biology has been used in both exam and assessment questions for a long time. The problem is that this was sometimes done haphazardly.

Biology students will likely face a number of standardized exams throughout the years from high school through graduate school. These tests have attributes that make them different from regular classroom tests, and when you prepare for them, it’s a good idea to do more than just content review. Your biology tutor can help you learn valuable test-taking techniques and strategies that can help you demonstrate your true ability level in the subject. These might include strategies to learn time management skills, how to review test’s structures, or even how to quickly eliminate questions in multiple choice exams.

Biology Student Curriculum FAQs

Certain science concepts are introduced at the elementary school grade level including biology, botany, zoology, and ecology among others. As part of their study of the life sciences, kindergarten children will often learn qualitative and quantitative observations, sources of energy, differences between living and nonliving things, different types of animals and their characteristics, and earth's materials and how living things use them.

At middle school grade levels biology curriculum often teaches students a number of important concepts pertaining to cells and heredity, the five kingdoms, human body systems, and ecology.  And a good biology tutor can help you or your child relate these concepts to topics they find interesting enabling them to become a better student.

In high school biology, students study a variety of life processes and learn how different organisms meet the challenges of living in their environment. Students learn to use laboratory equipment and materials to collect data and how to use a variety of data analysis skills to interpret data to form conclusions. High school biology goes into more detail than courses intended for younger students, and a tutor can share active learning strategies including reading exercises to help students retain more of the information especially for high school biology tests.

Even university and college students can benefit from biology tutoring as a refresher for more advanced topics such as biochemistry. Biology is often considered hard at the university and college levels because it involves a lot of unfamiliar concepts and requires mastering an unfamiliar vocabulary. Biology is often less math-intensive than chemistry or physics.

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How Do I Become a Biology Tutor?

If you have a passion for teaching others and love biology, becoming a biology tutor is easy. You need a minimum of a high school degree or GED to start teaching kindergarten and middle school grade levels. You may need a degree in a specialist subject for higher-level biology courses depending on the level of practice you plan to teach. The costs of biology tutors vary because you will set your pay rates and time schedules depending on your own experience and circumstances.

Your first step will be to decide which topics you’d like to tutor. Then choose the age groups and grade levels you want to teach. Learn the curriculum and critical concepts for those grade levels. And lastly, establish your teaching methods, tools, and eventually, you will create your own course materials over time as you get more experience working with students.

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