The diversity of material covered in science classes can seem daunting to those just entering the field. For those endeavoring to specialize in a science discipline, this perplexity may just compound and grow as you realize how little we really know about these complex fields. While mastering the basic foundations of a science subject can be challenging, building on these foundations and exploring the interconnectedness of the sciences can make these subjects seem even murkier.
Initial introductions can make science seem deceptively straightforward, neatly partitioning the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth and space science. Students can choose courses in any one of these fields, learning the rudimentary principles upon which our understanding of the world is built. Even these introductory topics, however, can be challenging. The prevalent “how” and “why” questions presented in science courses demand the rapid development of a critical thinking mindset. Students must look beyond the list of terminology and formulas to memorize and begin exploring the interactions between these fundamentals in the real world. Simply memorizing Newton’s second law (force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration) is quite a different feat than applying this principle to understand the force dynamics involved in a car accident.
The real-world implications of basic science principles lead some students to venture for higher education in the sciences. While advanced science coursework frequently requires students to focus on a specialty, this targeted nature can actually complicate students’ studies. For example, the more closely one studies genetics, the more one must understand the molecular and cellular processes related to genetic coding and inheritance. This requires the acquisition of skills in biochemistry and molecular biology, well beyond the scope of the basic genetics principles that one may have initially mastered. Similarly, comprehending processes like chemical kinetics require a understanding of thermodynamics, energetics, and and other physics concepts. The more specialized one’s studies become, the more interconnected the concepts become. Biological processes inherently relate via physiology, while simultaneously having fundamental roots in chemical interactions. Subsequently, these chemical mechanisms balance the realms of inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry principles, while ultimately relying on nuclear and quantum physics. The fundamental physics principles upon which these processes rely become incomprehensible without an understanding of their applications, meaning that even the physicists must gain an understanding of the real-world chemical, biological, and physical realms with which their fields interact.
Whether you are a middle school student learning the first concepts of the cell, a high school student venturing into the world of laboratory practices, an undergrad delving into the intricacies of organic chemistry, or a graduate student pursuing novel research, the sciences can prove immensely challenging. By challenging the way we approach problems and apply the knowledge that we gain, these subjects can easily pose obstacles against academic success. If you are looking for help in your science courses, the Learning Tools database offered by Varsity Tutors may be a good place to start. Our practice tests and questions cover a wide range of science courses, exams, and material for students of all ages and backgrounds. We offer a variety of question formats, modeled after real exams, to help you practice. You can choose to focus on individual concepts in order to tackle specific problem areas, or you can choose to take randomized tests to prepare for more cumulative exams. Each question comes with a thorough explanation of the tested concept, helping enhance comprehension and preparing you to excel in future questions of that type. Working through the sciences can be difficult, but Varsity Tutors’ science help may be able to boost your performance.