Help. Microbiology


Hello, I'm currently enrolled in a 8week course in microbiology and didn't get the grade I wanted in my first exam. How did you guys study for this course. I feel like this course is more difficult for me then a&p.

Any study tips would help so much and advice

thank you.

Lecture or lab? What are you having trouble with, exactly?

How I studied depended on what I was studying. If it was the history of Micro, I'd do stuff like flash cards, if it was pro vs. eu I'd do compare/contrast, if it was gram staining, I'd do steps, if it was biochem testing, I'd do lists.

Specializes in Orthopedics, Trauma.

Flashcards were my best friends in microbiology. What diseases are associated with certain bacteria? What are the shapes are cocci, bacilli, etc...? What do the prefixes strep, staph, etc.. mean? What do gram-negative or gram-positive stains mean? Practice, practice, practice! You can do this. :)


394 Posts

I agree with your post. I am also enrolled in an 8 week Microbiology course and it ends July 6th. I feel like I struggle with lecture too and my 2nd exam grade was definitely not what I wanted, but better than I expected (but that's my own fault) because that exam was hard. This time around for the 3rd exam I am trying to watch videos for lecture to see if that helps and also making flash cards. I'm following this post to see what others also suggest on some other ways to study better. I also feel this class is more difficult than A&P but WE can do this! :)


1 Article; 365 Posts

Many people do find this course to be difficult. First off, are PowerPoints for your class provided or do you have to take notes by hand individually? How did you study for your first exam?

My class had PowerPoints that were provided, but they had missing blanks which were given while my professor lectured. I would jot down any other little notes as needed. I also recorded the lectures. Admittedly, I never had to listen to them because I was really engaged in the lecture portion already (so much in fact that I really did not have to study much for the exams). I feel like this helped me to actively learn and make connections. Any question my professor asked, I would try to answer. It may also help if you scan and/or even read the chapter/PowerPoint before coming to class. You'll have exposed yourself to the material at least once and may be able to pinpoint some questions.

My professor made us make actual disease cards for each of the ones we had to know. Systems affected, S/S, Prevention/Treatment, etc. This was actually done in groups of between 2 and 4 people. While this definitely helped to lighten the workload, you may find you need to alter their set up to work for you and do not forget to double check that they didn't miss anything. Mistakes can happen.

My final for this class was largely case studies about the diseases we had to know. My professor made us separate the diseases by system and look for common S/S, Treatments, Transmission, Prevention, etc. From there, we had to look for how they were different. I am so glad that she told us to do this because it saved so much study time.

Some tips that I used to get an A consisted of me staying engaged during lecture, asking questions and trying to answer any that were asked, comparing and contrasting info, lumping info together when possible, visiting office hours, doing extra handouts she provided, reviewing the lecture/lab material within 24 hrs., and using a whiteboard (I would actually talk out loud while writing anything I needed to). I learned the information so I could "teach" it in theory to someone else if needed. I would even think of mock questions. If you are able to do this then you have moved past the learning stage.

Has 4 years experience.

My instructor provided powerpoint slides for her lecture. I recorded the lecture with the recorder app on my surface (can use phone too) and I used the comment function (under review) to add additional notes or remarks my instructor made during the lecture that weren't included on the PP. I found OneNote at the end of the course which made it even better. As soon as possible after class, I would listen to the lecture and then add in anything I missed and highlighted the things she repeated or specifically said "know this." I also used the online study modules provided by the textbook publisher and almost always did the end of chapter review in the book. I put in a ton of hours studying for micro.

My instructor was above par as far as college instructors go, so she gave short answer essay questions as homework and these were always what was on the exams. So if you did well on the homework, you could expect to do well on the exam. If you did poorly on a homework question, you could study that weakness and ace it on the exam. That class was truly the best educational experience I have had, and I have a previous Bachelor's Degree. So if you have a crappy instructor, it can make it difficult. I had that issue with A&P.

Another option to help is concept mapping. I just learned about these and think that they would have been very helpful for me in my pre-reqs and plan to use them extensively in pharmacology this fall. These especially help if you are a kinesthetic learner.

Finally, look at quizlet and EZ Notecards for practice study questions. You can find test questions that are specific to your textbook on there and are great for practicing for the exams.

If you have specific issues, let us know and we will see if we can help.

Trust I understand how you feel Hearthappiness, I'm taking micro right now and I failed my 1st major exam also. I'm gone change up a few of my study habits and hopefully that helps me out. I try to write everything over cause I've found that helped me in other classes I took however micro just has a lot of info and it's hard for me to write everything over from class. I keep telling myself I can pass this class other people our doing it. I'm praying that we both can find a way to pass Microbiology. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Josh Apple

3 Posts

First I studied the power points. Then I wrote down everything I had difficulty understanding after reading the power points a few time. This will help you control the time spent studying on the material that needs to understood.

Hope it helps, and remember to completely wash your hands in lab :)

Specializes in Med/Surg, PCU, Research. Has 4 years experience.

Hi there,

I'm currently taking Microbiology, and its tough. I record the lectures, and pretty much write everything down lol. I go back and reread until I can answer questions correctly. Doing this has helped me get B's on my test so far. Hope this helps.