Thankfully they have removed the grading matrix and the course is much more straightforward.
Lesley's lectures are very content heavy and I had to watch the recording so that I could pause and make sure I got all the details. Prasad's lectures also have a lot of content but he doesn't squish so much detail into every second of the lecture like Lesley. Jimmy is a hilarious man but if you are new to plant biology then the lectures will be difficult to understand. Just make sure you stay focused during his lectures if you're in this boat because there are lots of details that you can lose that are examinable. I highly recommend putting your lecture notes into a quiz format like Anki or Quizlet so that you can test yourself before assessments.
Definitely go to PASS class. The tutors are students and did really well in the course, so they have a lot of great tips on how to remember key concepts and just general "remember this/you don't need to remember this". I stopped going around mid-semester due to laziness and missed out on a 7 by 2%, I reckon if I kept going I would have remembered an extra concept or two to get me over the line.
These are great because they cover big questions that are very examinable. The questions require you to recall knowledge of different concepts and show you how everything works together. Also a great opportunity to make friends. You could maybe skip one or two if you have to but definitely don't make it a habit.
Make sure you get to your prac on time so that you have good lab partners. Also - your tutor is your best friend. Make sure you have a copy of the lab report handy and ask them as many questions as you need to ensure that you cover everything you need to. Your first report will feel really hard - don't worry, they get easier as you learn how much detail you need to go into and what questions you need to ask in your pracs. Your lab reports make up a big percentage of your overall mark and they can be pretty stressful given you have to hand them in within 48 hours. If you can, pick a Friday prac so that you have the weekend to work on it. Main takeaway: pay attention in your prac and write down everything your tutor says!
The personal response is a weird format, but once you get in the groove of the tone of voice it comes quickly. Make sure you listen to every audio file and choose the one that genuinely interests you the most. The powerpoint presentation will take you more time than you think. Spend at least a week on it, two weeks is even better. Make sure your data tables/graphs are clear and easy to understand. Prac reports are covered in the prac section above. Definitely do past exam papers to prepare for the final exam and use UQ attic to check your answers (sometimes they're up for debate, check with your PASS tutor if you're still not sure of the right answer). UQ attic isn't super reliable but gives you a good idea of how well you did. I also can't recommend using a quiz format to revise - I used Anki exclusively for my lecture notes and found it super-duper useful. I also used an iPad to draw out key processes like hormone release and found that pretty useful, especially when you use colour coordination.
Overall, this is a pretty fun unit if you pay attention and consistently study. They do a great job of laying the core foundations of biology but make sure you stay on top of it as they cover a lot of content. Very interesting but also very tiresome.
Semester 2 - 2021
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
NO MORE GRADING MATRIX. I think this has made the course a lot easier: if you study regularly, you should do well. This is a CONTENT HEAVY course, but the modules all complement each other and intertwine. By the time you get to the endocrinology unit, you basically know everything about it already, you just have to learn the specific hormones. The aims of the course and the content are made clear. Just don't get behind and study regularly, and it shouldn't be too difficult.
1. LECTURES: GO TO THEM.
It will help you absorb and retain the information so much more, especially since this is a knowledge based course. I found the content to be delivered clearly and structured well. The plant module was random, but very interesting- Jimmy is a hilarious lecturer!
2. FINAL EXAM:
KNOW HOW ALL MODULES ARE CONNECTED! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT'S ON THE EXAM. The exam will give you a few scenarios, with a set of questions that integrates all the concepts that you have studied.
3. PASS: GO TO IT!
- Pass is good to pick out the most important information so you can cut down your study list, as well as refresh your memory.
- The tutors are engaging and good at explaining concepts.
4. PRACS: Get a Friday prac!
- Unless you work both Saturday and Sunday, a Friday prac will give you so much more time to work on your reports, rather than having to fit it in around other classes during the week.
- Read the discussion questions before choosing what experiment to run. Chose the experiment that is relevant to the discussion questions.
- In terms of content, the pracs are pointless and don't help with learning concepts, but they were fun and an easy 3% each.
- Take it or leave it. I found them helpful for reinforcing information and exam style, but you could just as easily take the sheet and google the answers in your own time (which many people did).
- There are a few workshops in the final weeks that tell you exactly what they want you to write on the exam, which was helpful.
6. PERSONAL RESPONSE/eCONFERENCE
- Personal response: interesting, but pointless. Not relevant to the main course content.
- eConference: Don't bother going to the Saturday conference. The speaker was interesting, but it had no relevance to the assessment task, or any other content in the course. GET A GOOD GROUP. I cannot stress this enough. This is a relatively easy assessment piece so long as your group works together well. When asking questions to other group members, make sure you actually read their report, chuck in some specific terms and language and you'll be fine.
7. MASTERING BIOLOGY
I've heard that some people found this resource really helpful at explaining things, but I didn't personally use it. The quizzes are a waste of time and a little more difficult than you'd expect, but I don't know anyone who cared.
How to study for the exam:
a) Know everything from the PASS sheets = guaranteed to just pass the exam.
b) You will do an 'integration' prac, where you make connections between all the systems. Learn everything, all the processes to great depth, on this.
c) Don't ignore any information you were taught. A short answer question may come from a seemingly insignificant piece of information on the bottom corner of a slide.
Overall, this was an interesting course and if you study regularly throughout semester and attend lectures and pass, then you should do well.
Semester 2 - 2016
BSc (Zoology and Marine Science)
Nope. Google will suffice unless you are really struggling with content
All the reviews below will go on about the horrors of the grading matrix. From 2016, THERE IS NO GRADING MATRIX FOR BIOL1040! Because of this there are many changes, and trust me your life will be a lot easier now. The weightings for assessment items are spread evenly, however this requires you to work consistently throughout the semester, but unlike previous years, you will have more leeway.
Lectures - this course has many lecturers, some good, some bad (not naming anyone here). I would highly recommend going to the lectures and even of you can't make it, watch them at home. Although lecture slides have a great deal of information on them, the lecturers often add in information (some of which can come up on the final exam or in the quizzes). Plus, they do clicker questions in the lectures which are a great way to check whether you actually absorbed anything.
Pracs - how well you do in the pracs depends on how well you know your stuff, whether you read the criteria properly, and how good your tutor is. Most of the pracs require you to design your own experiment, so read the prac manual and lecture content before coming, and have some idea of your experimental design, it will save you a whole lot of stress. Given that you only have 48 hours to write the report, make sure you clarify anything you don't understand with your tutor before leaving and set aside a block of time (e.g. 3 hours) to write it. When you receive feedback, listen to it closely so you know how to improve for next time.
Personal Response/eConference - both of these assessments were absolute jokes. All I can say is read the criteria carefully and get clarification of anything you don't understand. The personal response appeared easy at first, but many people didn't do well on it because they didn't read the criteria (not to mention it was a subjective assignment). In regards to the eConference - FIND A GOOD GROUP! This assignment is time intensive, requiring you to find, get approval, read, understand and write about 2 articles and create a powerpoint, and there is nothing worse than ending up having to do all that because you have slack team members. Getting your topic approved by your tutor is also a nightmare, and be prepared for knockback after knockback (not to mention losing marks if your topic is approved after a certain date). Communication between tutors and students was poor, due to the fact most of the tutors were med/research students and had their own coursework to do. Get everything done quickly, and leave plenty of time for editing/asking questions. The eConference also came at a really crap time in the semester, as it was due around the time every other subject had assessment, so plan your time well. Note: the eConference and the personal response now contribute to 26% of your overall grade, so try to do well.
PASS/Workshops - GO TO PASS! Without PASS, I'm not sure whether I would have passed the course. Some of the PASS leaders are great, and often give you tips and tricks on how to remember stuff. Plus the sheets given out in PASS were great study materials for the final exam. Workshops were an absolute joke, I learned nothing from them. The only way you're going to benefit from the workshops is if you read the previous weeks material before coming, otherwise there is no point. Not to mention the workshop sheets covered stuff that we hadn't learnt yet or would not appear in the final (and yet we somehow had to magically know it). Workshop sheets were not helpful for final exam study.
Quizzes/Final - The platform for the quizzes (Mastering Biology) was horrid. Too slow and froze up often, which sucks when you're trying to complete a quiz in 30 minutes. The quiz design was also terrible. You couldn't go back to questions, which often meant you guess and move on, leaving a significant amount of time at the end. Although I would recommend using the non-cumulative quizzes as final exam study. Thanks to the thousands of complaints about the grading matrix, the final exam weighting has been reduced to 50%. Despite this, there is a lot of content covered in the exam and you cannot cram. Past exam papers, mastering biology quizzes and PASS sheets are all you need and remember to revise everything! Even if it is insignificant, it may appear. Also, the number of questions from each module are proportionate to the time spent on the module e.g. there were many questions about nervous systems, but not so many about locomotion.
This course has been notorious at UQ for many years with good reason. Having been part of the last class to take it with the stupid grading matrix, I am eternally glad to see the back end of the grading matrix. Biology courses are generally information overload, especially this one. Take deep breaths, go through your notes regularly, keep up a good work ethic and you'll get out of BIOL1040 alive and in relatively one piece. Be forever thankful to the people before you who took this course and fought for the change, so you don't have to suffer like we did.
Semester 2 - 2015
BSc (Biomedical Science)
Recommended, or least watch at home
Absolutely - textbook expands on stuff in lectures and is assessable. Also really good at explaining concepts.
This course was very interesting content wise. It was also a great introduction to biology and set my knowledge base nicely for more advanced medical physiology. However the grading system is awfully unfair and unnecessary. I received a 5 overall grade after I achieved 7 for the assignments, a 6 (81% to be exact) for the final exam and a 5 for the very boring unrelated practical classes. Objectively as is possible for someone writing a review - this is a very unfair grade for someone who quite clearly knew the content well. Marking for the practicals was pedantic, and not a realistic view on how to write scientific reports or papers, any skills I learned in the practicals - which were few were very quickly superseded by further study and this section of the course brought my grade down significantly. Very disappointing for a subject that content wise is one of the most interesting. All bias aside - assuming I did deserve a low grade for practicals, I still would have received a 6 in any other course at university for these grades if it wasn't for the purposeless grading matrix.
Semester 1 - 2011
I really liked the course content and found it very interesting but hated this course. Although I heard only bad things about the course prior to completing it (high fail rates, hard grading matrix etc), As I was only hoping for a pass because, I went in treating it like any other course. I did not attend lectures, PASS or workshops. I prefer to watch all of the material online and gather information from other resources so that is what I did two weeks before the exam. I found the final exam to be very stressful as there were a lot of questions in such a short time but if you know your stuff, you're fine. As I completed in semester two, I found the plant module to be so unnecessary.
Semester 2 - 2015
Exercise and Nutrition
While this is, without a doubt, a content heavy and difficult course, take the claims of a high failure rate and doom and gloom with a grain of salt. The failure rate is less than 10% and most people end up with a 5 or 6; easily achievable with consistent and conscientious work throughout the semester. What confuses and frustrates people is the complex grading matrix, designed to normalise the distribution of grades. With that in mind, to do well you need to focus on finding a standard that you can achieve consistently and work to that. Focussing too heavily on practicals or the eConference and leaving the content to the last minute, or vice versa, will end in tears.
Definitely attend lectures. If you can't and plan to listen to the recordings (which are consistently recorded and uploaded), do not fall behind. Set aside time in your week to make sure you're up to date. All of the assessed content is in the lectures, and every single thing is important. Your PASS leaders will tell you to study *everything*. They are absolutely right and you should not underestimate this. One of the short answer questions this semester required knowledge from the bottom of one slide in the middle of a movement lecture that the lecturer brushed over in passing. You need to read every slide and know everything. Taking good notes or getting a copy from someone who does will make this easier.
The practicals are frustrating and rely heavily on which tutor you get. Some don't like to offer too much support leaving you flying blind which is pretty stressful. Others are supportive and positive and give great feedback. As unfair as it is, there's not much you can do except complain in you SECaT, so try to be as prepared as possible. Read the lab preparation material, make sure you're up to date with the lecture material, go through the relevant textbook chapters, and, when in doubt, don't be afraid to Google terms or techniques you're unfamiliar with (there are some great resources on doing a haematocrit online which made the first prac just that little bit less intimidating).
eConference was, by far, the worst part of this course. The advice from everyone is to choose your group members wisely and this can't be stressed enough. It's a huge amount of work while trying to coordinate your schedule with strangers, in a very short space of time. Make friends as soon as you can. If you're taking this in second semester and reading this early, take the time now to connect with people you get along with and who work hard in your classes. Don't underestimate how little time there is and how much there is to do. As soon as you're registered you only have a week and a half to comb through research papers to find a suitable topic. Many tutors will knock back any early proposals you make purely on principle to force you to read more widely. It's a demoralising and stressful process, so be prepared and start immediately to minimise the damage. You then have three weeks to coordinate with your group members, write 1500 words, and do a 10-page PowerPoint slide. It's awful. Start immediately. Use Google docs.
The online program used for the intrasemester quizzes is what really lets the learning materials down. The textbook, worksheets, content of the quizzes, and background materials are all fantastic and helpful, but the quizzes make up 15% of your grade (which isn't much, but with an 85% final you need every mark you can get) and Mastering Biology is a mess. It's slow and clunky, and given the difficulty of the questions and the time limit, that painful snail's pace can have a pretty big impact on how well you do. And you get to pay an extra $50, on top of course fees and the textbook, for the privilege. My best advice would be to be well prepared, stay as calm as you can, and move through the questions as quickly as you can without panicking.
Overall, though, the content is really interesting, particularly if you're taking it to go further with biomedical or health sciences, and provides you with a solid core knowledge to get you through your second year. While it's difficult to juggle the seemingly endless assessment tasks and short timeframes, if you can find a system and a pace that works for you then you'll be set up to do well through your second and third year. Lesley and Prasad are helpful and easy to talk to, and despite the course's reputation, are invested in seeing students do well and get a lot out of the course. While you don't want to underestimate the workload and leave yourself with the impossible task of trying to cram at the end, definitely don't panic because of its reputation.
Semester 2 - 2015
BSc (Biochemistry)/BA (Anthropology)
Yes, and the electronic version is a lot cheaper
This course is really not that bad! I dreaded this course so much in the beginning because how bad people made it sound but they really were just exaggerating. This course is fair, by that I mean if you put in effort, you are gonna get what you deserve. Some people say they would be able to get a 7 in other courses but can only get a 5 in this course, I doubt if they really tried.
I love how this course combined different modules and had different lecturers instead of just one person talking for the whole semester. The plant and developmental module were the best but we didn't have much. The other modules that Lesley and Prasad taught are really basic and I'm sure you've learned it in high school biology. So I don't really think this course is content-heavy because the stuff was really fundamental.
So what makes this course difficult is of course the econference stuff. CHOOSE your teammates wisely. If you end up with someone you don't know and lazy, you are definitely going to have a tough time. But if you can get through this smoothly, the rest is gonna be easy. The pracs will give you a first impression of "difficult and not enough time", but it all gets better over time. The hardest one prac will be the first osmosis prac and the rest are relatively easy because you gradually get the hang of writing a report. My tutor has been very helpful and did not give harsh marks at all. Even though it sounds crazy to have all A's on the grading matrix to let you get a 7, it is not that hard to get A if you try.
The mastering biology quizzes are meh...First of all you have to pay $50 to access them and the website looks so outdated. The questions are really difficult and you have time limit for each quiz. The worst part is that you cannot go back to the previous question once you submit it. Fortunately the quizzes only weigh 15% of the marks and will not drag you down too much if you screw up.
There are always rumors about the final exam like "it will be 10 times harder than the sample exam full of unexpected questions". DON'T BELIEVE THAT. The final exam I took this year is really nicely designed to test our understanding on what we have learned and is not there to "f**k you up". All of the content on the exam CAN be studied for. However, you should expect to know a lot more details for this course than other courses because there are traps everywhere. What you think is less likely to occur on the exam probably will rock up. Just do not assume anything won't be on the exam. Study for everything.
Also some people say it will be terrible or almost impossible to do both BIOL1020 and BIOL1040 together. But I found doing them at the same time helped me a lot and made it all easier. Just by judging the content, BIOL1020 actually has a lot more chapters than BIOL1040. If you have to take 2 biology courses at the same time and willing to put in some effort, you will be fine.
Semester 1 - 2015
yes it is helpful
Not as bad as many say it is. Don't listen to them because they are exaggerating. This course is not for the lazy though, so be prepared to work very hard. Content is not difficult to understand however there is so much of it that you'd wish you had photographic memory. In the end it's all just memorization for the final; no pre-existing intelligence or awesome critical thinking skills required much.
I actually approve of the grading matrix unlike a lot of other students. It's there for a reason so don't fall victim to something designed for your own good. If you work hard enough you will do well; there is far too much raging and complaining with regards to the grading matrix by students who like it easy.
The worst thing about the course however is the biohorizons econference (not an oral assessment by the way). If you end up in a group with lazy team members like I did, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take on most of the work and do it well to not screw up your chances of getting a good grade for the course overall. I also did not enjoy the practicals which were very tedious and boring. Prac reports were also tedious and I did not enjoy the feedback system for them.
The plant module was actually really interesting and makes you appreciate plants so much more. Jimmy Botella is awesome.
Semester 1 - 2015
Why is this even a question, of course it is
It's a terrible course that makes Biology u enjoyable and it doesn't test knowledge just tests how well you read questions it doesn't test understanding and isn't taught well. A lot of students haven't done biology prior to the course and the way it is taught they assume you have prior knowledge because not many of the basic terms are explained. Many people have to repeat the course.
Semester 1 - 2015
The course to end all courses, BIOL1040 is atrociously designed and reprehensible at its core. Nothing matters to bring your grade up except the final exam, with doing well on other assessment items only stopping you from dropping your GPA. The final exam is, in essence, worth 85% of your course, so you best be learning at least 4 weeks before your exam. The lectures are interesting, as is the content, but the delivery and marking scheme leaves much to be desired.
Semester 1 - 2015
BSc - Biomed
Yes - to do online quizzes worth 15% (3x5%)
- Difficult but not impossible
- Getting into a habit of weekly rather than cram-style study is absolutely essential or you'll be one of the people who fail. It gives a good introduction to the whole 'independent' feel of university.
- Content covered is awesome bu the eHorizon thing is absolute BS
- As an ex-arts student nailing a 6 in this subject as his first semester into a dual BSc/BA I'm sure you'll be fine.
- Just don't be arrogant, learn the material as it will help form the basics in almost any biologically orientated field.
Semester 2 - 2014
BSc (Marine Biology) / BA (Criminology)
This is a notoriously painful course. However the content is wonderful.
I went from secondary high school biology (as an non school-leaver student) to this course as my first tertiary biology subject and it annihilated me. The pracs made me cry, because without prior experience with handling prac reports, one is left entirely in the dark. Nonetheless I worked my ass off and managed to get 6-7s for them.
The group project.. Ha.. Jeez make sure you don't pick anyone lazy for your group, and don't take a moment to procrastinate. The assignment will plant the 'loathing group work' seed that we all hear about.
Do not underestimate, but enjoy the content.
Semester 2 - 2014
The content is interesting and relevant for most degrees that have anything to do with physiology. The pedagogy is classic en masse uni teaching with a lecturer up the front preaching knowledge as you try desperately to scribe fast enough. The integration with quiz questions is really helpful and a strength of this course.
The content is taught extremely quickly and is probably the most content-rich course of any degree so make sure you always stay on top of it and don't get behind as it would be incredibly difficult to catch up. There is just so much with all the lectures, pracs and different assignments. GO TO YOUR LECTURES. They're early and there's a lot but it is SO much easier than trying to catch up, plus you can ask questions then and there as well as engage in the lecture quiz questions. Buy the textbook and read the prescribed sections to make sure you know the content. This really is essential if you give a crap about your education and passing this course.
The feedback structure from the prac reports is terrific. It was all done online with comments done visually and verbally from your tutor. I really, really liked this structure. Without feedback it is difficult to improve because you don't know what you've done well or poorly or how to improve so make use of the feedback.
The grading matrix for this course is utterly disgraceful, unfair and designed to f*** you over. There are like 20 assessment pieces for this course but only 1 actually matters (the final exam) and the 100 hours of extra work you do can only bring your final exam grade DOWN. Even if you get all 7's on every other piece of work, even if you are only 1 or 2% away from the higher grade on the final exam. Tough luck. Here's how it works: the final is worth 85% of your mark and you have to pass. The final exam is really short in terms of time but long for that amount of time. The pacing is about the same as a the 3 x 5% online quizzes which are 20 Qs to be done in 30min max (it's timed). It's unnecessarily difficult. You then have the 4 pracs with reports, biohorizons group project and the individual report. If you get straight 7s in those assignments, well done, but they won't pull up your exam grade. If you do crap in these assignments and miraculously do OK on the exam then they will pull your exam grade down (but never up) - cos that's totally fair, right. It's an absolute joke and BS. In the first lecture, they will tell you that BIOL1040 is a university revenue-raising course, ahem ahem, sorry I meant very difficult course with a pass rate of around 50%. This is why. There is no reason for it to be so difficult as the difficulty is entirely due to the totally effed grading matrix and criteria. If you study and work hard, this should be reflected in your grade. Unfortunately, it is not.
Semester 1 - 2013
YES - GO!!!
YES - READ IT
BIOL1040 is probably the most unfair course available at UQ. The fact that you can get 7's for the practicals and assignments (incl. the Biohorizons group assignment . . . lets not get started) and still get a 4 overall in the course because you received a 4 in the final exam is absolutely horrible and extremely unjust for students. Moreover, I loathed Lesley Lluka's lectures as she spent more time treating her students like primary school kids and not enough like young adults. Found the final exam to have a heap of surprises and stuff we spent a good chunk of the semester on (e.g. endocrinology section) was barely examined. Nevertheless, course content was very enjoyable and provides an excellent platform for future science courses at UQ. Prasad was a great lecturer too, as he explained his module very thoroughly and answered questions very succinctly. He also kept telling us what to focus on for the final exam throughout his module, which cut out a lot of unnecessary study come SWOTVAC.
Semester 2 - 2014
I have never felt this unmotivated for a subject in my life. The grading matrix is complete bs, and they move through the content at such a fast pace. The practicals were annoying and the group assignment was terrible. The final exam is worth 85% of your knowledge mark.. ugh. On top of all that you have to pay $50 for an access code to complete online quizzes... I don't see why they couldn't just be on blackboard like every other subject.
Semester 2 - 2014
Health Sciences/ Nutrition
This course is one that many might go into fearing because of it's reputation.
Overall, the content was very interesting and probably the highlight of the course. While the textbook might be helpful to some, it is in no way an absolute necessity. If you buy it at all, know that you do not require the 9th edition and previous editions can be found at a much cheaper price!
MasteringBiology online access is something they make you purchase (it's $50) in order to complete quizzes for the knowledge component. While some of the modules were quite helpful in reinforcing content, it is absolutely unnecessary to require everyone to spend when they could just use blackboard.
In terms of lecture attendance, I say go. Many of the lecturers talk about additional content to what's on the slides. Echo is another option, but you do not want to let those build up! The key to managing this course is to spread your learning throughout the semester.
In terms of pracs... well, the good thing is they're not every week. You have to write a report for each of them except the plants and integration pracs. I personally found that, with the exception of the plants prac, the tutors were not all that helpful and the pracs themselves didn't do much to reinforce the content.
You have two assignments. These are a personal response (criteria was quite vague) and a group assignment (Biohorizons) which I believe was frustrating for many people because of the groups they were in.
All these assessments though... TRY TO DO WELL. Because of the ridiculous grading matrix, your final grade is your lowest one. For many, this is the final, but if you do well on the final but get a 5 on pracs, you'll get a final grade of 5.
It's completely unnecessary, yadayada, but for now you've gotta work with it.
As for the final exam... it's difficult. The biggest tip I can give is to manage your time well. Do all the short answer first so that if you run out of time, all you're doing is guessing multiple choice. You do NOT get time to mess around in there.
I wish anyone taking this course luck... sorry that the great content is ruined by the general course structure!
Semester 2 - 2014
Bachelor of Science
I did not enjoy this course. The practicals were an absolute nightmare.
But what annoyed me the most was the fact that on top of paying fees for this course, one has to buy an additional subscription to mastering biology in order to do some of the assessments. I wonder what type of kickbacks the course coordinators receive from the publisher. I cannot see any reason why the quizzes could not be done in blackboard, like in every other course.
Semester 2 - 2014
Absolut BS. Tutor in prac is super rude and not helpful. very poor gradingf matrix. Pracs do not reinforce lecture content. Workshops are a waste of time. The content is good, but I don't understand why academic writing is part of a physiology course? How about making a separate, mandatory academic writing course???
Plus only 24 hours to complete a lab report with little info about the experiment is ridiculous.
Did I mention the grading matrix?
Semester 1 - 2014
BIOL 1040.. every one has heard of it and not in a good way.
Despite the fact that BIOl1040 was interesting and has helped me in future biol related subjects it was definitely the worst subjects I have done.
The course moved very fast - it is important to revise the work you have just learnt in that lecture.
Online quizzes - take advantage of them!! study for them before hand and although it is frowned upon, take advantage of being able to use your textbook! If you perform well on the quizzes it will be less stressful on the final exam!
Do past exam papers - often the questions are really similar!
Go to the workshops prepared! - make sure you know what you are going to do at the workshop beforehand by revising any work and asking questions that cannot be answered at home.
Group assignment - do not underestimate and do not leave to the last minute! make sure you 100% understand your articles before you start to write. Dont be afraid to pressure your teammates, you will actually be helping them out!
Pracs - still try hard on them as the final exam has questions on pracs.
Grading Matrix - do not get me started.... Basically you cannot achieve higher than your lowest mark (i got 7, 7, 6 during the semester then a 5 on my final and that was a 5 overall). You still need to ensure that your written work is of high quality so that if you do really well on the final that mark will count!
Despite this, however I found BIOL1040 pretty fun - I was never bored studying (mainly because I always had something to do..) and BIOL 1040 will defintley help you for future subjects ahead (for me PHYL1007).
Semester 1 - 2014
BIOL1040 is a a fairly imposing course for somebody straight from high school. I took it in my first year of Pharmacy and fourth year of uni overall so I already had a good idea of the level of work required for a university course. For somebody who has not taken a university course before and is used to high school workloads, it can be full on. Lesley explicitly warned us it was not something you could cram during SWOTVAC and that is understandable as it covers a wide variety of topics at a reasonable level of depth. That's really where BIOL1040 shines. The content is very interesting and would appeal to people regardless of their particular major in the field of science, in my opinion. In fact I continue to apply knowledge I gained in BIOL1040 to my studies.
It is not without it's shortcomings, obviously. Most egregiously, the grading matrix is needlessly convoluted and I cannot think of a single reason why it needs to stray from the standard weighted system most other courses use. Many students took issue with it in my semester and, reading other reviews, it appears it has not been altered. With that being said, I don't think it'll change any time soon so be warned. I also had a problem with the utilisation of Mastering Biology as the method of online quiz assessment. It felt like an excuse to get everyone to pay the $50 or so dollars for (at least) the CD version of the Mastering Biology. However, if you plan on continuing with biology, Mastering Biology is actually pretty useful and could probably serve you well through the rest of your time at university. To this day it remains the only textbook I've opened more than a handful of times. The labs came of as limited in scope. The content covered, at least compared to lectures, didn't feel nearly as satisfying. The primary focus seemed to be aimed at getting students to think "scientifically" and develop report/scientific writing skills. Finally, the eConference which is, in some ways, the feather in BIOL1040's cap, is a pretty painstaking piece of assessment. I'm fairly bias in this as I really dislike group assignments.
Overall I'd say BIOL1040 was a worthwhile course. If you're willing to keep up with the content, it can be a pretty satisfying course to nab a 6 or 7 in. It definitely needs a change in a couple of areas but the knowledge you do acquire in the course is incredibly useful and I think that makes it all worth it in the end, right?
Semester 1 - 2013
That course is the worst course I ever did. The grading matrix was completely unnecessary and the pracs and the assignment had very little links to the course material. This course could improve a lot in terms of facilitating it. Nonetheless, the content is very good and interesting.
Semester 2 - 2012
The course content is fairly interesting but is moved through too fast. If you don't understand a concept then its hard to catch up. The amount of contact hours a week also makes it harder to commit to studying for it. The praticals take ages and don't have a clear link to what you are studying in class. The assignments also don't really seem to fit into the lecture content (personally) and as a first year student I didn't really understand the expectations of what I should be doing in the assignments. Make sure you keep up with the work or some bits of it at least.
Semester 2 - 2013
Exercise and Nutrition
I found this course to be great in terms of course content. The topics covered were really interesting and the lecturers were approachable. Content did move quickly so it is understandable that people struggled to keep up if they weren't prepared to put in the recommended study amounts. I didn't really see the link between prac content and lecture content but the labs were valuable for basic lab skills and writing reports. And, of course, as the others have said the grading matrix was horrible - do not get yourself tripped up by it
Semester 2 - 2013
Worst course ever!
Interesting stuff but course matrix is bs.
Dont get behind in this course!
Also attempt all assessment otherwise
You will fail!
Semester 2 - 2013
An absolutely ridiculous subject! The course content is actually very interesting but the lecturers move through the modules extremely fast! For a first year subject, the pracs are highly demanding and do absolutely nothing in terms of helping reinforce the course content. As the person above mentioned, the grading matrix is absolute rubbish too because your final grade depends entirely on the final exam. And speaking of the final exam, it is ridiculously difficult and 1.5 hours (+10 minutes perusal) is not enough time to complete the exam. Overall, BIOL1040 was one of my LEAST favourite courses at UQ.
Semester 2 - 2012
Crazy subject with content going way to fast, no time to keep up, cramming everything the last minute so basically did not really learn anything. Pracs did nothing to reinforce content. Grading matrix was horrible as it meant that sitting on a 6 or 7 for pracs and assignments didnt mean anything because a 4 in the final exam meant that your final grade was a 4 (not an average of your pracs/assignments). Good course content though.
Semester 2 - 2013