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Studying Studying Without a Textbook

  1. Jun 25, 2011 #1
    How do you do it?

    I'm currently studying microbiology from 2 different sources online. They are both notes uploaded by two teachers at two different universities. What one considers as important the other doesn't. And certain things one of them say it wont be covered in the course. So I've been trying to put my notes together based on these two sources and make one compilation on them both but I get confused sometimes as to what's important to know and what's not.

    Also, because they are notes intentionally made for a course and class, certain things are written without much explanation because it was probably explained in depth in the class. When I attempt some of the practice tests that has been uploaded, some of the things in the test weren't in the notes (prob covered in the class). Also, they teach at different paces. What's considered as chapter one is a bit different from the other chapter.

    I really don't know what to do. For anyone who studies without a textbook, what do you do? Do you just study EVERYTHING then?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2011 #2
    I would say yes--study everything--however, why don't you get a textbook? Or try to download a free online textbook etc...
  4. Jun 25, 2011 #3
    I did 1st year undergrad at a distance university and the situation was pretty much: pick up the 2-3 recommended texts and attempt to study everything mentioned in the course syllabus.

    Frustrating and desolate would be a mild description of what it felt like, at said uni the average time it took people to complete their degree was around twice as long. However it did help to have a good stack of exams from previous years.

    Imo, if you have notes and classes, USE THEM. And if you have some spare time, be curious and read different textbooks.
  5. Jun 26, 2011 #4
    If you do not feel right about downloading textbooks, you could visit a library. From what I understand, many universities let the general public check out books from their library. Also, many people have written textbooks and have posted them online under some kind of license that leaves it free to use (which is awesome).

    If you're looking for more resources, I hear MIT OpenCourseWare is good. It is a collection of MIT notes, lectures, and the such across many subjects. UC Berkeley (and I'm sure many others) also has a website full of webcasts that you may find helpful.

    The KhanAcademy is also a website that holds lectures and practice problems covering a bunch of subjects (including biology)
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