How to Survive Microbiology

Hello all! Today’s post will be my tips on succeeding in microbiology. My course was titled Principles of Microbiology. Just like my other science pre-reqs, I had a lecture and a lab portion to this course.



What did you bring to lecture with you?

  • My class binder (with printed Powerpoints)
  • Pen
  • Highlighter (just to highlight vocab)

How did you prepare for lecture?

There was pretty much no prep necessary for my Micro class. We never used our online book (only for homework assignments), because our professor told us to listen to her. What made her really unique was that she actually communicated with our nursing department, so the course was very clinically-focused. Anyway, I would just show up to class and of course, review last lectures notes before the next class.

How did you take notes during lecture?

I mentioned that I would print out the Powerpoints. I would just use my black pen to annotate, or add something my professor says that may not be on the slide. I would use your typical yellow highlighter to highlight vocabulary. Read how I color code my notes here.

How did you prepare for exams?

img_1276-1.jpgOur exams were 50 multiple choice questions, except for the final which was around 70-ish. We were provided with a list of topics, so I would break up these topics for a week and review each topic.

I would write out little summary study sheets, which worked really well for this class. These came in handy for the final and helped relieve some stress during that time. The night before the exam, I would simply review this study sheet and then go to bed.


Our lab was scheduled for three hours (typical lab time); however, we rarely ever were in lab for three hours. Our professor would give us a mini lecture for forty five minutes to an hour. Micro lab was a little different, because we were required to come back on our own time to check our lab results. This was really fun to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I’m sorry I do not have any pictures from lab, phones were not allowed to be out.

What did you bring to lab with you?

  • Lab manual
  • Powerpoint printout

How did you prepare for lab?

I would read the assigned pages in the lab manual, go over the Powerpoint that my professor would use for the mini lecture, review the last lab and then take the pre-lab quiz.

How did you take notes during lab?

I didn’t! Everything that was on our exams were directly in the Powerpoints , but mostly from our lab manual. As long as you can interpret and explain test results, you were good to go!

How did you prepare for exams?

We only had a midterm, a final and a couple in-lab quizzes. The in-lab quizzes were basically like skill check-ups on microscope technique, gram staining, negative staining, etc. I would prepare for the midterm and final by simply going over the lab manual and Powerpoints.

That is all I have for you all. Feel free to leave any thoughts, advice or questions. Best wishes!

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