MBBS UGStudy StrategyHow to study Biochemistry in MBBS First Year?

How to study Biochemistry in MBBS First Year?

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1st Year/Professional MBBS BIOCHEMISTRY Strategy/Study Tip :

First year of MBBS is indeed a roller coaster ride for most of us. This is the first time we get exposed to professional life.There will be highs and lows. The trick is to not lose your composure in either.

This year is solely for making your Fundamentals strong. And if you have proper guidance & if you are already ready and aware of what you would have to face and how to react, the adaptation process would become so easy.

Lets first get started with the Basic things one must know & implement during First year & most probably also in later years of academic life.

Basic Tips to cope up with course content :

  1. “Internal marks are not a reflection of your intelligence, capability to study and your efforts.” 

Don’t get anxious, and definitely do not blame yourself if you were a good student before but ain’t doing well in semesters- it is part of the system.

  1. READ THE STANDARD TEXTBOOK : Always try to read the book which is the best, and also make sure that you are comfortable with that particular book. Read it again and again. A good book can make you understand the things in the best possible way.
  1. Read throughout the year : Often freshers do this mistake, I was not an exception to this. People feel really content after getting a good college and many times waste their time out of excitement. Avoid this and make the most out of 1st year.
  1. Be prepared for all kinds of negative energy.
  • The professors are going to taunt you. This is a sort of psychological tactic to try and scare you into studying – it works for some people, and puts others in depression.
  • The seniors are going to rag you or atleast exploit you a little. I’m not in favour of this but if not extreme, it somehow makes you more tough & helps you open up in a whole new life.
  • You may even “fail” an internal. I’m not saying take that lightly, but it’s not the end of the world. Learn from it, move on.
  • People around you will stress out and drag you into it too.  If you stay in a hostel, this may be hard to avoid, but try to stay positive anyway! Talk to your family often or do things by yourself or people outside your class when you take a break. Do not give into the peer-pressure of negative thinking.
  1. Choose your books early in the year and stick to them.

There are so many textbooks out there and way too much free advice on which of them to use. But you have to be the judge for yourself.

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Before you rush to buy your books, do some browsing at the library. Pick a topic and look it up in different books and see which one helps you understand it the easiest. Then decide the right books for you and stick to studying from them.

People all around you will tell you their books are so much better, and that may tempt you to study each chapter from a different book – refrain from this.

It’s okay to occasionally refer to other books for those topics that are a little lacking in your chosen text, but try not to go overboard.

  1. It’s okay to not know everything.

College is a whole leap forward from school, where you’re not going to know every book from cover to cover.

Accept that there will always be some things you may not know as well as others. 

Prioritise the most important content and revise it more often than content of less priority.

Individual Subject Guidance :

The First Year is divided into 3 Subjects : ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY.

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ANATOMY is subdivided into : Gross Anatomy, Osteology, Embryology & Histology.


  • This is the most easy but boring subject among all 3 in the first year of MBBS.

Why to study Biochemistry?

If a patient comes to you with his blood report or any other biochemical test which youu have not read or you have no idea about what’s written over there in the report then you won’t be able to make any diagnosis. Biochemistry is all about normal values. If you don’t know the normal values, you won’t be able to interpret abnormal ones. So for that purpose, you should read this subject with your full heart and open mind.

Books Recommended according to difficulty order :

  1. Harper : For brilliant students, it is recommended. Average students fail to understand & get bored & frustrated very soon. But yes, we will recommend every student to study Metabolic Pathways from this book. This section is brilliantly given.
  1. Lippincott : This is a brilliant book of Biochemistry. Strongly recommended for studying this subject with Clinical Point of view. Not recommended to follow this book for University Exams.
  1. Vasudevan : A very good book & preferred by all kinds of students whether brilliant or average. It is not fully exam oriented & also not fully clinically oriented.
  1. Satyanarayana : It is the most preferred textbook and the one which seniors recommend because it’s a part of tradition. The details in this book are short and precise. Includes separate details in boxes and flowcharts. Perfect for exam answers.

But I personally found it very dull, monotonous and boring. And moreover there are some mistakes in fundamental topics too. So, I won’t recommend this book if you are willing to learn & have time to study before exams. Recommended if exams are very near & you haven’t studied much. 

Must know Basic tips for Biochemistry :

  1. Don’t change your book in the end. Stick to the book you trusted and followed from the beginning. Don’t be like my friend is reading Harper and I am reading Satyanarayana, so also shifted to that book. Just don’t do it.
  1. In theory exams, try to write as much as possible in ‘flow charts’, this will decrease your burden for writing everything continuously, use ‘diagrams’ wherever possible ( even draw ‘air’ if the question is on air pollution ). Using heading even like – INTRODUCTION and further subheadings in the answer. It will make your presentation better and will help you score better.
  1. Very Important : Collect your previous year papers and your college papers because these are saviour.
  1. Try to revise the normal values in your daily life by going through the reports of your relatives, family members, neighbours etc.
  1. Self note making : Single best strategy to simplify things and make it easier to retain for a long time and reproduce well in exams. Though time taking but always worth it. Try this you will bless me later for this.
  1. Group study : Many minds working together can be more fruitful and more interesting. You can study for long hours without getting tired, if you will study in a group.
  1. Don’t hesitate to mark in a book : Books are not meant to be shelved, to maximise the benefit, mark all the important things and you can use different color highlighters etc. It will be easy for you to remember it for a long time.

It’s easier said than done. These are just basic guidelines; it’s up to you to write your story. Make sure you write a worth reading one. Though I cannot wait to explore what the rest of MBBS has in store for me but nothing equals to the memories of first year.


Also Check out :

How to study Physiology in MBBS First Year?

How to study Anatomy in MBBS 1st Year?

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Abhinav is currently working as an Intern doctor. Being an avid reader by day and a freelance writer by night, he has been much active among medical students since past few years. Support him on his journey of being a Medical Influencer.

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