Alternative Ways To Study Biology - How To Not Study and Still Learn

First and foremost, these methods we are suggesting cannot be done alone. These methods should be used as supplementary information and in breaks rather than replace all more efficient methods of study.


Whilst many people watch YouTube all the time, most of us are not revising or studying. YouTube however could be one of the greatest ways to study without studying. Whilst at times it can be a very passive method, as a whole, YouTube is one of the greatest free resources available to those interested or studying Biology or any other topic.

How to use YouTube effectively?

  • Don't get drawn down any rabbit holes! One tip is to see how much time you have perhaps between lectures or study sessions and create a playlist to match the time. That way you organise the videos and ensure you don't over run or watch content that is not beneficial.

  • Make sure you are watching the right videos, these could be explanations or tutorials but probably not movie clips or vlogs.

  • Another optional tip is to watch it somewhere different to where you study. Many people find that separating where you work from where you study to help stay in the flow when studying rather than crossing the two and reducing overall productivity.

Here are a few recommended channels but there are obviously lots more out there!


This is one that probably shouldn't be seen as study, but can still help keep you interested and involved with biology.

Following accounts that post information on biology, science and importantly current news can keep you up to date and interested. Whilst this shouldn't be a task to sit down and "complete" as such, seeing the odd bit of biology whilst scrolling through your normal content can't do any harm!

Here area a few recommended accounts but there are obviously lots more out there!


Whilst we may be a little bias on this one, here us out. This option can be something that isn't scheduled for or planned as a study tool itself, however can be a highly beneficial tool. Having a weekly piece of content that appears in front of you with clear and concise information without you having to do the work for it is a great way of revising and studying.

As well as this having followed a newsletter for a while can mean they may have a backlog of articles and stories. Whilst the solutions and stories talked about won't be topical anymore, they will still hold valuable biological information that will help learning.


This is arguably one of the best ways of studying for a few reasons. The main pro to this method is the fact that it can be overlapped with other tasks such as chores, fitness or driving. This way you can be learning and taking in a lot of information without "spending time" doing the task.

There are a ton of great podcasts but we have attached a few of the most beneficial below.

Again it is very important to remind you that whilst these methods are great as additional methods to help study, they cannot however be a sole form of study or revision and are not the most effective methods.


This one is surprisingly less though about. Simply taking a break from exam questions or intense testing to read a book related to the area is a great way of "keeping your eye in" without overly stressing or running out of brain power.

Books can be a rather passive method of learning so make sure you are still concentrating and actively reading when doing so. If you are using this method to either warm up for the day or to break up a study session, don't pick a book that is overly complicated or will require to much energy or cause too much stress.

Netflix and Documentaries

Whilst we are often told to turn off Netflix and get studying, there is a slight compromise that can be used some of the time. Whilst this is an incredibly passive method that cannot be done frequently, sticking on some of David Attenborough's work or any documentary can be a great way to keep you interested in the natural world as well as motivate you to study.

So, biological programmes to watch on Netflix...

  • Anything the GOAT David Attenborough has done.

  • Human the World Within

  • (Un) Natural Selection

Learning How To Study Itself

If you are feeling productive but don't feel like studying biology or just want a break learning how to study itself can be a great solution.

Whilst this may sound a little stupid this sole factor could actually be the key reason that you improve grades and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your study.

Where to start...

  • Again YouTube is probably the best place...

  • Learning about active recall and spaced repetition is Fundamental.

  • Downloading software such as Notion, OneNote or a to do list app and building a study framework.

Recommended YouTube Channels