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The first unit in the study of OAC Biology is chemistry.  At first, it may seem as if you are in a chemistry class rather than a biology class because this unit deals with the biochemistry of cellular processes.  Many things will be covered, with chemistry information being central information.  Organisms are chemical machines, and in order to understand how they work, biology needs a basis of chemistry. 


Why atoms interact in terms of electronegativity and stable electron configuration
Oxidation and reduction reactions occurring in living organisms
Formation of different types of bonds between atoms: ionic, covalent, polar covalent, polar covalent, hydrogen
Exergonic and endergonic chemical reactions
Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids
Many chemical terms

Helpful Hints:

It is important to have a good understanding of chemistry before this unit.  Although advanced chemistry isn't needed to take OAC Biology, I recommend it.  If you haven't taken it, it's OK, just be sure you have a good understanding of the basic chemistry terms and concepts.  
Know the periodic table.  Metals are on the left, and non-metals are on the right.  The elements on the far right column have stable electron configuration.  This means they have eight electrons in the valence or outermost shell.  As you go farther down the periodic table, the chemical properties of the atoms become more reactive.  As you more horizontally across the table, the elements become less reactive.  Each element has two numbers associated with it.  The number above the element's symbol is the mass number, which is the number of protons and neutrons.  The number below the element's symbol is the atomic number.  It is the number of protons.  By subtracting the mass number and the atomic number, the number of neutrons is reached.    

Take the Following Links to Learn More:

Quick Summary of the Unit

Sample Questions


Helpful Links