The Life Sciences (which used to be referred to as Biology in the previous Senior Certificate Examination) is an elective subject. The Life Sciences are essential if you are thinking of a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, horticulture, agriculture, animal husbandry, food technology, genetics, microbiology, radiography, zoology, pharmacy and so on. Although certain universities may only recommend either Life Sciences or Physical Sciences for their medical degrees, it goes without saying that a student who has not taken Life Sciences at the FET will be at a distinct disadvantage.
But what are the other attributes required for a successful and happy career in the Life Sciences?
Firstly, students should choose to take this subject if they love the study of living things. As they proceed with their studies, they will learn about the Anatomy and Physiology of both plants and animals.
Secondly, and probably most importantly, students must take into account the fact that understanding the Life Sciences depends on a knowledge of, and insight into, other disciplines. Basic concepts of our physical world form part of the Life Sciences Curriculum.
In order to present results scientifically, and to predict the impact of findings on the environment, today’s successful Life Scientist must also learn to understand the role of statistics. The Life Scientist will need to enjoy manipulating simple formulae and will develop insight in solving problems.
Students must be prepared to face new terminology in virtually every section of syllabus from Grades 10 to 12.
Choosing to study this subject does not only require an enjoyment of the Life Sciences but also consistent effort, thorough understanding of basic principles and the application thereof.