Biology and geology are both science subjects that call upon students to use similar skills. If you are trying to decide whether to take biology or geology in college, you should consider which subject is easier.
Geology is considered an easier science than biology. However, the difficulty is ultimately determined by the individual’s preferences. Biology requires a lot of lab work, while geology includes a lot of fieldwork. Those better at lab work may find biology easier and vice versa.
Learn more about deciding which science will be easier by exploring the skill sets each subject needs below.
Is Geology an Easier Science Than Biology?
When surveyed, students report that geology is easier than biology. Both, however, are sciences and therefore require a high level of dedication. That said, there are many fields of biology, each with varying levels of difficulty. For instance, microbiology is easier than molecular biology.
Source: Big Economics
Everyone has a different learning style. So while survey results claim that geology is easier, it’s important that you know your educational strengths and weaknesses to choose which science is more likely to be easier for you.
Will Biology or Geology Be Easier for You?
Biology is likely an easier subject for those with lab skills, whereas geology is better suited to those that enjoy and are good at fieldwork (although some lab work is also required in geology). Both sciences require memorization and analytical skills.
To decide whether you should take biology or geology, think about the skills needed for each subject. Compare your skills to those required for both subjects to make an informed decision about which will be easier for you.
Biology involves plenty of memorization, investigative, and analytical skills as well as laboratory skills—you’ll spend a lot of time doing lab work.
Meanwhile, geology will call upon you to memorize names and analyze data. It will also need you to have technical, IT, and fieldwork skills.
The skills and course requirements for each science are explored in further detail below. As you learn more about the skills each science will require, think about what skills you already have. This will help you understand which subject will be easier for you.
You may want to read Is Geology Really Hard? Let’s Talk Facts.
Skills You’ll Need for College Level Biology
Biology is a science that studies all living organisms and the processes they use to function and survive. These may include animals, humans, plants, and even wider areas like ecology and genetics. The primary skills you’ll need in a biology course are memorization, investigation, and analytic skills.
Here’s a breakup of the different scenarios you’ll have to navigate while studying biology.
A significant skill that will help you in biology is your ability to memorize. You will have to memorize the names of different species, different biological functions, along with definitions and processes.
Memorizing things quickly will help you when you study organisms and try to predict their behavior.
Biology will involve a lot of lab work, where you conduct experiments to investigate a hypothesis.
Some of the investigative skills you will need include:
- Studying research and literature
- Observing and recording living organisms
- Making hypotheses based on your observations
- Carrying out investigations to prove or disprove your hypothesis
An investigation will include a lot of documentation and recording statistics. Academic investigation skills will help you navigate another researcher’s work.
See also Is Are Biology Degrees Worth It?
After or during investigations, you’ll need to analyze the results you get.
Analytic skills include:
- Organizing data logically
- Using data to make conclusions
- Connecting different types of data to form recommendations
If you plan to study biology, be prepared to spend lots of your time in a laboratory. The laboratory skills you’ll need may depend on the type of biology you are studying.
However, here are some of the basic skills you’ll need:
- Using laboratory equipment like microscopes, x-rays, and incubators
- Cleaning and sterilizing equipment and spaces
- Engaging in skills like dissection, staining, and manipulating cells and other materials you’re studying
Source: University of Memphis
Skills You’ll Need for College Level Geology
Geology is a field of science that deals with the structure of the earth and the different materials that make up the earth, including rocks and other solid matter.
You’ll need memorization, investigation, and analytical skills while studying geology. You’ll also need a fair amount of technological and IT skills along with field and lab work skills.
Learn more about the specific skills you’ll need below.
In geology, you’ll have to memorize a range of different names and facts. These may include the order of geological time periods, the crystallization process of minerals, the names of minerals, and the different layers of earth.
Investigation and Analytic Skills
Similar to biology, you will need to investigate a range of different scenarios and hypotheses. You’ll also have to analyze the results you find or analyze literature reviews to form theories. Your understanding of the course matter will help you conduct investigations and analyses.
Technological and IT skills
The study of Geology is increasingly using IT software for modeling and predictions. You may need to use IT systems to create 3D or 4D modeling of different features of the earth. You may also need to use IT systems to analyze the material you’ve found. (See our article Is AP Computer Science Principles A Hard Course?)
Field and Lab Work Skills
Geology will require a balance of both field and lab work. Fieldwork may include visiting different sites of geological interest and gathering specimens. You will then have to transport these specimens back to the laboratory or analyze them on site.
Analyzing specimens will require you to use a range of laboratory skills.
Source: The Geological Society
You should consider whether biology or geology will be easier based on the skills you’ll need to study the subjects.
Other Ways To Decide Whether Biology or Geology Is Easier
Biology and geology have many skills in common. To decide which will be easier for you, consider your interest in the subject and the nuances of the skills you’ll need.
To help you decide, you may also:
- Talk to college students who have studied both sciences. Anecdotal experiences can help you decide which field is best for you.
- Look at the course requirements in the colleges you’re planning on studying in. Knowing the course requirements will better help you understand the overall objective and what’s expected of you within the class.
- Talk to your high school science teachers. Your high school science teachers will understand your strengths and be able to help you understand which science you’ll find easier once you reach college.
- Take Biology and Geology Advanced Placement (AP) courses. AP courses are a great way to test how demanding a college subject will be. Try to take an AP class in biology and geology to see which you find easier.
According to student surveys, geology is an easier subject than biology. However, whether you find it easier depends on your learning style, skills, and academic strengths.
Reflect on what you find more accessible, look at course materials, and speak with your teachers. A multi-pronged approach will help you decide which subject is best for you to study in college.