Simply put, biochemistry is the chemistry of living things. This definition is just to put things in context, nothing to it. So in Biochemistry, you’ll be dealing with the chemistry of your body functions.

• Biochemistry takes you down to the very molecules and macromolecules that are absorbed, converted into various useful biomolecules, utilized, stored, detoxified and removed by your body, to keep the system functioning.

• It has a great deal of Chemistry in it, because you’ll be taught chemical reactions that take place for interconversion of relevant biomolecules in your body. These reactions usually occur in sequence, and in cycles, and hence they constitute a PATHWAY.

• For each pathway (you’ll be dealing with quite a number of pathways, many of them are quite complex), you’ll be required to know the starting biomolecules, and other raw materials needed to initiate the pathway.

• You’ll also need to know what chemical changes take place in each step, the enzymes(and coenzymes) required to facilitate the step, and the product of each step.

• Bioenergetics (energy consumed and generated) in each pathway is also a must-know.

• Biochemistry will also touch on all aspects of Hormones, with greater emphasis on their Chemistry and Effects than the other preclinical sciences.

• Molecular medicine – how the health of an individual is affected and can be improved by modifications in the sequence and structure of the genes – will also be extensively treated. Hey – molecular medicine is the future of medicine!!

• Cell structure, function and biochemistry(e.g, protein synthesis, energy generating reactions, protective reactions, apoptosis, and so on), microbial diseases, nutrition, malnutrition, and a host of other relevant topics will also be thoroughly examined from a Biochemical point of view.

• GET READY. A good knowledge of and liking for Organic chemistry may help with a smooth take off. But Biochemistry is way more than just organic chemistry.


CLASSES: Four hours of Biochemistry lectures hold weekly; they all hold on Tuesdays and, though spaced, they could feel like a marathon.

There are two hours of practicals in-between; one session in the morning for a set, another in the evening for the other set.

• Being well rested before a “BICHE Tuesday” is advised.

• TESTS – Two essay tests, one short answer question test.

• For the essay tests, we have discovered that the overall format is variable, but usually you’ll be required to answer 5 questions out of 8 choices Each question is allotted 20 marks.

• Each of your essays must be well outlined and built up from the introduction to the presentation of clinical applications.

• For each essay, endeavour to write at least four pages of solid stuff, based on what the question demands of you. Resist the temptation to centre your essay on what is not your expected subject of discussion. Let your essay be a focused one, thoroughly treating all aspects of the topic as required by the question.

• Decorate your essays with relevant schematic diagrams, pathway diagrams (you must learn the structure of biomolecules involved in your pathway), and illustrations. These are sure mark boosters.

• The short answer question test requires you knowing. It’s either you know, or you don’t; no guesswork. Again, reading to have proper understanding and a good command of your facts will prove helpful. Eg…draw the structure of Vitamin D.


First off, let these tips come to you as instructions that you must practise, when the times comes, to yield fruit.

Yes, it’s not just to satisfy your curiosity.

• First things first, always do things God’s way; you can be led!! God can instruct you on how best to go about tackling Biochemistry, He can direct your studying.

He will also doubtlessly crown all your efforts with great success, as long as you do what He says you should.

– So any preconceived notion you have about Biochemistry that is not consistent with what God says, sieve it out and dump it! Notions like, “BIOCHEMISTRY IS DIFFICULT AND IMPOSSIBLE,” “I CAN’T SCORE HIGH IN BIOCHEMISTRY”, “BIOCHEMISTRY IS HELL, I’LL JUST CRAM AND ENDURE IT.”

These mindsets will impede your progress and limit your performance greatly! So, consciously discard them NOW.


So, you can find ways of making it something you enjoy. Probably use YouTube videos, colourful textbooks, group discussions, just make sure you’re not enduring an uninspiring study of the course. Make your study come alive! When you enjoy studying it, you’ll understand and assimilate better. Biochemistry has been a great ride on a personal note, and it can be for you too!

Listen in class. Go to class and let it be your aim to at least gain one or two things from the lecturer’s presentation, and with the right mindset, you’ll always achieve this.

Biochemistry has a number of interesting lecturers as well. Allow their lectures inspire you to cultivate a liking for the course.

Also, RECOGNIZE that Biochemistry is a vital part of modern medicine. So it is very important to you as a future medical doctor. Knowing its importance will help you give what it takes to understand it well.

GO FOR UNDERSTANDING, BY ALL MEANS. Biochemistry, though abstract, can be understood.

Understanding will not only help you properly apply your Biochemistry knowledge in clinicals (which is highly relevant) and as a medical doctor, it will also help you pass your Biochemistry exams.

You need understanding to pass Biochemistry essays because the lecturers can demand you to write essays from a different point of view or aspect of a topic from that which was presented to you in class. A crammer who just mindlessly vomits that which was presented in class will score low. But one who has understanding, having consulted appropriate textbooks, will answer the question wisely.

So, in properly interpreting and answering essay questions, you need a thorough understanding. By all means then, even if it takes having your course mate explain it to you, get to understand the concepts you’re taught. You’ll find understanding really helpful!

On that note, I wish you all the best in your journey into the world of Biochemistry!

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