Posted on

NUS Life Science Module Review: LSM1101 Biochemistry of Biomolecules

Workload and Difficulty: The workload for this module is fairly light but the 4 hour practical sessions every two weeks which are NOT graded can be quite annoying. A/P Too’s part is rather straightforward and revises stuff taught before in A-level biology. He emphasizes on the understanding and doesn’t require us to memorize much, like drawing out 20 amino acids. Nevertheless we would need to be able to identify the 20 different amino acids and know their structural properties such as the charge, approximate pKa and polarity. Probably the hardest part in his portion would be the buffer calculations which may be familiar to those who have done A-level chemistry before. For Dr. Long’s part on enzymes, it may seem fairly daunting as he goes through the derivation of the Michaelis-Menten kinetics which may involve a lot of mathematics and chemistry knowledge, but rest assured as this is not tested. Only the formulas and knowing what the terms (Km, Vmax) would suffice. Be careful with the units though when doing the calculations. As for Dr. Sudhakar’s part, the nucleic acids part overlaps with LSM1102 and thus you can skip them. The lipid and carbohydrates portion can be quite boring but as he’s more of a researcher than lecturer, you can expect questions which are rather out of the box like asking you to design an experiment. He also tends to test the really small details which can be rather annoying. As for the lab portions, if you are fast you can finish them by 2 hours instead of the 4 allocated hours. Although it is not graded, you are required to submit a lab report after each lab. My lab partner was good and efficient and thus we usually finish really quickly as compared to the rest of the other groups. Despite the lab reports being ungraded, some of the content may appear in the CAs and final exam (e.g. lmax value of NADH) and thus I would say that the lab sessions are there to help you reinforce the concepts covered during the lectures. In terms of difficulty, this module isn’t that hard as compared to LSM1102, with the help of the bell curve, you should be able to do well.

Head over to our Shop for more module content!