navasarala wrote:I am new to Science Olympiad, and I'm not sure how to prepare for fossils. I don't know much about fossils, and there is a lot of stuff to study. I'm not just worried about putting together the taxa for the fossils, i'm worried I won't understand the other things on the list, like absolute dating or stuff like that. As of now I'm just putting information on Google Docs, but I don't think that's the best way to study. Is there any other way?
Don't worry, many people know almost nothing about their events when they first start, and end up being very knowledgeable by the end of the season. Continue to work and study hard, and the event will come to you, just like any other. Honestly, putting info together isn't really hard but is time consuming. Just continue to work on it and make sure you're getting the info you need.
If you're worried that you won't understand things, then study them, and if you still don't understand them, feel free to ask on here. For fossils, in my opinion, concepts aren't too hard to understand but there is a lot of intuitive memorization for ID and very commonly tested information.
For your question about absolute dating, here's some information:
Relative dating is great when you don't need the exact time something was around, so you can just compare rock layers using principles like superposition and whatnot. Absolute dating, though, comes into play when you need very precise times of the rocky body/organism/or anything you could come across. Basically, for the purposes of fossils, you need to know about radiometric dating
. I guess a really weird test could ask about dendrochronology, but I've never seen that. Radiometric dating utilizes half-lives to find the exact age. It's not too hard to understand, though.
Putting your binder notes on google docs is fine imo. Just make sure to print before competitions, etc., and make sure to be organized. Also it's often a good idea to tab important areas of the binder and/or at least try to memorize where everything is. Fully utilize the 3-inch rule for the binder.
To study, you and your partner maybe, or maybe your friends if your partner isn't available, can search up organisms you've learned for you to practice ID, and/or of course you can take tests. You could also make quizlets to test information, or something along those lines.
Just study, practice what you've studied, and review, and you'll become much better at the event in no time.