How to Study TEAS Biology: Macromolecules
For the science section of the TEAS, biology is a great area for focused studying. You will most likely see one or two scored questions about biological macromolecules, so let’s talk about how you can prepare for these TEAS biology macromolecules questions!
If you’re an avid exerciser or have ever gone on a diet, you might be familiar with the term “macros.” That’s just a popular way to refer to macromolecules:
and Nucleic acids 🧬
We eat macromolecules. We are made of macromolecules. Macromolecules are one of the fundamental building blocks of all biological systems. And macromolecules are on the TEAS… so macromolecules are important in lots of ways!
You’ll be on your way to a higher TEAS score if you are comfortable with two study points about macromolecules that we’ll talk about here.
TEAS Biology Macromolecules Study Point #1: Basic Characteristics of All Macromolecules
As a group, all macromolecules—carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids—share a few basic characteristics.
First, they are all made of molecules called monomers.
The term monomer means one repeating unit. Biological monomers usually have a specific arrangement of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Some might have nitrogen or phosphorous. A monomer is the base unit of every type of macromolecule.
For example, the monomer for a carbohydrate is a monosaccharaide, which is another way of saying “simple sugar.”
☝P.S. You might want to note this fact for test day. 😉
In carbohydrates, lots of monosaccharaides join together to form a more complex carbohydrate. Monosaccharides like glucose might link up with other glucose molecules to form a polysaccharide called starch.
To say it another way, a polysaccharide is made up of repeating units of monosaccharides.
In fact, macromolecules can contain hundreds or thousands of monomers joined together in long chains or branching groups.
Now, how do these monomers join together? Great question! That brings us to the second basic characteristic…
Second, a dehydration reaction creates macromolecules by joining together monomers.
The good news is that you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of a dehydration reaction. Instead, it’s great for you to commit only a few facts into memory:
✔ A dehydration reaction (or condensation synthesis) forms macromolecules.
✔ In this reaction, water is removed. 🚫💧
✔ The reaction is endothermic, meaning heat is absorbed. ☀
Commit these facts to memory for test day because there’s a good chance you might be asked about these basic characteristics of macromolecules. This a great study area for flashcards. Again, you don’t need to know all the details about this topic.
Now, let’s take a look at the second TEAS biology macromolecules area where you can study.
TEAS Biology Macromolecules Study Point #2: Characteristics of the 4 Specific Macromolecules
The TEAS might ask you about the specific qualities the 4 types of biological macromolecules: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, or nucleic acids.
To help you prepare, you can list out each of the 4 macromolecules and…
✔ Name the macromolecule’s monomer
✔ Identify the atomic components of that monomer (examples: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous)
✔ List specific types of macromolecules used by the body (examples: adipose, glycolipids)
✔ Indicate how the macromolecule is used in the body (examples: structure, storage, communication)
✔ Note if other organisms use this macromolecule too (example: chitin is used by fungi and insects)
The premium Prenursing Smarter online courses walk you through all of these details. You’ll get a downloadable workbook so that you can take notes (and keep as a reference), detailed lessons so that you don’t miss anything, interactive online lessons for practice, and an audio review so that you can commit this information to memory easy peasy breezy. 📝🎙🤓
Try Working with TEAS Biology Macromolecules
Each of the 4 macromolecules has two different exercises like this so that you’ll be set with all the important TEAS biology macromolecules concepts. Plus, I’ve got an expanded lesson on enzymes, which are a specific type of protein that you’ll need to know about for the TEAS.
Let’s quickly recap: All macromolecules share the same two basic characteristics:
Characteristic #1: Macromolecules are made of repeating monomers joined together.
Characteristic #2: Macromolecules formed by an endothermic dehydration reaction.
You’ll need to be familiar with what makes each of the 4 macromolecules unique in terms of chemical composition and usage in the body:
Type #1: carbohydrates 🍞
Type #2: lipids 🧀
Type #3: proteins 🍖
Type #4: nucleic acids 🧬
I hope you found this information useful! You can now make your flashcards and take a step toward checking a TEAS concept off your list! If you are interested in the premium prep program, you can check out all the details here. Happy studying!
Kate is a CRLA certified tutor and test prep expert. She founded Prenursing Smarter in 2017. Kate lives in sunny Southern California and is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (Mnikȟówožu Lakȟóta). Prenursing Smarter is an inclusive business and actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with and support diverse voices.