In place of tests, you get practicals which will teach you how to write scientific reports. Not those ones you did in Chemistry where you just had a brief discussion and conclusion, but ones where you are expected to find academic sources as reference. So get used to using Google Scholar, Melbourne uni discovery and how to read a scientific paper (there should be plenty of resources on the internet). They wont throw you into the deep end immediately, but will slowly build up to a complete report over time. Each report, builds on from the previous not in the information that you will be discussing, but the sections. E.g. first report was not really a report but was about statistical analysis, the second you had to include an abstract and a result section, the third you had to include abstract, result, and discussion, you get the picture. Those of you with statistics background may have an advantage (I did not do statistics) as you are required to perform some statistical analysis with some of the data you obtain from the practicals. There are instructions that will be posted on the lms, so it shouldnt be all too bad. But of course if you are confused, you can always use the discussion board or email a lecturer. Go through the reports when you are done very carefully, as you can lose marks for neglecting some small things and finish them ASAP. Given that you are provided with a generous amount of time to finish, you want to submit your papers right on time to receive feedback and improve your next report (late papers wont receive feedback). Otherwise, you are just doing yourself a disservice. You will not be able to do a good job at the last minute, because the number of readings you have to do and their complexity can be quite intense. As for what I actually did in the pracs, it was pretty neat. Working in groups of 4, I was able to examine the effect of vasotocin on frogs by literally injecting the hormone into cane toads using a needle. I looked at the metabolic rate of mice and bees. I was able to see a zombie frog heart beat in a ringer solution. So yes, you will be using live animals instead of looking at plants (not hating on plants, but they are pretty boring). Furthermore, the practicals related to the lecture content, which was fantastic.
The pacing is very chill compared to Chemistry, and therefore you dont have to rush to get your data; you have 3 hours to do everything which is plenty of time if you work at a regular pace. The tutors are also very kind and easily approachable. This doesnt mean you should slack off and talk to your neighbour; it just means that you shouldnt be feeling like you are in an episode of Master Chef. So 5 pracs in total with 1 CAL lab. The last prac (5th) is not assessed, however you will have a compulsory exam question in extended response. This prac required me to examine the development of abnormal gonads in fish, where you basically dissected a fish to examine its gonads and also look at some pre-prepared microscope slides to examine deviations in structure. DRAW OUT WHAT YOU SEE UNDER THE SCOPE!!! TAKE NOTES!!! FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!!! While there may not be an assessed report, they can test you on images and data (further detail when I describe exams). As for CAL labs, you are basically given a simulated experiment on a computer (A flash game one of the tutors described it) and answer questions on a task sheet as you progress through. Answer all the questions to the best of your ability, because they too are part of a compulsory exam question in short answer. This reminds me, the other pracs you also get task sheets that have practise exam questions and questions based on the prac. I only did the exam questions because I was lazy, but the questions relating to the prac can give you ideas on what to mention in your report.