But, to help you out, here are a few pointers. Identify who are the actors are and what are their actions. Most of biological reasoning is visual, so be able to reproduce the critical parts of a figure by memory (you don't need to be a great artist). This is best accomplished by first drawing a figure, tossing it away, and then drawing it again from memory. If you feel confused or forget, just peek back at the figure, close the book and keep going. Throw that in the trash. Repeat. Do this for each important figure for three days in a row (about the time between classes). Proceed as you have with gaining the vocabulary, but be able to write out a definition or explanation in your own words. This helps you to figure out the difference between what you know and what you think you know. Whenever you hesitate, there is usually a question that comes up: find the answer immediately and finish writing. Once you have the basic vocabulary and figures at least partially under your belt, it's time to read the text. Read each paragraph, sentence by sentence. If a sentence is confusing, figure out why and get the answer immediately. When you form a question and find the answer, it will stick. At the end of each paragraph, close the book and write out in your own words what the main point that the author was trying to communicate. Inevitably, questions will arise and you will know by the hesitation in your writing. Answer the question and keep writing. Reviewing for an exam is much the same: use writing and drawing to test your understanding. For each major process, write a short narrative about how it works and relates to other processes. When you write, strive to keep the actors nouns and the actions verbs. This helps your brain sort things out.
It's through this sort of active construction of a narrative that helps in developing the language of biology. One of the problems with trying to answer the teacher's questions is that she speaks fluently and may formulate questions in a way that unconsciously draws on her extended background. By actively trying to speak the language, you will begin to understand her better and also to detect when she and the book are implicitly drawing upon information not directly covered in the class. That background information is as important as the explicit information. When you fill in the missing info, you will develop a deeper understanding. If you don't, your brain will fill in the gap, usually arbitrarily. Beyond performance on an exam, this approach has a wonderful life long benefit: biology comes alive!