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AP Bio Self-Study

olympics2012olympics2012 Registered User Posts: 887 Member
edited September 2014 in AP Tests Preparation
Hey guys,

I'm a sophomore and I'm taking AP Bio this year. Like many students, I have an uninterested AP Bio teacher that cannot prepare us for the AP properly so I'm looking to study for it by myself. I normally could have looked this up but due to changes in the exam, I'm not sure how to accomplish a proper self-study. The textbook provided by my teacher is Biological Sciences 4/e by Scott Freeman. We've done chapters 1, 2, 6, 8, and 9 and done a couple of experiments (dialysis/osmosis/diffusion) thus far. However, I know at our current pace that achieving a solid background for the exam is unrealistic and am looking to other ways to accomplish a 5. I'd really appreciate any help that you guys can give me.


Replies to: AP Bio Self-Study

  • sleath56sleath56 Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    Welcome aboard to the AP Bio class of 2014-15!
    I usually always answer AP Bio questions posted here, but ironically enough, I have a AP Bio test tomorrow so I cannot give a full response at this time.
    Here is some answers from other threads I've compiled though in the meantime.

    AP Bio is a very content-heavy course. Here on CC, you can frequently find people who previously scored 5s the '13 and '14 but the percentage from all participants who score a 5 is very low. If you want to get a 5, you will need to formulate a schedule for studying and taking advantage of the fact that you have nearly 2 semesters to prepare.
    Score Distribution for AP Exams (check the 2013 and 2014 for Bio)

    NOTE: The suggestions listed below were written with the use of Campbell Biology as the reader's class textbook in mind. You may need to adjust/ignore some lines to suit your different textbook. (i suggest searching Course Notes.com or Google in general for specific companions to your textbook)

    *****Study Books
    *Top Tier*
    Barron's 4th-Very thorough. If you can fully understand all the concepts in this book, you will be more than ready for the exam. Thus with this, only cursary references from Campbell (diagrams in newer Campbells is fantastically helpful) are needed if you don't like the textbook. (It's best to use Campbell along with this, however)
    Cliffnotes 4th-Very technical tone. Best lab explanations. Not as much review material compared to the overkill Barron's.
    *Lower Tier*
    Kaplan 2014-2015 - It's technically newer than the top tiers, but update is very little per edition. Review is okay, but Top Tier is better. Practice Exams are alright, but not too challenging.
    5 Steps to a 5 2014-2015 - It has a interesting 1-2 semester long study schedule if you like having schedule planners. The review is not very in depth but thus has a less overwhelming feel compared to the Top Tiers and is written in a more 'casual' tone. The practice exams are outdated in format and not suited for the new more conceptual oriented AP exam. This is the best book outside of top tier, however.
    Princeton Review 2014-2015 - A overall bad review book. The practice exams are too easy, unlike the Top Tier in which some questions are harder than that of the Exam's. Seems that most people choose this for the Princeton 'name'.
    (Their AP Physics is far better, however, and arguably one of the best in that subject)

    *****Online Resources
    +In case anyone needs it, here is a free online overview of every chapter of Campbell textbook (7th ed)
    +Another free overview of textbook explaining the outlines and objectives of each chapter. (7th ed)
    http://www.biologyjunction.com/ap_biology_chapter_objectives & outlines.htm
    +A online set of lectures notes for Biology teacher Mrs. Chou's class in powerpoint format w/ visual aid. (Caution: from 2012-2013 school year)
    +Here is a YouTube channel dedicated to AP Biology by Biology teacher Paul Anderson
    +For self-study groups and students prepping ahead for the exam, here are some tips for the FRQ.

    *****Practice Exams
    CollegeBoard Official AP Exam FRQ (2013 & 2014) w/ Scoring guideline for each question

  • olympics2012olympics2012 Registered User Posts: 887 Member
    Thanks so much mate! Please do comment here again once you take your Bio test. Good luck!
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