Self-Studying AP Environmental Science

<p>After hearing about many CCers self-studying AP Enviro, I thought that I probably want to do so, since most of those people performed well on the exam. So, for those who have previously self-studied AP Enviro, I have some questions:</p>

<ol>
<li>Do I need a textbook? If so, which?</li>
<li>Which review book(s) should I use? If you could only pick one, which? Would reading the review book you most prefer make me well-enough prepared to get a 5?</li>
<li>Are the comments that "a lot of the topics on the test are covered in the news" and that "a lot of the test is common sense" and "listening to Al Gore will make you very prepared" (etc.) true? If so, to what extent?</li>
</ol>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<ol>
<li>No, you do not. I used one, Botkin and Keller's Earth as a Living Planet, and felt that it was not necessary for scoring high on the test. </li>
<li>I used 3- PR, Kaplan, and 5 steps. 5 steps and Kaplan were pretty bad, while Princeton Review modeled the real exam well in terms of content and difficulty. BTW, I used the 2008 version so don't feel like you need to buy the newest version.</li>
<li>I knew nothing about current Environmental events, I repeat, nothing. You really do not need to know things like that. Just memorize PR, and yes, a lot of the test is common sense.</li>
</ol>

<ol>
<li>no</li>
<li>PR all the way!!!</li>
<li>Yes, I new most of the stuff through tv, inconvenient truth, general knowledge, etc</li>
</ol>

<p>it's easy as pi (giggle giggle(it's your username(isn't that funny)))</p>

<p>I agree with most of what Puggly has said, especially that Princeton Review is the best. However, I disagree with the last one. </p>

<p>While I was able to answer the free response to satisfaction, the fact is that it does require outside knowledge. If you were to take a look at this year's free response questions, specifically the one about invasive species, one of them asked you to elaborate on a real life example when introducing another invasive species to control another was a bad idea. No study guide had specifically covered this, maybe Barrons only because they are usually that nitty gritty. </p>

<p>However, even if you lack current events with regards to the environment, you will most likely do well only because it is not a huge part of the exam. Points will most likely be missed though.</p>

<p>I wouldn't let this be a deterrent to anyone taking the test though. In fact, I'd recommend self studying this test for anyone with the time and will power.</p>

<p>^Good point. I did probably lose some points on that subquestion.</p>

<p>Anybody else?</p>

<p>I'd like to answer 2 and 3, even though I took the AP class (though I seriously feel like I learned just basics in my class and gathered the rest from my review book). I got Barrons (2008 version as well) and thought it did an average-to-good job. It may help to know stuff from the news, but it's not necessary as long as you memorize some specific examples for some of the topics. I did not read or see An Inconvenient Truth/Silent Spring.
I feel as if Barrons did leave out a lot of specific factoids that my textbook covered (percentages for random things, etc.) but many can be figured out from common sense.
For the invasive species question during the test this year, I got my information from a video we watched in class, and Barrons didn't cover that. I think the internet would, though. If you're going to study, definitely do more than memorize a review book--go on the internet (teachers have review sites and vocabulary lists up, though they're not always well-written or AP style), do past free-response questions, and memorize laws/famous international meetings and explore case studies such as events and names of key locations (different areas that have been affected by humans, nuclear waste accident sites, modern geographic happenings, countries that contain vast reserves of oil, etc). Off of the free-response questions from past years that the official CB site has, think of some things that haven't shown up on the FR yet that could, and probe into those subjects as much as possible.</p>

<p>I've heard really good stuff about REA as a test prep company, but it's not the most famous brand, and I've never tried it myself.
No matter which book you get, if it has a CD-ROM version with extra practice tests on it for like three bucks more, get that version.
Alternatively, if you're self-studying Env. Sci. even though your school offers the class, see if you can check out the textbook from the library for the year anyway.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>