AP Biology/Preface

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Welcome![edit]

This textbook is based on the College Entrance Examination Board test in Advanced Placement Biology. This seems to be the best reference to build a textbook on, since it is a standard on the subject and covers what most Biology students study in high school and college. Overall, however, the content and structure may in time vary from all other books. Besides the regular Wikibook rules governing unbiased writing, the only other guideline should be that everything should be kept divided into logical chapters. Everything else is left pretty much to the individual authors that elect to join the project. Enjoy!

AP Course Description (view the .pdf)

There are already Biology Wikibooks. This is a Wikibook geared towards high school students preparing for the College Board's AP Examination. It assumes readers have a general background to biology, as students planning to take the exam are generally enrolled in an AP Biology course, and the AP curriculum is a second-year biology course.

Other Wikibooks: Biology, FHSST Biology - just the framework

"How long should it take to study this Wikibook?"[edit]

Good question. We'll let you know when we finish.

The AP Biology Test[edit]

The AP Biology Test is a three hour exam. It consists of 100 multiple-choice question (60% of the grade), and four free response questions (40% of the grade). Eighty minutes are alloted for the multiple-choice section and 100 minutes (including a 10 minute reading period) for writing the four essays. The contents of the exam are approximately as follows:

  • Molecules and Cells, 25%
  • Heredity and Evolution, 25%
  • Organisms and Populations, 50%

Essay I pertains to "Molecules and Cells". Essay II tests knowledge of "Heredity and Evolution". Essays III and IV examine students knowledge of "Organisms and Populations". One of the four essays deals strictly with one of the 12 AP national labs.

The multiple-choice section awards one point for a correct answer, zero points for answers left blank, and subtracts 1/4 of a point for wrong answers as a means to deter random guessing.

The exam is based so that the average student will score at 50% of the maximum.

Hints for the Free Response Section

Study the 12 labs and memorize the keywords associated with each lab, trying to get at least a generalized picture of what the lab is about. Those that grade the essays do not evaluate organization, length, or style. They do look for keywords and concepts, assigning points based on a rubric with a list of keywords and concepts associated with the question. During the 10 minute planning period, it is prudent to jot down keywords on the green outline you'll be given so you won't forget and exclude them from the essay.

Hints for the Multiple-Choice Section

The key to cracking the multiple-choice section of the test is P.O.E.

P.O.E. = Process Of Elimination

There are five choices for each question, and a small penalty for guessing. When you've eliminated two answers, guess. If you cannot eliminate two answers, leave the question blank and come back later if you have time. You are allowed to mark in your examination booklet, and physically crossing off wrong answers, circling correct ones, and circling numbers that you wish to re-examine is a good idea. Some students will skip a question, fill in the wrong oval for the next, and must waste time trying to redetermine where the mistake was made. Marking in your examine booklet will prevent this headache.

Good Luck!