1. The Princeton Review Cracking the AP Biology Exam 2021
The Princeton Review AP Biology book is a popular and widely recommended material for the Biology course.
It lives up-to-the standards of Princeton by providing students with thorough coverage of all essential subject matters to help them score a 5.
And if you ever doubted this, then it’s time to reconsider as this study guide comes complete with a chapter on study strategies and tactics for the course, in-line with the current AP Biology exam expectations.
According to the official AP College Board website, the 2019-2020 school year marks the beginning of stable and consistent AP Biology exam question types and point values through the years.
The 2023 exam will have two sections. The multi-choice and the free-response parts.
Section 1 is the multi-choice exam section, and it contains 60 questions, to be taken within 90 minutes, and they account for 50% of the exam score.
Some of the questions you should expect in this part include question sets, Grid-in questions, and discrete questions.
Section 2 is the free-response section, containing 6 questions to be taken within 90 minutes, and they also account for 50% of the exam score.
Students will come across 2 long questions focusing on the interpretation and evaluation of experimental results.
There are also 4 short-answer questions testing on analysis, investigation, and conceptual skills.
How Do I Prepare for AP Biology?
Understand The Exam Format
Studying for the exam, you don’t know how it will look like, is preparing blindly. You first have to go through the exam overview and get a glimpse of all the examined areas.
We have already covered this in the above section, so we aren’t going into details here.
But, you can visit the AP Biology section on the official College Board section if interested in more details.
Also, as you focus on what’s included in the exam, remember to also go through what isn’t included in the test.
The last thing you want is to go through tons of content only for a few to appear in the exam.
Now that you have an idea about the actual exam structure, you should know by now that vocabulary and concepts are essential in the AP Biology Exam.
And this doesn’t mean you go around cramming random vital terms. You should focus on extensively understanding the art of connecting various concepts.
But for this, you must also know some commonly used Biological vocabularies. If not, how then will you understand concepts? I hope you now clearly understand my point.
For this, make good use of flashcards. You can hand-write some for on your own, head online for printed copies, or invest in the eFlashcards.
The good thing about this is that you can review the cards wherever you’re and at whichever time since they’re easily portable.
You cannot separate AP Biology from the use of diagrams. Like it or not, you will come across many of them in the actual exam, and accurate interpretation will significantly boost your score.
For this reason, you should focus on mastering as many diagrams as possible during your review. And which better way to ensure this than through customized flashcards?
Here, the secret is to let loose your creative side. Get multiple colors and use them. Ensure to accurately label all the crucial parts, complete with a list of vital steps.
Anything that will help you master the information is welcome. So, there’s really no limit to how much creativity you can use.
Focus on the Bigger Picture
Sometimes studying for an exam can be overwhelming. And most students find themselves procrastinating, especially when dealing with detailed information such as in AP Biology.
Don’t fall prey to this. Yes, there are a lot of dates, functions, facts, and names you need to memorize, but you shouldn’t try to force them all on yourself at ago.
Set a goal for each chapter. Know why you’re reading it and what you want to master and how that will help you accomplish your bigger goal.
Don’t forget to figure out how the concepts of each chapter connect. If you can accomplish this, then you should comfortably tackle the exam.
Actively Read to Understand
Anyone who has taken more than two AP courses can comfortably tell you that AP Biology is one of the most extensive classes you will ever come across.
And because of this, you will have to cover numerous chapters per day to ensure you get everything covered before exam day.
That’s why it’s crucial if you read every day and not just for the sake of it. But engage actively to understand concepts.
The best way to do this is by going through each chapter summary, highlighting all the vital details, and making essential notes in your small notebook.
If you ever find yourself struggling with various concepts, try explaining them to a friend or family member. And if no one is around, then go ahead and explain it to yourself, loudly.
Invest in A Quality Review Prep Book
I can’t insist enough on the importance of purchasing a review book for your studies. Even if you’re enrolled in a class, the teacher can’t cover everything you need.
Remember, everyone is pacing against time. So, you need extra practice.
The good thing about these books is that they come with numerous problem questions, full-length practice exams, and detailed explanations to answers.
Some even offer online access to customizable study schedules.
I have reviewed some of the best copies in today’s market in this article, so selecting one or two shouldn’t be difficult.
Watch Numerous Videos
Now that the internet is here to stay and YouTube contains all types of videos, it shouldn’t be difficult to source out for crash course series videos.
Videos make concepts stick a little bit faster than textbooks, so they make great supplementary, especially if you’re one of those individuals who quickly get bored after reading hundreds of text.
Attend Those 12 Lab Classes
Yes, you need to participate in laboratory classes to ensure you’re adequately prepared for the exam. The best you can do for yourself is to ensure you attend all 12 of them, popularly referred to as the “Dirty Dozen.”
Well, not unless you want to research everything for yourself.
FAQs About Best AP Biology Prep Books
Is AP Biology Easy?
AP Biology isn’t a typical easy exam.
It even recently got complicated due to its updated challenging curriculum.
And while most students find it challenging, you can still manage it if you keep focused and persistently work towards what you’re facing.
How To Get A 5 In AP Biology
First, familiarize yourself with the exam format for a clear idea of what you’re facing.