Read an Excerpt
Passing the AP Biology Examination
About This Book and Testware®
This book provides an accurate and complete representation of the Advanced Placement Examination in Biology. Our six practice tests are based on the format of the most recently administered AP Biology Exam.
Each model exam lasts three hours (including a 10-minute reading period) and includes every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the real test. Following each of our practice tests is an answer key, complete with detailed explanations designed to clarify the material for you. Also included in this book is a targeted biology course review. We provide it as a quick and handy reference for the topics covered on the AP Biology Exam.
By using the subject reviews, completing all six practice tests, and studying the explanations that follow, you will pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and, above all, put yourself in the best possible position to do well on the actual test.
Practice Tests I and II are also included on the enclosed TestWare® CD. The software provides the benefits of timed conditions and instantaneous, accurate scoring, which make it all the easier to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
ABOUT THE EXAM
The AP Biology Examination is offered each May at participating schools and multi-school centers throughout the world.
The Advanced Placement Program is designed to allow high school students to pursue college-level studies while attending high school. The participating colleges, in turn, grant credit and/or advanced placement to students who do well on the examinations.
The Advanced Placement Biology Course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course, often taken by biology majors in their first year of college. The AP Biology Exam covers material in three major areas:
1. Molecules and Cells 25%
2. Heredity and Evolution 25%
3. Organisms and Populations 50%
The exam is divided into two sections:
1. Multiple-Choice: Composed of 100 multiple-choice questions designed to test your ability to recall and understand various biological facts and concepts. This section of the exam is 80 minutes long, and is worth 60% of the final grade.
2. Free-Response: Consists of four mandatory questions designed to test your ability to think clearly and present ideas in a logical and coherent way. The answers must be in essay form. Outlines alone, or unlabeled and unexplained diagrams are not acceptable. Each of the four questions is weighted equally, and topics covered are as follows:
Molecules and Cells one question
Heredity and Evolution one question
Organisms and Populations two questions
Any one of these four questions may require you to analyze or interpret data or information from their laboratory experience as well as classroom lectures. This section of the exam is 90 minutes long, and counts for 40% of the final grade.
A 10-minute reading period is included on the exam.
You may find the AP Biology Exam considerably more difficult than many classroom exams. In order to measure the full range of your ability in biology, the AP Exams are designed to produce average scores of approximately 50% of the maximum possible score for the multiple-choice and essay sections. Therefore, you should not expect to attain a perfect or even near-perfect score.
How to Use This Book and TestWare®
To begin your studies, read over the introduction and the suggestions for test-taking. Take Practice Test I on CD to determine your strengths and weaknesses, and then study the course review material, focusing on your specific problem areas. The course review includes the information you need to know when taking the exam. Make sure to follow up your diagnostic work by taking Practice Test II on CD to become familiar with the format and feel of the AP Biology Exam.
To best utilize your study time, follow our Independent Study Schedule, which you will find in the front of this book. The schedule is based on a six-week program, but if necessary can be condensed to three weeks by combining each two-week program into one week.
When should I start studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the AP Biology Examination. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Cramming is not an effective way to study, since it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test material. The sooner you learn the format of the exam, the more time you will have to familiarize yourself with it.
SSD accommodations for students with disabilities
Many students qualify for extra time to take the AP Subject Tests, and our TestWare® can be adapted to accommodate your time extension. This allows you to practice under the same extended time accommodations that you will receive on the actual test day. To customize your TestWare® to suit the most common extensions, visit our website at www.rea.com/ssd.
Content of the AP Biology Exam
The AP Biology course covers the material one would find in a college-level general biology class. The exam stresses basic facts and principles, as well as general theoretical approaches used by biologists. The approximate breakdown of topics is as follows:
25% Molecular and Cellular Biology
Chemistry of life
25% Heredity and Evolution
50% Organisms and Populations
Diversity of organisms
Structure and function of plants and animals
About Our Review
This book contains an AP Biology Course Review that can be used as both a primer and as a quick reference while taking the practice exams. Our 120-page review is meant to complement your AP Biology textbook and is by no means exhaustive. By studying our review along with your text, you will be well prepared for the exam.