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AP Biology Exam - Introduction

College Board offers Advanced Placement Biology exam to high school students. Like many other AP courses the idea is for the students to earn college level courses while being in high school. We have already covered some of the details regarding the AP exam and the history of this exam, so be sure to check it out. Recommendation is for students to successfully complete high school Biology prior to pursuing 

College Board and other sources confirm and we agree with the assessment that no background in Biology is required to take the course, however, be sure to check with your school for specific information. It is extremely important to have reliable books for learning and studying the material covered in AP classes. This is particularly true for AP Biology considering the complexity and breadth of the course's content.

The format of the AP Biology exam continues to be modified to ensure students are getting appropriately prepared for the tests. With these changes, we expect the books to change as well. Some of the AP books have done better job of keeping up with the changes while others are lagging or have information that might be old.

Our panel of experts is reviewing these books on a quarterly basis to ensure, we make recommendations so you can get 4 or 5 on your AP Biology exam.

AP Biology Exam - Overview

Exam Duration

AP Biology exam is 90 minutes long and it has two sections.

Section I

First section covers multiple choice and/or grid-in and free response type of questions and counts towards 50% of your overall exam score. 

The first 63 questions are simple multiple choice ones, and the last 6 are grid-in questions.

Section II

The second section which makes up 50% of the remaining grade consists of 8 free questions. 

There are 2 long free response questions, one of which is lab or data-based, and 6 one paragraph short free response questions.

Additional Info

Each student is allowed to use a four function calculator throughout the exam.

AP Biology TextBook- Top Recommendations 2018

# 1 AP Biology TextBook - 2018

Pearson Education – Test Prep Series

PROS: We have been looking for the Best AP biology text book since the test was redesigned.  We came across other books that were good, but then those books didn’t have everything we were expecting to see in one book. Best Ap Books are both easy to read (in terms of digesting information) and quickly prepare you for AP Exam to score the highest. We have selected precise collection sorted by subject to help you prepare in the shortest time possible.

This book by Pearson Education is clearly head and shoulders above the rest. It is written by the HoltzClaws, who also write guided reading questions that go along with the Campbell biology book. There are 10 topics, or chapters in this book that review content.  Book also highlights “You Must Know” section that provides bullet points indicating material that you must really be aware of. There are several types of questions at the end of each chapter.

Level one contains knowledge and comprehension questions that “review essential content knowledge but don’t represent the type of question you will see on the AP exam.

Level 2, application and synthesis, questions are similar to those you will see on the exam.

Based on the questions we have seen on the practice exams released to approved AP bio teachers, these questions DO look like the ones on the exam. Very good practice, and worth its weight in gold right. Then there are at least 2 grid-in questions for each chapter.

You may need your textbook to review the topics more in depth, but this review book will help you figure out any areas that you don’t know well, and it will give you lots of practice in the kinds of problems you will actually encounter on the exam.

This book is a perfect companion to Campbell Biology, a common AP Biology and General Bio I and General Bio II textbooks. This which we consider to be the best ap biology textbook concisely review concepts that professors want students to know.

If you are looking for a book that provides summary of the many long lectures and text readings, we would highly recommend that you get this book.

CONS: Even with everything this book has to offer, some details are missing on few topics, but overall we feel like this book will get you a chance to score 5 on your AP exam, therefore, we are giving it the #1 AP Biology Book rank.

Barron's AP Biology

PROS: Comprehensive review to help you get a 5! The format of its questions changes a lot from the last edition, personally feel its context approaches to AP curriculum more. It’s helpful because it increases the conditions of a question which matches AP curriculum that wants student to have a strong reading capability. The practice tests were especially helpful.

CONS: Barron makes it very easy to understand and study, however, some errors and typos however are still in the book.

Barron's AP Biology

PROS: Barron makes it very easy to understand and study, however, some errors and typos however are still in the book.This is a beneficial AP Biology Crash Course and provides everything you need to succeed in the class and get a good grade on the AP exam. It summarizes each chapter with the most important and necessary information. It includes a multiple choice test after each chapter to prepare you for the AP exam.

Book includes 2 full-length practice tests to test your knowledge. Everything is clearly written, and is understandable. Barron’s books usually always define the words that are new, and don’t just throw them at you and expect you to know them. Definitely worth the money and it our favorite crash course for AP Biology, and we recommend it to anyone who is interested in getting 4 or 5 o AP Exam. This book makes it much easier to review your notes and understand the concepts. We have recommended this course to many students after they have gone thru the basic textbooks prior to taking their test. This book will prepare you for the newly structured AP exam.

This book is a perfect companion to Campbell Biology, a common AP Biology and General Bio I and General Bio II textbooks. This book concisely review concepts that professors want students to know. If you are looking for a book that provides summary of the many long lectures and text readings, we would highly recommend that you get this book.

 CONS: Not enough questions, but great illustrations.

AP Biology Exam - Additional Resources

AP Biology Resources – Free Practice Exams

AP Biology is an introductory college level biology course which is not very difficult to pass if you are willing to do the necessary work. As part of this test students need to demonstrate their understanding of biology through inquiry based investigation. We have already make recommendations on top books that can help you get 4 or 5 on your test. In addition, there are thousands of Ap Biology Resources on-line that can also help you better prepare for this test quickly.

As part of our goal to get you the top books and to get you prepared for the AP Biology exam, we will document these AP Biology Resources that will be beneficial to you.  If you go through these AP Biology resources, you will be 95% ready 95% to take the AP test. Make sure you check out all three recommended books and that should be sufficient to get you to pass this test.  For additional resources, see the recommendations below.

AP Biology Course Overview

This excellent resource from College Board provides quick overview of the exam that should help you close any gaps you have towards understanding the general test requirements.

AP practice Exams

Once again some excellent resources from AP College Board besides getting top AP Biology books to get you prepared for the AP test.

Albert.io

Albert IO is another great resource to get you prepared for the AP Exam. If you would rather spend additional money and get more comfortable, this site provides over 1000+ questions to get you familiar, however, that would cost you more money. If you would rather, without spending anymore, you can answer 30 questions and see where you stand.

Varsity Tutors
Another site that lets you practice this test by taking 369 questions at no cost.  Complete free AP Biology practice tests to help you get prepared for the actual test.

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