Students earning a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Biology exam can earn credit at many colleges and universities. Some schools award advanced standing and waive distribution requirements for students who earn a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Biology exam. Many students do not realize that you do not need to take an AP Biology course to sit for the AP Biology exam. This tutorial will outline the steps you need to take to earn a 5 on the AP Biology exam.
Understand the goals the College Board set out for the AP Biology course. AP Biology is designed to be taken after a student has had both an introductory biology and chemistry course. The stated goal of the College Board is for the AP Biology class to "help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process." Primary course emphasis should be on "developing an understanding of concepts rather than on memorizing terms and technical details. Essential to this conceptual understanding are the following: a grasp of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns."
Review your course content against the material covered on the exam. The AP biology exam has three main components weighted accordingly:
- Molecules and Cells, 25%
- Heredity and Evolution, 25%
- Organisms and Populations, 50%
Sign up to take the AP Biology exam with the College Board.
Review the information covered in the biology labs. There are 12 recommended biology laboratories for the AP Biology course. If you have had all 12 labs, be sure you understand the science behind them, take careful notes during each lab and review your notes. If you have not had all 12 labs, study the material covered in those missing labs.
Practice answering multiple choice questions. The College Board has released some sample multiple choice exams. Review those questions prior to taking the exam and purchase a commercial test review book for further examples of questions you might expect to see.
Practice answering free response questions. The College Board has released most of the free response questions asked in past tests. Sit down and answer as many of these questions in simulated exam conditions as you can.
Be sure you understand test taking strategies for the AP Biology test.
If you can eliminate two answers on the multiple choice test, then guess if you are not sure of the correct answer. If you can not eliminate two answers, leave the question blank and come back to it later if you have time.
Budget your time on the free response questions. If you do not know the answer to a question, skip it but allow time to come back to it at the end of the exam. Answer as much information as you can. You can earn credit for partial answers.
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