AP Biology: The Gateway To Life

Material Type- Memorization
Textbook Recommendation- Biology (AP Editions) by Neel Campbell
Review Book Recommendation- CliffsAP Biology by Phillip E. Pack (CliffsNotes)
Similar/Relevant Courses: AP Environmental Science, Honors Biology

     Like most Advanced Placement sciences, AP Biology is no walk-in-the-park. But AP Biology is one of the most popularly taken AP sciences, mostly thanks to the fact it requires little background math and science. AP Bio students would agree that most studying and work they do is purely memorization based. Nearly all tests, including the AP Exam, will be a ‘regurgitation’ and interpretation of biology terms and concepts. There are no concepts or mathematical formulas that need to be applied and reapplied.

     With studying, be prepared to spend long nights memorizing an endless number of terms. Campbell’s AP Bio textbook is thick and detailed enough to get you by, but most would recommend CliffsNote’s AP Bio review book for its easier wording and summarization. Check out YouTube for some interesting songs and raps by other AP Bio students for an easier time going through with more stressful bio topics.

     The AP exam is pretty notorious, and isn’t something to be taken lightly. Start looking over your material a few weeks beforehand and cram through your material if you want that 4 or 5. In 2010, about 33.8% of exam takers scored a 4 or 5.

     We would suggest taking AP Biology your sophomore year, as it’ll give you a good, yet difficult base to build your ‘AP Career’ upon for the legit AP load your junior and senior years. If you have plans of self-studying (the easier) AP Environmental Science, self-study it concurrently with AP Bio. Many of the life science concepts are mutual, and AP Biology does include an ecology section covering AP Environmental topics.

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