Until , the AP Bio test used to also contain grid-in questions in its multiple-choice section, but these have since been removed. This means that you don't need to worry about not being able to come up with the right answer—it'll always be one of the four answer choices given to you! Long questions are worth points each , whereas short-answer questions are worth 4 points each. Note that the second long question will require you to graph something as well. Until , the AP Bio exam used to have six short-answer questions instead of the current four.
Is this coffee smiling at me? Or am I delirious from lack of sleep? The AP Biology test doesn't include a set number of questions that deal with each topic area, but you should note that the exam is centered around four major themes or "Big Ideas," as the College Board calls them.
AP Essay Questions
Here's a list of these themes, followed by the topics that fall beneath each of them:. The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Topics that fall into this category include the following:. Biological systems use energy and molecular building blocks to grow, reproduce, and maintain dynamic homeostasis. Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes. Here are the main topics in this category:.
Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions exhibit complex properties.
The topics that fall into this category include the following:. Now that you have a basic content outline, here are some examples of the types of questions you'll see on the AP Biology test so that you can get an even better idea of what to expect.
This is helpful if you can remember basic facts about the disease that you can use to contextualize the question. The main part of the question asks what will be affected when you replace a hydrophilic amino acid with a hydrophobic one on a hemoglobin protein.
The Complete AP Biology Review Guide for
Choice D can also be eliminated because the internal secondary structure of the protein is not altered by the existence of the hydrophobic group. This would only affect how the molecule interacts externally with other hemoglobin molecules, as in choice A the correct answer. That's one long question! Now, this AP Bio question is worth a total of points the AP Biology Exam Description doesn't specify exactly how much this particular sample question is worth.
As you can see, there are four distinct parts: A, B, C, and D. Each part asks you to do something different and is worth a certain number of points:. Ugh, gross! This leaf is full of trichomes. This short-answer free-response AP Bio question is an example of an Analysis of Model or Visual Representation problem always 5 out of your six free-response questions.
It is worth a total of 4 points as are all short-answer questions. Like the long-form question above, each short-answer question consists of four parts: A, B, C, and D. You must answer all of these to get full points. There must be jobs out there for which you just have to collect plant samples. Start building your experience now by never showering. There are no point deductions for incorrect or blank answers. Scoring is a bit more complicated on the free-response section, which is scored by actual graders rather than a computer. Each of the four short-answer questions is scored out of 4 points , and each long free-response question is scored from 8 to 10 points.
This can change from year to year based on the performance of students. This is the most recent estimate I could find regarding the methodology behind it; however, note that this is for the old pre version of the AP Bio test and is therefore not relevant to the newest version. We'll update this data once an official practice test that reflects these changes is released.
Here's a conversion chart you can use to see how raw score ranges generally translate into final AP scores. Once again, this is for the old AP Bio test; we'll update the raw score ranges below once the College Board releases new data.
I've also included the percentage of students who earned each score in to give you an idea of what the score distribution looks like:. This indicates that you'd likely earn a 4 on the AP Biology test.
You can also view the scoring guidelines again, these will change slightly with the upcoming AP Bio exam. If you want to spice things up a little bit, you can even do the math on a snazzy calculator with red buttons! Isn't this fun?!?!? Now that you know all about what's on the AP Biology test, it's time to learn how to ace it. Follow these four tips so you can get a great score! This will help in answering both free-response and multiple-choice questions that deal with lab scenarios on the test.
Many free-response questions ask you to identify the components of a proposed experiment dependent and independent variables or to design a lab to test a certain hypothesis. You might have forgotten about the labs you did toward the beginning of the year, so take extra care to go over them. Make sure that you understand exactly how they were conducted and what the results mean. Memorization can be a big part of studying for AP Biology.
However, memorizing the definitions of terms will only get you so far. You'll also need to understand how they relate to one another and to the four themes listed above. The exam emphasizes making connections between biological terms, corresponding biological systems, inputs and outputs of these systems, and the overall impact on living organisms and the environment.
You should be able to follow a chain of reasoning from the specific to the broad, and vice versa. If this tree is AP Biology, the four big branches are the four themes and all the smaller offshoots are different terms and concepts. For it to survive, there has to be a lot of communication between the trunk and the rest of the tree! Try underlining important words and phrases in the question to help you stay focused on the main points and avoid misleading distractions. You should also practice responding to free-response questions in a straightforward way without any unnecessary fluff.
Make it easy for them to give you points! The AP Bio exam is pretty long even for an AP test , and many of the questions require quite a bit of thought. You need to ensure that you have a good handle on time management before exam day. The best way to do this is to take at least one AP Biology practice test. The most recent one available is from , so it's a little out of date and follows the old format of the AP Bio exam; however, it should still be pretty useful overall.
There are 58 questions in total on the multiple-choice section including five grid-ins, which you can skip as these aren't on the AP Bio test anymore , and you have 90 minutes to answer them. This comes out to about one minute and 40 seconds for each question. Therefore, you should spend no more than a minute and 15 seconds on each multiple-choice question when you go through this practice test. If you find yourself spending extra time on a question, skip it and come back to it later.
You also have 90 minutes for the free-response section, but you'll spend different amounts of time on the long and short questions. Many students who took an AP exam completed their college degree in the disciplinary area of that exam. Finally, there was a strong relationship between taking AP exams in high school and graduating from college in four years with a grade point average GPA above 3.
In another ETS study Morgan and Ramist , AP students who received scores of 4 analogous to college-level B work or 5 analogous to a college-level grade of A , and who were exempted from their first one or two semesters of the introductory college biology course, typically performed at a higher level measured by GPA in their first upper-level course than did non-AP students who took the introductory sequence at their college.
These data indicate that students who typically score 4 or 5 on AP exams are well prepared for college-level academic work at the level above the traditional two-semester introductory biology sequence. We also have much anecdotal evidence from conversations over the years with college AP readers that students who receive an AP score of 3 analogous to a grade of C often perform at the A level when they take a two-semester college biology course. As a biologist, why would you want to be an AP reader?
The answer is simple: It will help make you a better teacher. The AP reading is an excellent way to form partnerships with some of the most committed high school and college science educators in the United States, Canada, and other countries. It is a wonderful opportunity for professional development, during which college faculty can learn much about test and rubric development. The AP reading is a great place to exchange ideas about teaching and to find out what other teachers are doing in the classroom and laboratory.
If you are having difficulty teaching a particular concept or idea, someone at the reading will have a suggestion about how to do it more effectively.
More readers are needed every year, as more and more high school students enroll in AP courses. It is vital to have the support of faculty from colleges and universities that award AP credit to their incoming students. AP readings are enjoyable and challenging events. Lectures, discussions, and social events accompany the hard work of reading hundreds of essays.
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