5 Steps to a 5: 500 AP Biology Questions to Know by Test Day, Third Edition
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mina Lebitz worked in biochemistry research before transitioning to teaching and tutoring at both the high school and college level. As a teacher, she designed curricula for several science courses, mentored students with research projects, and was awarded the New York Times Teachers Who Make a Difference Award. She spent several years as the senior science tutor at one of the most prestigious private tutoring and test prep agencies in the United States. Mina continues to develop science curricula, working with students and their parents to help them achieve their academic goals, while continuing to learn everything she can about what she loves most, science.
Congratulations! You’ve taken a big step toward AP success by purchasing 5 Steps to a 5: 500 AP Biology Questions to Know by Test Day. We are here to help you take the next step and earn a high score on your AP Exam so you can earn college credits and get into the college or university of your choice.
This book gives you 500 AP-style multiple-choice and free-response questions that cover all the most essential course material. Each question has a detailed answer explanation. These questions will give you valuable independent practice to supplement both your regular textbook and the groundwork you are already covering in your AP classroom. This and the other books in this series were written by expert AP teachers who know your exam inside and out and can identify
crucial exam information and questions that are most likely to appear on the test.
You might be the kind of student who takes several AP courses and needs to study extra questions a few weeks before the exam for a final review. Or you might be the kind of student who puts off preparing until the last weeks before the exam. No matter what your preparation style is, you will surely benefit from reviewing these 500 questions that closely parallel the content, format, and degree of difficulty of the questions on the actual AP exam. These questions and their answer explanations are the ideal last-minute study tool for those final few weeks before the test.
Remember the old saying “Practice makes perfect.” If you practice with all the questions and answers in this book, we are certain you will build the skills and confidence needed to do great on the exam. Good luck!
—Editors of McGraw-Hill Education
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Thank you for choosing this book to help prepare you for your AP Biology exam. Knowledge is perishable, so consistent practice is crucial to your success on this exam. Practice problems and questions are the most efficient and effective way to test and reinforce your knowledge, comprehension, and application of biology for the AP Biology exam. Your mistakes will identify the areas that need improvement.
This book is meant as a comprehensive review and is most helpful after you’ve learned at least half of the AP curriculum. These questions here are intended to develop and refine your reasoning skills as well as
your knowledge of biology. Although the questions range from fairly simple and straightforward to complex and sophisticated, I chose to write most of the questions on the more challenging side so many of these questions will take more time to answer than you’ll have on the AP Biology exam. It’s impractical to spend 7 minutes on a single multiple-choice question during the actual AP exam, but it’s time well spent on many of the questions in this book. Like the AP Biology exam, the questions in this book will contain data and experiments that you’ve likely never seen or heard of. That’s the point: These types of questions are designed to test and sharpen your reasoning skills, not your specific knowledge of biology facts. If you put the work into understanding each of the questions in this book, you will be very well-prepared for your exam.
The College Board has made a small sample of practice questions available to students. I strongly recommend that you practice with all of the questions they have made available. They will help you get a feeling for exactly what the questions will be like on test day.
In order to make the book a more useful learning tool, I had to make some formatting compromises. All of the questions in this book are “AP Biology–like,” but there are some notable differences. Some answer explanations will give away the answers to later questions, and some questions will require answers from previous questions. The actual AP Biology exam will not contain questions like this. To avoid inadvertently getting answers to later questions, answer all the grouped questions before looking at the answers. If a question requires an answer from a previous question, wait until you get to that question and then check the answer but not the explanation. Unlike the AP Biology exam, I have interspersed free-response questions, grid-in questions, and multiple-choice questions.
Here are some other tips for using this book in the most effective way possible and generally preparing for the AP Biology exam:
– If you guess on a question, you should mark that question for later review. If you guessed correctly, you may not remember to review the question and answer to clarify and reinforce the infor
mation. Remember, when the topic comes up again, you may not guess as well!
– In the answer section of this book, italicized notes refer to specific information regarding the AP Biology curriculum. You should familiarize yourself with the information in these notes. They are there to streamline what you need to know for the exam.
– Be aware that, at the time of publication, the College Board has released a full-length practice test that is available only to teachers. Make sure you ask your teacher to administer it to your class. Check with your teacher and the College Board website to make sure you have access to all released exams and questions from actual AP Biology exams.
– The first administration of the new AP Biology exam was in May of 2013, so in addition to the free-response questions in the course syllabus and the released practice exam, you can find all the free-response questions from 2013 and later on the website with the scoring rubrics.
– Familiarize yourself with as many scoring rubrics as you can, even if they are from exams administered prior to 2013. They are all free to download on the College Board website. Even the free-response rubrics from older exams will help you get acquainted with the nuances of earning points on the free-response questions.
– Make sure you review your labs! Biology is both a laboratory and a field science, so expect to see a significant number of questions related to your labs on the AP exam.
– Familiarize yourself with the formula sheet you’ll be provided with. It contains many equations, formulas, and a chi-square table. This will help limit your memorization load and the time you spend looking for the relevant information on the sheet.
– Be familiar with the format of the exam before you sit for it. On test day, let your brain focus solely on the biology.
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