Lets talk about AP Biology





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: Lets talk about AP Biology
By Gokuzcl (Gokuzcl) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 01:05 am: Edit

Hey, the AP tests are coming! How do you guys prepare for that? Lets share our plans! I am using the cliffnotes to study, and I already looked over the chemical, cells, photosynthesis, respirations, cell divisions, and heredity. I'm at the Five kingdoms, how far are you guy?

I go back to school and hour early to study for that test, it's my first AP test, I'm excited. Do you guys think we have to know alot of details? Or we just have to know some basic stuffs?

Only one month away...

By Simplyloved (Simplyloved) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 01:33 am: Edit

we have to know details.. killer details i'm gonna do horrible.. but at least i tried

By Number9 (Number9) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 02:47 am: Edit

I have no idea how I going to approach this test. I also have to take the US History test, but that I know how to attack, unlike this one. I think I am totally screwed. I'm at respiration right now in Cliffs. I plan to read the whole book 2 more times before the test.

I honestly cannot understand this rubbish...Things like Rubisco, PGAL, NADPH, and the like are circling my head, and I really can't get a firm grasp on any of it...

By Impatheticiknow (Impatheticiknow) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 03:16 am: Edit

I know exaclty how you feel. Bio is PAINFULLY boring. As for me, it looks like I will be spending some time with my beloved cliff notes book.

By Staticsoliloquy (Staticsoliloquy) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 04:27 am: Edit

last year. All i used was the cliffnotes ap bio book. It was extremely helpful.

Remember to rememeber your hormones and what does each one do. Cuz I basically guess on that one

Don't worry about it too much. I left like 20 questions blank on the MC. I answered all of the essay, which is easier than you'd think. The Free response have options, so just pick the one that works for you.

yea so basically, don't study the weekend before the test, I didn't, and it was fine, and I'm not a genius or anything. If you have consistently work hard throughout the year, the ap exam won't be a problem.

By Skiowad (Skiowad) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 06:42 am: Edit

i had bio first semester so i started reviewing at the beginning of january. i didnt understnad the difficulty i would have, so i basically just learned it short term both in school and the first time around. i finished the book and am about to reread. this time,tho, i plan to actually learn stuff. i wasnt too into bio in the first place anyway, but now i am, so i hope that helps. have any of you been taking practice exams?
this is my first year taking exams so im really nervous,but excited. calc is my first exam so i should be prepared for that one, then us hist, which i will also be well prepared, so at least then i am able to get used to taking the exams by the time the bio exam rolls around the next monday. 4 weeks left.
what im gonna do to remember that stuff(rubisco, PGAL, blah blah) is when i go through this next time, is jot down flash cards. i also found it helpful is including it in everyday activities. ie. eating-go over in your mind where what enzymes digest which group of molecules.

By Number9 (Number9) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 01:34 pm: Edit

What did you get on the test, Static? Are the essay questions of the same caliber as they are in the Cliffs book?

By Adidasty (Adidasty) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 01:37 pm: Edit

you guys, I am AP Biology alumnus. Heres what you need to prepare for: DO NOT learn ALL the steps of the Calvin or Citric Acid Cycle. You will not get a super in depth question. You will get a question like: What substance is directly needed for the reduction of PGAP into PGAL? That of course is NADPH. also, you guys wont get things like: What is the antigen called that is presented to a T-cell by an antigen presenting cell for it to be activated? (Major histocompatibility complex or an HLA), you'll get a question like: Which of these cells is associated with Cell Mediated Immunity? Which is of course T- lymphocytes. If you have any questions at all, email me at adidasty@aol.com and ill help u out. hope ive helped.

By Tangerine (Tangerine) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 10:10 pm: Edit

I am using cliffs also...but i am only on the photosynthesis chapter. i guess i better start studying!

By Simplyloved (Simplyloved) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 10:34 pm: Edit

the teacher just told us that she's not teaching us so we can pass the AP.. i almost cried.

By Number9 (Number9) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 12:04 am: Edit

Our class is in the middle of plants, and we've only done 3 labs...

By Simplyloved (Simplyloved) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 01:24 am: Edit

we've done 2.5 or less but we never went over what each lab meant..

By Skiowad (Skiowad) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 06:32 am: Edit

simply, i know what you mean. My school does awful at preparing kids for the AP exam. Our only good subject is US History. Last year, our Val got a 1 on Chem, nobody's ever made a 5 on the Bio, and most of our AP classes are filled with slackers(who don't take the exam) so the teachers slow down to help them out. I was wondering if anybody else had the same problem, other than simply?
Also, we never really went over labs that much, although we did at least do 10 of the 12.

By Susu (Susu) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 06:29 pm: Edit

Skiowad and Simply, take comfort in the fact that colleges look at how YOU did relative to everyone else at YOUR school. If Awful-AP High consistently turns in scores of 1 and 2, and you manage to pull off a bunch of 3-4-5 scores, you're the pick of the litter from your neighborhood. (I met a kid from South Carolina who got into MIT with ONE AP score. It was the only AP class his high school offered, he took it, and he got a 4. Voila!) You'll do fine.

By Impatheticiknow (Impatheticiknow) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 09:20 pm: Edit

Labs are so pointless. They don't illustrate anything and they certainly don't help us understand concepts. They are simply an opportunity for the class to goof off and make up results (hence my deep love of lab days).

By Number9 (Number9) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 09:59 pm: Edit

I wish some of these AP Bio alumnus would tell us what they got...

A question: How is PR for AP Bio? I found it very helpful for AP US History in the ways of understanding the test. Its given me a lot of confidence...

By Simplyloved (Simplyloved) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 10:02 pm: Edit

there are only 9 people in my AP Bio class and 7 are gonna get a 3 or less and 2 are gonna get a 3 or more. o woe is me... haha optimism

By Adrianwuzhere (Adrianwuzhere) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 10:50 pm: Edit

hmm.. i think my ap bio teacher hates all of us.. she knows we are all going to fail b/c we spent half the year cheating and the other half failing.. and now she wont get any ap bonus (our teachers get like 50$ for every kid that passes). I guess that makes me feel better about failing though... i dont like her either.

By Simplyloved (Simplyloved) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 11:21 pm: Edit

hahah adrianwuzhere that's the spirit!! my ap bio teaher is hated by the whole school. She used to teach chem but too many seniors were failing and then they investigated and realized taht she didn't teach and when they had a test it would be on something they hadn't gone over yet (much like in ap bio). so she gets demoted to teach ap bio and regular bio. the last ap class she taught was like 3 to 5 years ago. i despise her, she spits on people, makes confusing analogies, made us listen to a song abot the functions of the sun, and goes from chapter 1 to 50 to 34 to 25.. which by the way have nothing to do with each other. never again will i take a clas with her.. o if only i could turn back time.

By Spright (Spright) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 05:15 pm: Edit

I'm pretty dead for the test as well. /And/ my parents got me a review book other than the Cliff's, so if it is as much of an essential as everyone is making it out to be, then I'm dead there, as well.

Half of my class is failing...they don't need the class to graduate, they just had an extra period. We aren't going to learn any anatomy. The teacher says the AP test is meaningless memorization and won't teach for it. A lot of high school is meaningless memorization...what difference would one more class of it make? And we've barely done any of the labs. At all. Like, three...the first two and the Hardy-Weinberg one. Ay.

If I can't get the Cliff's book...what should I do? Also...any good sites for lab summaries?

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 07:48 pm: Edit

Go out and buy the damn CliffNotes! You need it, unless you want to read through the entire textbook.

By Number9 (Number9) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 08:12 pm: Edit

Question: Our class has not hit on anatomy at all. I dont have any plans on hitting my textbook's chapters, and only working from Cliffs. Yes or no?

By Adrianwuzhere (Adrianwuzhere) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 09:56 pm: Edit

i dont have cliffs.. i have barrons? is cliffs really that necessary.. or will barrons do? also.. i found a GREAT website for ap bio.. i read it before all of our tests b/c our book is ridiculously huge.. and i usually get one of the best grades in the class.. in your FACE, biology teacher (who hates me by the way b/c i was the ringleader of first semester's cheating scandal..) so anyway.. you guys should definitely check it out...
http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/T/TOC.html

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 10:15 pm: Edit

That's good, but frankly, the textbook has everything you need to know about Bio.

From what I see Number9, Cliffs is just a condensed version of the Campbell textbook. It has virtually all of the important terms, minus the long examples and tedious paragraphs. So if you know everything in the Cliffs book, you'll get a 5.

By Number9 (Number9) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 10:42 pm: Edit

Thanks. Our class isnt lucky enough to have the Campbell textbook. :(

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 02:18 am: Edit

The Campbell textbook is really good, but it's hard to sit through more than one chapter at a time. For some reason, I learn a LOT just from reading it (not even taking notes), but it drains the hell out of me. That's why Cliffs is better to get to the main point. I'm 100% positive the author of Cliffs just went through the Campbell textbook and took out the important stuff. The order and content matches almost exactly.

By Number9 (Number9) on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 12:35 pm: Edit

I've been picking up a lot off of Cliffs just by reading so far. I could never fully grasp these concepts when we went over them earlier, amd found them impossible to learn. One read through the chapter, and I think I finally made some connections and can visualize all these processes...

By Adrianwuzhere (Adrianwuzhere) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 06:21 pm: Edit

my ap bio teacher isnt covering ecology at all and the only system she's been able to "fit in" is the circulatory system.. shes just like.. "so i hope you guys bought barrons..." what a !@#$%^... it's total b.s. b/c my school has block scheduling and we've had this class for 90 minutes every day for a year.. it's totally ridiculous

By Daffyflower (Daffyflower) on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 11:43 pm: Edit

Yeah...this cheating/failing/inept teacher AP Bio situation seems to be ubiquotous everywhere in america. I use the Campos-Rheese edition too. A lot of pretty pictures, good stuff, but I agree that its draining to read, and unless you have a test on it, no one will read it.

Seems like no one gets through the entire curriculum. And those that do are mercilessly dragged through, the victims panting for breath knowing neither what is up or down. our class is on chapter 20ish of the book, one month before our exam. The teacher lectures, but heck, I'm lost three days into a chapter.

Then the info flies by above our head, we lose interest, we talk and gossip and catch up on our social lives, we mess up labs... I remember once incident where we all handed i our labs 3 weeks late, at last possible moment before th marking period ended at three oclock, and we made the poor teacher do the lab questions for us. Yep, learning at our best. Wow, writing this comment really makes me deplore myself and my class.

Anyhoo, Who else feels they are doomed?

By Inopa (Inopa) on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 12:24 am: Edit

me not at all...
you guys are too negative...
u see the grading scale? you can get like 90/119 on the MC and like 20/40 on the essays to get a five...and like nearly half that for a 3...serious how the heck do you fail?
ill be taking it and true, our teacher knows jack sh** and cant teach worth a damn but with a review book just read? prolly the only hard part is remembering the individual monerans/protists and the like but thats easy...

By Inopa (Inopa) on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 09:41 pm: Edit

eh? it isnt that hard right?

By Number9 (Number9) on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 10:36 pm: Edit

let's hope not...

By Inopa (Inopa) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 06:37 pm: Edit

well my apbio teacher said it is THE hardest test, more than APUS...how are both of these compared to European?

By Lilmeariane (Lilmeariane) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 09:34 pm: Edit

what i find really useful is the campbell's study guide book (to study for tests in school) you can buy those at any local community college practically and they're easier to read and sit through than the actual books, and just as useful (for me).
from my experience and past ap bio students at my hs - our teacher's tests are a lot harder than the apexam, so when we get to it, it appears more simple. so my guess is if you worked hard all year - you should be fine. just refresh everything and study like it was a cumulative final =)

By Lilmeariane (Lilmeariane) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 09:36 pm: Edit

oh yeah - my hs has hit the systems chapters (chapter 40something?)/ a chapter every 1.5 days; and we're on lab 10 =/

By Miumiu016 (Miumiu016) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

Can I share my AP Bio story?

I took AP Bio as a Freshman. I didn't finish it, but audited it every other day for 1 period Sophomore year. The thing is, I never went. I usually just went to lunch instead.

8 days before the AP test, I started binge studying, no sleep for a full EIGHT DAYS, just hardcore memorization of the textbook and AP Bio study guide (it's yellow and black on the cover, I don't remember the name but it's awesome). That was possibly the worst week of my life, or at least one of them. Eight days without sleep, fueled by caffeine, can do crazy things to you. After I took the test in the morning, I went to the bathroom and promptly threw up. I didn't answer one of the essay questions (my teacher forgot to teach psi stuff) and was sure I had failed....

turned out I got a 5 :D Trust me, it's not bad. Binge studying will certainly help, although it's always good to have paid attention throughout the year. Good luck! You'll do fine.

By Miumiu016 (Miumiu016) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

Can I share my AP Bio story?

I took AP Bio as a Freshman. I didn't finish it, but audited it every other day for 1 period Sophomore year. The thing is, I never went. I usually just went to lunch instead.

8 days before the AP test, I started binge studying, no sleep for a full EIGHT DAYS, just hardcore memorization of the textbook and AP Bio study guide (it's yellow and black on the cover, I don't remember the name but it's awesome). That was possibly the worst week of my life, or at least one of them. Eight days without sleep, fueled by caffeine, can do crazy things to you. After I took the test in the morning, I went to the bathroom and promptly threw up. I didn't answer one of the essay questions (my teacher forgot to teach psi stuff) and was sure I had failed....

turned out I got a 5 :D Trust me, it's not bad. Binge studying will certainly help, although it's always good to have paid attention throughout the year. Good luck! You'll do fine.

By Number9 (Number9) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 12:41 am: Edit

Our class fails to make connections, and Im having a horrible time learning this stuff. About 2/3 of the bold terms in Cliffs I have never seen before.

By Inopa (Inopa) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:43 pm: Edit

so compared to Euro and US? even though they are history, are they comprable?

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

You think some of your classes are bad? Ha. I'd dream to be in one of those classes!

For one, we've only done three of the labs, I think. (Maybe 2.5) Also, we only covered the ecology unit (over the previous summer) and up to DNA. Evolution, the survey of life, classificaiton, the protostomes/deuterostomes, AND anatomy: we covered none of these! It's really quite astounding.

But, I am nearly finished reading the entire book and have a Cliffs handy.

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:19 pm: Edit

8 days without sleep? Us AP Bio students know that'll kill you. I'm sure you at least got a couple hours of sleep. BTW, what do you mean by psi stuff?

This stuff is flying over my head. I gotta think of a system. I still have animal anatomy/reproduction and ecology to learn, and I'm mostly prepping for the SAT II on May 1st.

By Inopa (Inopa) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:44 pm: Edit

no answer to euro or US?

By Miumiu016 (Miumiu016) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:28 pm: Edit

nay, somehow, i am still alive. i remember taking 45 min. catnaps in AP Chem (got a 3 on the AP Chem test, heh). but no, no REM sleep for a full, eight days. bio teaches that you can develop personality disorders w/o REM sleep. my hands were shaking when i took the test, it was so horrible. in retrospect, i now know i didn't even have to get a good grade on the AP test, IB sort of covers for you, should you choose to take it.

the stuff she didn't teach was something about the pressure of water in plants, using greek letter psi? i had never seen it before.

By Number9 (Number9) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:54 pm: Edit

Wasn't there a Chi-Square essay question that was asked last year? Maybe thats what Miu meant.

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 01:09 am: Edit

What I hate about these Bio tests is that there is SO much material to cover (an entire college textbook), but the questions can be so damn specific that even WITH the textbook, you'd have trouble finding the information. The only way to score high that I see is to memorize as much as possible, every random fact that you come across.

By Unluckycharms (Unluckycharms) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 11:36 am: Edit

Wow. I didn't know so many people were having trouble with the AP Bio exam.

Honestly, I think I am extraordinarily lucky - I have one of the most dedicated teachers in the nation who helps us prepare. At a public school, too! We've gone over every lab (We havn't actually done them, because they never work), and have gone into every chapter in-depth. We've been in school for the past 4 Saturdays now to finish the curriculum..

Just wanted to share my experience with the course. I've started studying earlier this week, but don't plan to even look at Respiration and Photosynthesis again until the 8th, so I will remember it for the test.

By Inopa (Inopa) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 07:16 pm: Edit

is it that hard? comon people hasnt anyone taken it?

By Best_Wr (Best_Wr) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit

Let's hear success stories instead of depressing ones

By Number9 (Number9) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 09:39 pm: Edit

Yeah, I'd like to hear how people of the last couple of years have prepared for this test...

Is everyone just relying on Cliffs? Or are people doing every practice tests they can get their hands on, going online sites, etc?

By Pianoman (Pianoman) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 09:47 pm: Edit

Is it me or is the Five-Kingdom Survey chapter in Cliff's ridiculous? Too many darn reproductive cycles, and I'm getting them all mixed up. The chapter makes me want to cry.

By Number9 (Number9) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 10:25 pm: Edit

All the chapters want to make me cry. I agree with you though.

By Skiowad (Skiowad) on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 05:22 pm: Edit

i started the book in order, but skipped the kingdoms. i dont even know if i'll do it later on. it just seemed like too much to memorize, even though its about 10 percent of the test, so i know its gonna bite me back if i dont learn it. i know most of the other chapters luckily.

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 01:47 am: Edit

5 Kingdoms is too much, I'm doing it at the end with notecards. The textbook has served me well with the chapters on animal anatomy, I learned a lot. The trick for me is to use the print-out of chapter questions my teacher gives me, and answer the questions while reading. Cliffs is purely for memorization, and I need to find time to make more notecards with that CueCard software.

By Spright (Spright) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 09:55 am: Edit

Got the Cliff's...insanely happy that I did.

My biology class is dissecting cats for the next four (!) weeks, and we don't have anymore tests (our final test was over bacteria through fungi) so I'm attempting to study upwards of 3 hours per weekday. And I'm only at cell division. But I figure that if I know half of it really well, and skip around on the rest, I have a shot at not failing.

The other day my teacher reiterated her "well, this class isn't designed to prepare you for the ap test" speech...sigh.

By Number9 (Number9) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 12:14 pm: Edit

We didn't dissect anything in our class. Probably a good thing, on account of how rowdy our class is.

We did the fruitfly lab, but someone turn the incubator's temperature all the way up and killed all the flies...heh...crazy times...

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 04:54 pm: Edit

Spright, why don't you skip to plants and animal structure/reproduction. That's a big 30% chunk.

By Spright (Spright) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 05:00 pm: Edit

aim78...I think I'll do that, starting tomorrow. I'm going to go have a marathon of sorts, trying to get from cell division to the start of evolution tonight...whee.

Then this week is for evolution (that seems to be a major concept) and plants/5 kingdoms (I actually know the 5 kingdoms well...spent around 20 hours on a project concerning them), and animals/anatomy next week. Then about 2 days to review it all...
eep.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit

So, to prepare for this test, is everyone just using Cliffs to study what you don't know and review what you supposedly do?


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