Studying for the Biology AP Examination - Some important Tips

Hello Student:

The Biology AP examination is serious and difficult. It takes lots of time, study and devotion. Don't waste time trying to memorize it. Spend your time trying to understand it.

I studied under the tutelage of Professor Neil Campbell when I was at San Bernardino Valley College and UC Riverside in California. He was a great person - he listened and always helped his students. He was good at managing his time and he was an inspiration for me.

His textbook Biology is the most popular biology textbook in the world. It is used by students to study for high school and college biology and the AP. If you can afford the textbook - the latest edition - I recommend that you purchase it - especially if you are going to challenge the Biology AP examination.

Here are some other tips:

1. Taking Notes:

Keep a spiral wire notebook with lined pages.

Date each session.

Write the main topic in a question format in red ink. Example: “What is a plasmid?”

Write the answer and notes in blue or black ink beneath it. Leave some space to write in comments later. Use short sentences. The red ink questions make it easier to review before an examination.

2. Make use of definitions. Learning biology is much easier if you have a sound understanding of definitions. Write them in your notebook. Write the word in red and then the definition in blue or black ink.

3. Use 3 by 5 inch cards. Ask Questions on one side – answer the questions on the other side. Review them daily. This is especially important when learning new definitions. Use this technique to help you to recall information. Keep the cards organized in bundles for each chapter or topic that you are studying.

4. Review, Review and Review. Review in the AM before leaving the home, review before class, review before you go to sleep. Work in 15-minute intervals. Don’t make it difficult for yourself. Have a glass of milk or a cup of coffee – relax and review. You will be surprised what you will retain.

5. Reading your textbook. Highlight key sentences in your textbook with a yellow highlighter. Review your highlights daily and before quizzes and exams. Go after the key words and information – don’t underline every sentence. Work in 45 minute intervals and take a break. Work where it is quiet. Turn on the radio after you have done your reading and reviews. Reward yourself.

6. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Do not try to cram for an exam – it does not work. Study daily. Study the most difficult subject first. Take care of yourself and manage your time.

If you have any other comments – please share them.

Thank you.


Richard V.

Microbiology, Biology, AP Biology, Genetics, Anatomy, Physiology

10+ hours
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