AP Biology

Contact information:
phone: 732-289-3700 x 4101
email: etrembly@nbtschools.org

Upcoming Subjects

School Year Assignments:
All Assignments, power-points and other study materials during the school year will be accessible through the google classroom site.


Here are some prep links for the AP Bio Exam (4 Big Ideas) 

Click on any subject under the 4 Big Ideas to access notes for that subject. The notes are from "The Biology Corner" website.

Big Idea 1: The Process of Evolution Drives the Diversity and Unity of Life



Big Idea 2: Biological Systems Utilize Free Energy and Molecular Building Blocks to Grow, to Reproduce and to Maintain Dynamic Homeostasis



Big Idea 3: Living Systems Store, Receive, Transmit and Respond to Information Essential to Life Processes



Big Idea 4: Biological Systems Interact, and These Systems and Their Interactions Possess Complex Properties


Other Content Resources

There are also a couple additional places where you can find notes on specific sections of the course. These resources are slightly outdated (they're tailored to the format of either the pre-2012 AP Biology curriculum or older textbooks), but they still contain information that may be useful in your studying. This page, for example, has notes on most topics covered in the current curriculum

There are also these notes on the 7th edition of the Campbell textbook; it’s not the most recent version of the book, but it might be helpful. The main difference between these notes and the notes in the previous section is that they aren't organized by Big Idea (the Big Ideas are an innovation of the new AP Biology curriculum), so it's not as easy to connect terms and concepts to larger themes as you review. 


Big Picture Summaries

The notes in this section are useful for revisiting major topics right before the exam. This packet covers all the main concepts you'll need to learn for AP Biology. You can also take a look atthis extremely detailed review sheet that provides a similar rundown of the most essential parts of the course.

If you want more guidance in your studying, consider buying a review book. Read my guide to the best review books for AP Biology here.


AP Biology Studying: Let’s Talk Strategy

Before you dive into the notes, read these tips so you can make the most out of the time you spend getting cozy with biological facts. 


Tip #1: Draw Diagrams and Rewrite Definitions

There are many complex concepts that you’ll need to understand to do well on any assessment in AP Biology. These can be difficult to master just by reading notes. I find that drawing out the processes described in your textbook and notes can be very helpful in bridging the gap between memorization and genuine understanding. 

If you draw a diagram of the different parts of a cell or the process of cellular respiration, it will make more sense to you logically and will be easier to recall on the test. If this seems too involved,you can try rewriting the complex explanation in your own words to simplify it and make it easier to remember. Even just the act of writing it down will help you remember it better.


Tip #2: Remember the Big Ideas

Each concept in AP Biology falls under the larger umbrella of one of the four Big Ideas of the course. Remember not to lose sight of these ideas when you’re studying. As you review each smaller process or concept, link it back to a main theme. This will help you to contextualize it within the framework of the course as a whole and apply your knowledge logically to unfamiliar scenarios that may be presented on the test. 

In AP Biology (and the subject of Biology as a whole), everything is connected.


Tip #3: Hit Refresh

Remembering something right after you’ve studied it is one thing, and remembering it in the long term is another. After you get through a few sections of notes, go back and do a quick review of all the information you’ve learned. I’d also recommend doing this after you get through all the notes that pertain to a Big Idea for the course. It will help you to synthesize and retain the information so it doesn’t fall out of your brain as soon as you move onto the next topic (which can happen in AP Biology because there are so many details to remember!).


Tip #4: Study the Method, Not Just the Information

It’s easy to get caught up in going over the minuscule details of every topic in AP Biology, but you should devote at least some of your time to reviewing labs and general experimental principles. This includes concepts like dependent and independent variables, control groups, and unit conversions. You’ll see quite a few questions on the AP test (and most likely on your in-class tests throughout the year) that deal with experimental scenarios. It's much less stressful to answer these types of questions if you’re familiar with how similar experiments were conducted in your class.



You can continue to use this article as a reference point as you progress through the AP Biology curriculum. These notes should help you study for in-class assessments and the final AP test. Take practice tests often, and go over any areas where you feel less confident. If you take the time to prepare appropriately, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how little stress you feel on test day!


What's Next?

Is AP Biology especially challenging compared to other APs? Read this article for a detailed discussion on the difficulty level of the course and exam. 

Many students who take AP Biology also take the Biology SAT Subject Test. Learn more about the differences between the two exams and whether one is more important than the other in college admissions. 

Are you planning on applying to Ivy League or other highly selective colleges? Find out how many AP classes you should take in high school to end up with the strongest chance of acceptance.



The following categories and their respective weights:
Assessment: (50 %): Tests, Quizzes, Lab practicals 
Labs/Projects: (35 %): Lab reports, participation, trips
Home/Classwork: (15 %): Assignments & participation 


Upon completion of this AP biology course, the student will:

1. Understand the basic principles of Biology as an intellectual discipline.

2. Develop facility in analytical and critical thinking through examining quantitative relationships in applying theories to experimentation.

3. Become a more scientifically literate and aware citizen through an understanding of the methods of science and the role of environmental science in daily living.

4. Be prepared for further scientific studies.

Tests and Quizzes:
If your class does not meet on the posted test/quiz date, then the test/quiz will be given n the next day the class meets.