Thanks for checking out our page on the AP Biology exam. Here you’ll find some of the best information we could compile on sitting the exam for AP Biology. Resources include links to recommended publications and study guides, as well as links to helpful resources that may increase your likelihood of getting a better grade.
It should be noted that the AP Biology exam has changed over the years. The information that you may find for free on other sites may not accurately reflect the changes for this school year. For this reason, we have put together only the most up to date guides we could find, so you don’t waste time or energy going over outdated material.
AP Biology Exam Information
Like most exams in the AP field, AP Biology is split into two halves, each accounting for 50% of your final grade.
The first section of the AP Biology exam contains 69 questions, which should take you ninety minutes in total to answer. The first 63 questions are in multiple choice format, and there are 6 grid-in questions you need to answer.
The second part to the AP Biology exam is in free response. There are eight questions that take 90 minutes to answer. The free response questions are broken down as two long-form questions, as well as 6 short-form questions.
As stated previously, the AP Biology exam is known to change from year to year. The last time the exam was updated was back in 2012. You should ensure the material that you are studying will actually be used in this year’s edition of AP Biology. This can easily be achieved by following our guide, as we will detail the best review guides that are up to date with today’s standards.
Review Books for the AP Biology Exam
Preparing for the Biology AP Exam
The best book now for students taking the AP Biology test is published by Pearson Education, and is named Preparing for the Biology AP Exam.
Pearson is a respected publisher in the field of AP preparation books, producing a variety of study guides to suit the full spectrum of subjects in AP. The quality of Pearson’s books is generally much higher than what you’ll find offered by other companies, and they offer plenty of sample tests for you to practice with.
As a convenience to their readers, Pearson Education includes a “must know” section in every book that they publish. Going over this section can be an ideal way to ensure you have memorized and understand all the important topics before heading into your exam.
Barron’s AP Biology
The alternative on the market to Pearson is Barron’s AP Biology guide. Barron is widely considered to be the best publisher on the market for AP-style books, which is accounted for by their numerous positive reviews on sites such as Amazon and other shopping networks.
The practice tests that are included in Barron’s AP Biology compliments those offered by Pearson. Two full-length practice tests are included, and you will also get a test that you can do online with all of the most common questions answered and explained.
Buying both books is the optimal strategy, as they are effective in complimenting their respective strengths and weaknesses. If you read through each well in advance of your exam, then you are practically guaranteed of getting a mark that is close to a 5.
Studying for the AP Biology test
The good thing about taking the AP Biology test is that the information required is quite linear and narrow in scope. Once you understand the fundamentals and questions you are expected to answer, getting the rest under your belt is quite straightforward.
You should spend at least two to three months studying for the AP Biology exam. Anything less than two months is cutting your chances slim of receiving a good grade.
Part of the exam also involves understanding how to read lab data. Pearson offers a dedicated section for lab data in their book, as well as practice tests that you study online with the aid of the manual. The practice questions may not be exactly the same as what you’ll be asked in the exam, but they still give you a clear indication of what your expected performance will be when you sit your exams.
Both books can be viewed on Amazon by following the links the above. Clicking the link will take you to the book’s respective product pages on Amazon, which is also where you can see up to date pricing and shipping information for your location.