How to prep for your AP exams


To help you prepare for your AP Biology exam, you must first know what to expect from the

test. The test consists of two sections: a 90 minute multiple choice section (60 questions) and a 90 minutes free response section (2 long response questions and 4 short response questions). Looking at both sections independently, the multiple choice section tests your grasp of the fundamentals of biology and how you apply them in order to solve problems. The free response section tests your skills in data analysis and your ability to describe, explain, predict, justify, or represent any given scenario. There are four main ideas that should be taught in your AP classes, therefore are expected for students to know when taking the exam.


The four main ideas include:


● The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.

● Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.

● Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.

● Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.


Apart from these four main ideas, the following topics may help understand the concepts

mentioned previously:


● Chemistry of Life: Important properties of water; pH; Carbohydrates; Proteins; Lipids; Nucleic acids; Origins of life

● Cell Structure and Function: Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; Organelles; Membranes and transport; Cell junctions; Cell communication

● Cellular Energetics: Change in free energy; Enzymes; Coupled reactions and ATP; Photosynthesis; Cellular respiration (glycolysis, Krebs, oxidative phosphorylation); Fermentation

● Cell Communication and Cell Cycle: Mitosis; Meiosis

● Heredity: Mendelian genetics; Inheritance patterns

● Gene Expression and Regulation: DNA and genome structure; Transcription; Translation; Mutation; Biotechnology

● Natural Selection: Evidence of evolution; Phylogenetic trees; Impact of genetic variation; Speciation; Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium

● Ecology: Behavior and communication; Food webs and energy pyramids; Succession; Communities and ecosystems; Global issues


Make sure to have a good understanding of the four big ideas and any concepts that may fall

under them, like those listed previously. Overall, tips to prepare for your exam include reviewing the mentioned material and any vocabulary terms, familiarizing yourself with the test by taking practice tests and analyzing your results by correcting your mistakes and making an understanding out of them.


To help you prepare for your AP Psychology exam, you must first know how your exam is

formatted. The exam consists of two sections: a 70 minute multiple choice section (100

questions) and a 50 minute free response section. Because you only have an hour and 10

minutes to complete the multiple choice section, it is important that you manage your time; you want to make sure you have enough time to answer all 100 questions (average of 30 seconds per question). Topics you may see during the AP exam include scientific foundations of psychology, biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, motivation, emotion, and personality, clinical psychology, and social psychology. To be more specific, the following chart shows what percentage of the questions will make up the test:


Although one topic may be covered more throughout the test, it is best to stay focused on topics that you are aware you are struggling with. In the end, what’s best to focus on when trying to prepare for your exam is management of time, reviewing material and memorizing terms, and if needed, take practice tests and review your answers to then analyze your mistakes and learn from them.


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