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How do you study for AP Bio?

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tipsy's picture
Joined: Oct 2008
How do you study for AP Bio?

I'm failing miserably. Please help.

I study a lot (well, I think I do) yet still get C/D's on the test.
I must be doing something wrong.

xenahorse's picture
Joined: Sep 2005

Changing how you're studying could help you a lot. Also, maybe start studying at an earlier date--that way you can study for maybe an hour or two a day, instead of five hours all at once. The repetition can help a lot.

This is how my teacher had us work through the chapters--it might help you out a bit.

Figure out the main focus of the chapter. Write out the basic theories, ect that is associated with the chapter's focus, maybe answer some questions associated with it. Then, draw out a picture (or several) that is also associated with the chapter's main point. An example of this would be drawing out the progression of energy for and ecology chapter (drawing a plant, then drawing the animal that eats the plat with a label saying how much energy is passed on and how much is lost, so on and so forth). The drawing is important, since it gives you a visual to think about.

What can also help is to make note cards of all the bold text, main points and such. The act of writing these down, along with going over them a lot can really help. Or it's helped me, at least.

The hardest thing about riding horses is the ground
[=1]Made by moi^:D[/

smile4theazn's picture
Joined: Nov 2008

Hi there, Tipsy, you can call me John :)

What has helped me repeatedly is some advice, actually from my recent math teacher. It's not necessarily that you need to work harder [although doing SOME is better than NOTHING xD], but you need to work smarter.

What I would advise is for you to get a general sense of what you are focusing on. Understand what you already know clearly, but review more deeply into the concepts that you don't have as clear in mind.

Like xenahorse has mentioned, repetition can help some, but understanding will also help you in the long run. Truly knowing what you're doing versus memorization to be forgotten after the exam will hurt you in the end.

Just do your best, the class may be hard, but the AP exam will tell you the truth. Good luck :]

perfectionist.chick's picture
Joined: Aug 2008

Okay so I'm taking AP Bio as well and most of the people in my class are failing.. I think the trick to studying for this class is to have study groups... but make sure there are people there that can actually help you so that you don't end up "studying/wasting time" for 2 hours... Study groups helped me bring my 1st semester grade to an A.....
Good Luck!!! :)


xenahorse's picture
Joined: Sep 2005

Be forewarned about study groups--they help some people to retain information wonderfully, but others (like myself) cannot learn with them. So try it out, but maybe try it with enough time to study in a different way if the study group doesn't work out for you.

The hardest thing about riding horses is the ground
[=1]Made by moi^:D[/

catcatt's picture
Joined: Sep 2009

Study groups suck- especially in high school. You probably won't learn anything. I go through the following process:

1. Read assigned AP Bio Textbok unit
2. Read unit in the 2 review books I've bought
3. Write notes
4. Write vocab flash cards
5. Get quiz questions and do that

I have a 98% in AP Bio right now, so I think that works pretty well. Bio is ALL about memorization and repitition. It takes time, but it's pretty easy if you just invest yourself in it.

Keep it or abort it?
Definitely abort it!

pianogirl2422's picture
Joined: Mar 2005

I find it helps to know how you learn best before diving into your book/notes. If you're an audio learner, pay close attention to lecture, read out loud, look for podcasts, record yourself and listen, etc. If you're a visual learner write it down or doodle. Some people do well in study groups - I personally find I do well in them when it's more of a teaching round, you teach the group something, the person to the right covers the next topic, etc. or when one person teaches for most of the time. The trick to study groups is finding people who are dedicated to learning and that are compatible with your learning style. Some people do best by doing things over again - make flashcards, go over the material in 6 different ways, write everything 10 times. I find that something that helps me is to transfer information onto the computer - something about having to concentrate on what I'm typing then going back to check it over is a type of repetition on it's own.

Some people learn best with certain scents - maybe a scented candle could help you. Kinetic learning is becoming more prevalent, I'm taking a stab here to say that it probably rises as the rate of ADD does, so try moving around when studying - walk, bounce a leg, twirl a pen, try not to choose something that would be too distracting if you need to do it during a class test. Try a background noise. I've heard people say "You shouldn't study with music on, you take the test in silence so you should prepare in it!" But personally I just ignore that advice because I know when go to take the test, I'm gonna have a sound track playing in my head. It also doesn't have to be music, it could be zen noises (waterfalls, rainforest sounds, etc.), radio, or whatever else you have to listen to.

Basically what I'm getting at is try different methods and places, see what sticks, do what feels right for you.

[=RoyalBlue][=Comic Sans MS]
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It

KickTheCan's picture
Joined: Oct 2009

idk if this will work for you, but it worked for me

starting ap bio, i would look at the outlines on this site and copy it down. it was pretty time consuming, and yet, i still got C's on my test.

i was never the one to study, never needed to, so i recently toned down my study habits to just reading the outlines and for some odd reason, im getting a's on my tests.

i guess it just takes time to experiment to find out what works best for you.

Quanain's picture
Joined: Dec 2010

I'm in AP Bio, and I might try the outline thing too ;)

aminarab's picture
Joined: Jan 2012

well i used to read the book(while taking my own notes) and then read the cliff notes. My teacher was not that good at teaching but well i still scored a 5!! :). I believe taking notes is important because when you write you remember.

AdminChris's picture
Joined: Jan 2005

Some great suggestions in here!

Course-Notes.Org Administrator If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, complaints, rants, raves, random thoughts, etc etc- feel free to direct them at me :)


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