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Big Reviews: Finals & Exam Prep

2022 AP Biology Exam Guide

10 min readdecember 2, 2021


AP Biology 🧬

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Your guide to the 2022 AP Biology exam

We know that studying for your AP exams can be stressful, but Fiveable has your back! We have created a study plan that will help you crush your AP Biology exam. We will continue to update this guide with more information about the 2022 exams, as well as helpful resources to help you score that 5. Create a Fiveable account and join Hours 🤝to stay involved in all things AP exams! 😁

Resources:

Format of the 2022 AP Biology exam

This year, all AP exams will cover all units and essay types. The 2022 Biology exam format will be:
  • Multiple Choice -  50% of your score
    • 60 questions in 1 hour 30 minutes 
      • Individual questions
      • Sets of questions with 4-5 questions per set
  • Free Response - 50% of your score
    • 6 Questions in 1 hour 30 Minutes
      • 2 long questions worth 8-10 points each
      • 4 short questions worth 4 points each

When is the 2021 AP Biology exam and how do I take it?

The 2022 exam will be taken in person, on paper at your school unless your AP Coordinator has indicated otherwise.
  • AP Biology exam is on May 11 at 12 noon, your local time—this will be a paper test at your school.
You will have 3 hours to take the exam. Create a Fiveable account to get updates on the latest 2022 exam news. 

Resources:

How should I prepare for the exam?

  • First, download the AP Biology Cram Chart PDF - a single sheet that covers everything you need to know at a high level. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses!
  • Review every unit and question type, and focus on the areas that need the most improvement. We've put together this plan to help you study between now and May. This will cover all of the units and essay types to prepare you for your exam.
  • Additionally, create your schedule ahead of time so that you can connect with other students instead of just studying alone! Join Hours 🤝to talk to real students just like you studying for this exam.

Pre-work: set up your study environment

Before we begin, take some time to get organized. Remote learning can be great, but it also means you’ll need to hold yourself accountable more than usual. 

🖥 Create a study space.

Make sure you have a designated place at home to study. Somewhere you can keep all of your materials, where you can focus on learning, and where you are comfortable. Spend some time prepping the space with everything you need and you can even let others in the family know that this is your study space. 

📚 Organize your study materials.

Get your notebook, textbook, prep books, or whatever other physical materials you have. Also, create a space for you to keep track of review. Start a new section in your notebook to take notes or start a Google Doc to keep track of your notes. Get yourself set up!

📅 Plan designated times for studying.

The hardest part about studying from home is sticking to a routine. Decide on one hour every day that you can dedicate to studying. This can be any time of the day, whatever works best for you. Set a timer on your phone for that time and really try to stick to it. The routine will help you stay on track.

🏆 Decide on an accountability plan.

How will you hold yourself accountable to this study plan? You may or may not have a teacher or rules set up to help you stay on track, so you need to set some for yourself. First set your goal. This could be studying for x number of hours or getting through a unit. Then, create a reward for yourself. If you reach your goal, then x. This will help stay focused!

🤝 Get support from your peers. 

There are thousands of students all over the world who are preparing for their AP exams just like you! Join Hours 🤝to chat, ask questions, and meet other students who are also studying for the spring exams. You can even build study groups and review material together! 

AP Biology 2022 Study Plan

🧪 UNIT 1: Chemistry of Life

Big takeaways:

Unit 1 introduces all chemistry concepts that need to be applied to biological principles. The key elements are named, macromolecules are defined, and the characteristics of the chemical contribution to life are laid out. The content in this unit can be a bit dry, with a focus on vocabulary and more detailed chemical applications than are seen in other aspects of the course. A lot of processes discussed in later units depend on a strong understanding of this unit.

Definitely do this:

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles and Fiveable study guides:

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

🧬 UNIT 2: Cell Structure and Function

Big takeaways:

Unit 2 introduces all things cellular. It starts with a basic overview of cells (review!) and then moves into the various types of transport and how the chemical composition of the membrane controls the movement of molecules. The transport of molecules becomes a large topic in Unit 3: Cellular Energetics, so ensure that you are familiar with the composition of the plasma membrane and the various types of transport.

Definitely do this:

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles and Fiveable study guides:

Resources:

 If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

🔋 UNIT 3: Cellular Energetics

Big takeaways:

Unit 3 is all about energy. This unit relies heavily on the knowledge gained in Unit 2, with a focus on organelles and cellular transport. Cellular respiration and photosynthesis are the two biggest topics in this unit. Don’t worry... You do not need to have this memorized! You just need to understand the “why” behind the energetic processes.

Definitely do this:

🎥 Watch these videos:
  • Unit 3 Review: A full review of the main concepts
  • Cellular Energy: A review of the importance of cellular energy with a focus on both cellular respiration and photosynthesis
  • Enzyme Catalysis: Focuses on enzymes, what they’re made of, and why they’re important
📰 Check out these Fiveable study guides:

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

  • ➽ Can you answer these questions about cellular respiration? Take this quiz!

🦠 UNIT 4: Cell Communication and Cell Cycle

Big takeaways:

Unit 4 discusses the multiple methods in which cells communicate with each other, with a focus on signal transduction pathways. Mitosis and the regulation of the cell cycle are also major topics, along with feedback mechanisms with relation to the many different body systems.

Definitely do this:

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles and Fiveable study guides:
✍️ Practice:
  • Work through this POGIL on Cell Communication

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

  • ➽ Can you answer these questions about cell communication? Take this quiz!

👩‍👩‍👦‍👦 UNIT 5: Heredity

Big takeaways:

Unit 5 encompasses a lot of material. From meiosis to Mendelian and Non-Mendelian genetics, to chromosomal inheritance, there are many topics covered. The use of probability for both Mendelian and Non-Mendelian genetics is an important understanding, and this concept can be applied to chi-square analysis. 

Definitely do this:

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles and Fiveable study guides:
✍️ Practice:
  • Work through this POGIL on the statistics of inheritance

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

 

Resources:

👻 UNIT 6: Gene Expression and Regulation

Big takeaways:

This unit describes how a gene becomes a protein and the regulations that are in place for these processes. Transcription and translation are both discussed in detail. The regulation of genes is essential to the conservation of energy in all organisms, and the process can be quite complex. Lastly, mutations and biotechnology are discussed.

Definitely do this:

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰 Check out these articles and Fiveable study guides:
✍️ Practice:
  • Work through this POGIL on Gene Regulation in Prokaryotes

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

🦍 Unit 7: Natural Selection

Big takeaways:

Darwin’s theory of evolution, as well as his proposal of natural selection as the driving factor, is crucial in understanding how ecosystems function. Organisms that are more apt to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing on their genetic code. This is the basis for the survival of the fittest and natural selection. There is a lot of evidence to support Darwin’s theory of evolution, including analyzing structures of different species as well as noting similarities and differences of species over time. 

Definitely do this:

🎥 Watch these videos:
📰Check out these Fiveable study guides:
✍️ Practice:

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

  • ➽ Can you answer these questions about natural selection? Take this quiz!

 🌲 Unit 8: Ecology

Big takeaways:

Ecology is all about the interactions that organisms have amongst themselves and with their environment. This can be seen on a small scale, within populations, and on larger scales, in ecosystems, and across the globe. The relationships that exist between organisms are complex and ever-changing. We are constantly responding to our environment and those around us. Some of the largest problems plaguing our planet right now are the largest culprits to the changing landscape of ecosystems across the globe. All of these issues come together in the awesome unit of Ecology.

Definitely do this:

🎥 Watch these videos:
  • Population Ecology: A review on population ecology, calculating the rate and growth of populations, and abiotic and biotic factors
  • Nutrient Cycles & Succession: A discussion on various nutrient cycles and ecological succession
  • Community Ecology: An overview on community ecology and the relationship among different species in the same environment
📰 Check out these Fiveable study guides:
✍️ Practice:

Resources:

If you have more time or want to dig deeper:

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Browse Study Guides By Unit
📆Big Reviews: Finals & Exam Prep
✍️Free Response Questions (FRQ)
👏General Review
🧐Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
🧪Unit 1: Chemistry of Life
🧬Unit 2: Cell Structure and Function
🔋Unit 3: Cellular Energetics
🦠Unit 4: Cell Communication and Cell Cycle
👪Unit 5: Heredity
👻Unit 6: Gene Expression and Regulation
🦍Unit 7: Natural Selection
🌲Unit 8: Ecology
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