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Reviewing for the AP Biology Exam

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The key to success is REVIEWING!!

If you have taught AP (Advanced Placement) Biology, then you know that the amount of material that must be covered before the exam is daunting.  I have had great success with my AP exam scores.  I normally have between 60 to 80 students take the exam each year.  For the 2011 exam, I had 65 students sit for the exam, and we had an average score of 4.3.  Admittedly, this is one of the best years I have ever had.  It was a great group of students who were highly motivated.  Those kids absorbed everything I threw at them.  They then dug deeper and deeper on their own outside of the regular class time.

The group I have this year makes me very proud!  I will have 61 taking the 2012 exam.  They are every bit as motivated and talented as the group I had last year.  They have such potential to do well!!  I just have to convince them how important it is to study and review for the exam.

I am convinced that the key to success is how you review the material with your students.  I began to review with my students on February 1.  I am most fortunate to have a 70 minute class each day.  I give a prayer of thanks for this each and every day, and I realize that most AP teachers do not have this luxury.  Beginning on February 1, I use the first 10 to 15 minutes of class to review a topic that we have previously covered earlier in the school year.  The remaining class time is used to cover new material.  The day before the AP exam in May, I am still reviewing and still covering new material!!

We have to convince our students that they must review, review, review before the exam.  I have written a set of powerpoints that I use for review. These are not teaching powerpoints.  These are just slide after slide of question and answer.  The students are not going to remember every little detail, so I try to make sure that they are solid on the basic facts.

Here is one of my review PowerPoints that I hope you will download.  It covers the characteristics of carbon and the organic compounds.

AP Review: Carbon and Organic Compounds ---- It's FREE!!  I hope you find this useful for your classroom.

Happy Teaching and good luck on the AP exam!

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