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Chapter 8: Exam Format
The AP Biology exam is three hours long and consists of two sections.
A calculator is needed for the exam.
A four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator can be used on the exam.
There is math on the exam.
The exam includes a table of equations and formulas.
The square root of 16 might have been required to find the value of q in previous exams.
You calculated that answer in your head.
You might have to use a calculator to find the value of q when q 2 is 23.
College credit and advanced placement are awarded by the college you will attend.
Different institutions have different guidelines for awarding credit.
If you pass the AP exam, you may be able to take a more advanced course, or you may be able to take 8 credits of advanced standing and tuition credit.
The catalog or website is the best source of up-to-date information about an institution's policy.
The best exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5.
The raw score is translated into the AP's 5-point scale.
The students who sat for the AP Biology exam have their grade distributions here.
The numbers are consistent from year to year.
Section I contains 60 multiple-choice questions.
It takes 90 minutes to complete.
Improperly erased pencil marks can cause the machine to mis grade your paper.
You can draw or write anywhere in the question booklet.
Every multiple-choice question is worth the same number of points.
If you have time, go back to the questions you started with.
Budget your time and bring a watch.
The number of questions you answer correctly determines your score on the multiple-choice questions.
There is no penalty for leaving an answer blank.
If you don't know the answer, guess.
Section II has 6 questions.
Questions 1 and 2 should take 25 minutes to answer.
The questions 3-6 should take about 8 to 10 minutes to answer.
You must be prepared to give the exam readers what they want to read, just as an Olympic athlete must anticipate what the judges want to see.
You will get a high score if you can do that on the AP exam.
You don't get points for incorrect statements if you contradict yourself.
An outline is not the answer.
The parts of the question that you are answering should be labeled.
As you make correct statements that answer the question, you gain points.
The person who stands at the entrance of a concert and uses a clicker to count the number of people entering is the reader.
You get a point if you get a click every time you state a correct piece of information.
You wipe away all the points you earned if you contradict yourself.
As part of your answer, you state that most ATP is produced by oxidation.
Towards the end of your response, you state that most ATP is generated by the citric acid cycle, which is not correct.
You have disagreed with yourself within your response.
This shows that you may not have a good understanding of the process of cellular respiration.
You would have lost all of the points that you had earned on this part of the question.
A long free-response question can be divided into four parts, where Part A is worth 1-2 points, Part B is worth 3-4 points, Part C is worth 1-2 points, and Part D is worth 2-4 points.
If you spend 25 minutes writing a 10-page masterpiece on Part A and have no time left for Parts B, C, and D, the maximum that you could earn for that question is only 2 points.
If you want to maximize your points, be sure to answer every part of the question completely and correctly.
There are 90 minutes for Section II.
When to move from one question to another will not be announced by the exam proctors.
You have to watch the time.
If you are asked to discuss either the nitrogen cycle or the carbon cycle, answer one.
The first answer is what the reader grades.
The first 10 minutes of the exam should be spent thinking, analyzing, making notes, and generally preparing to write your responses.
The most successful students organize their thoughts in the first 10 minutes.
Write down all the key words you can think of that relate to the topic.
Look over the key words, eliminate the ones that aren't relevant, and prioritize the ones you will be writing about.
In order, present your ideas from the general to the particular.
Write your responses after you've spent the first 10 minutes thinking.
College-level responses should only contain the most complex ideas, according to many students.
The answer to the question is if you include everything you can think of that is related to the topic.
You are trying to accumulate points by presenting correct statements.
If you give conflicting information, no points will be given.
Leave at least one line between your responses.
You can't get credit if the reader can't find your answer.
The drawings have to be near the text they relate to.
You can't use drawings or an outline instead of writing a response.
You don't have to include an introduction, a body or a conclusion.
It's not expected and may take up a lot of time.
You can answer the question right away.
You don't have to give every piece of information about the topic.
There are many ways to get full credit for each free-response question.
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