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AP Biology

Course Description

Prerequisite: Completion of Biology with an average of a B or better & Chemistry with a grade of A both semesters. Recommendation of current science teacher.

This course is an advanced course equivalent to the first year of college biology. Course content includes: cells and tissues, cell chemistry,  plant and animal classification, animal physiology, reproduction and genetics, evolution, ecology, and project seminars.

Summer Work

*This is NOT a group assignment.  All work must be completed individually!!

1.    First and foremost – If you have a question, don’t hesitate to contact a teacher via e-mail at [email protected]

2.  Obtain a textbook!

     Biology, 6th Edition, Campbell/Reece, Publisher:  Benjamin Cummings

AP Biology textbooks are usually available at the THS library for summer checkout the first week of summer vacation.  Please check with the library to obtain the exact times and dates.   The Campbell Biology text is excellently written, thorough, and up-to-date. The readability has improved with each new edition, but may seem difficult to even the most capable student at first.  Don’t panic, you will get used to the author’s style!  Campbell’s text is used at many colleges and universities and is now in its 8th edition.   THS uses the 8th edition, which is available through used book sites on the Internet (i.e. Amazon) for extremely reasonable prices, especially if you purchase a used copy (without the CD, which you do not need).  I highly recommend purchasing your own text so that you can highlight and annotate it, as you will find your reading notes to be invaluable throughout your college and professional life. 


3.  Recommended: Obtain the following additional study aides:

  • Cliff Notes for Advanced Placement Biology– available at most book stores. 


4.    Complete the following Summer Reading assignment using your

text chapters 1-5 as your resource.  It is due on the first day of school.  We will be testing on this material within the first two weeks. 


This assignment should be review for the most part, and will give us a huge jump on the course curriculum when we start in September.  (Remember, many schools in the United States begin before we do, but we all test on the same days in May!)  The information in this unit will be referred to the entire year, and its importance cannot be overemphasized. 

5.  RELAX AND ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!   Get prepared for an intense, challenging, exciting and rewarding year in AP Biology!  I promise that if you put in the necessary time, success will be yours! My commitment to you is to facilitate your success by whatever means necessary.  ENJOY! 


A.P. Biology Summer Reading Assignment

  1. Read chapters 1-5 (pgs 1-91)
  2. Complete study guides for chapters 1-5 (all posted in AP Biology Locker to the right --->)
  3. Visit and complete the chemistry, large molecules, chemistry of amino acids, and acids & bases tutorials. Make sure you test yourself!
  4. Complete the free response questions (FRQs) below (Try to allot yourself 20 minutes per question…that’s all you get during the A.P. Exam!)
  5. All of this is due on the 1st day of school.
  6. You will have to read this entire book by May 1st, 2012.


Free Response Questions

Answers must be in essay form. Outline form is not acceptable. Labeled diagrams may be used to supplement discussion, but in no case will a diagram alone suffice. It is important that you read each question carefully before you begin to write. You may use you book to write these but NOT THE INTERNET!!!


1. (2001 question) Proteins, large complex molecules, are major building blocks of all living organisms. Discuss the following in relation to proteins.

A.     The chemical composition and levels of structure of proteins.

B.      The differences in chemical structures of “R” groups

2.  The unique properties (characteristics) of water make life possible on Earth. Select three properties of water and:

  1. for each property, identify and define the property and explain it in terms of the physical/chemical nature of water.
  2. for each property, describe one example of how the property affects the functioning of living organisms.

3. How can carbohydrates, neutral lipids, and proteins usually be distinguished based on their molecular formulae?

4. Some researchers have proposed that doing 50 jumping jacks prior to squeezing a clothespin will increase the rate that that individual can squeeze a clothespin in one minute.   Other researchers dispute this claim.

a.)  Using the correct format for stating a hypothesis, correctly state a hypothesis for this     experiment.
b.)  What is the independent variable
in this experiment?
c.)  What is the dependent variable
in this experiment?
d.)  What is the control in this experiment?

AP Biology Teacher

Leiva, Megan
Biology/Chemistry Teacher

Science Locker

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