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Barron's AP Biology, 4th Edition 4th Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764146923
ISBN-10: 0764146920
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Table of Contents:
Barron's Essential 5
    The Cell
    Cell Respiration
    Cell Division
    The Molecular Basis of Inheritance
    Human Physiology
    The Human Immune System
    Animal Reproduction and Development
    Animal Behavior
    Five Themes to Help You Write a Great Essay
    Learn How to Grade an Essay
    Model Test 1
    Model Test 2
    Appendix A--Bibliography
    Appendix B--Measurements Used in Biology

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    Product Details

    • Series: Barron's AP Biology
    • Paperback: 504 pages
    • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 4 edition (February 1, 2013)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0764146920
    • ISBN-13: 978-0764146923
    • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    This book is significantly better than other "revised" AP Biology review books. I spent time going through the curriculum framework from the College Board and this book to make sure that it effectively covers all the material my students need to know for the test. I wasn't able to find anything missing.

    There is quite a large amount of information in this book--likely much more than students need to know for the test. But the book itself admits this fact, suggesting that covering topics in more depth than is needed for the AP test is will allow students to be fully prepared to discuss the "illustrative examples" that are stressed in the curriculum framework. A few things are taught that the curriculum framework specifically says are beyond the scope of the AP test, but I found that those topics are tied to others that students do need to know, so I'm not too bothered by the fact.

    I will spend much more time with this book in the coming months and will update this review if my opinion changes, but for now, I think this book is quite good, even though some may be unhappy that it's not more concise and limited more strictly to the curriculum framework.


    After having spent a bit more time with this book, I'm still satisfied with it, but I have to say that it's definitely not perfect. There are some topics covered that are good to know, but just aren't going to help students on the AP test. For example, the book claims that the most commonly asked questions on the AP test about animal behavior relate to imprinting, fixed-action patterns, sign stimulus, and releasers. It covers each topic in detail, even discussing the people who researched the type of behavior and when.
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    3 Comments 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
    I am a high school student and just finished up my AP Biology course this year and took the official exam. With the new exam format just being administered this year, I found that not many prep books are updated for the recent changes or updates that are made are poorly done. Although this prep book is nowhere near perfect, I feel that this book is currently the best choice available, and I think my teacher and fellow students would agree with me.

    Sample questions - both for multiple choice and essays - seem to reflect the new test format. This proves useful for knowing what to expect. Also,advice given concerning taking the test is useful for those new to taking AP tests.

    The major flaw with this book is the review of material, simply due to the fact that it is too in depth. Students might find it difficult or impossible to take in all the information provided in this book, especially if they're lacking in time. I found myself simply skimming it trying to get in key information needed for the exam. If students need something quick or something not terribly time consuming to study, this is most likely *not* the best choice. Furthermore, it seems as if some information given is not even covered on the exam.

    Before using this book, a student should have a good grasp of what material should be known for the new test format. This way they can get an idea of what they need to learn from the book and what they can simply use as supplemental information for the exam. Nonetheless, with proper expectations and enough time, a student could easily use this book to achieve a passing score on the exam - even a 5 - I think.

    Before buying this book, see what else is available. There may eventually be a better suited review book for AP biology. As of early 2013, this seems the best available. It covers the material , although perhaps too much and gives honest tips on what to expect, and I suppose that is what is vital.
    Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    Having purchased some of the new review books, read reviews for the rest and closely followed conversations on the AP Biology teacher forums, I am confident in saying that this book does the best job of any so far at addressing the new curriculum. The new format of the test is clearly explained, the sample test questions follow this format (MC, fill-in and 8 open response, 2 long 6 short) and the questions are at the high Bloom's level that was seen on the one released College Board sample exam, requiring interpretation of graphs, predictions, application, etc. I also like how the book covers the 4 big ideas and all aspects of the curriculum framework, but organizes content by topic (Biochemistry, The Cell, Cellular Respiration, Photosynthesis, etc) instead of following the order of the curriculum framework. It also addresses the new 13 labs and has special sections addressing the labs. There are also 2 chapters on writing/grading essays.

    The amount of extra material not emphasized in the curriculum frameworks is disappointing. The beginning of many chapters has a note about what type of material in that chapter is not necessary and the introduction states that this information is added in case a student's teacher does happen to cover it, but to me it seems like a tag-on from old versions for the sake of meeting a page limit. The questions at the end of each chapter are simplistic recall/knowledge questions, but the text makes note of this and the practice exams do step it up to the level of the new AP test.

    In short, this is the the closest I have seen to the book most of us have been waiting for. There may be something better coming down the line, but this is what I will recommend to all my students for this year's exam.
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