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Cracking the AP Biology Exam, 2013 Edition (Revised) (College Test Preparation) Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I was looking forward to previewing this book and encouraging my AP Biology students to buy it. I will certainly not be recommending this.
For example, the new AP Biology course description states, "Memorization of the names of the phases of mitosis is beyond the scope of the course and the AP Exam." This book teaches you to memorize the phases of mitosis. What it doesn't teach you, though, is that "Cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases control the cell cycle," which the College Board requires students to know for the AP test.
The "Big Ideas" that are stressed in the AP Biology course and exam description are completely absent from this book. Instead, this book stresses the themes of the old AP test. Also lacking are any tips for how to succeed in the new free-response section of the test. Instead, it prepares you for the old free-response section that no longer exists.
But if you are a college student or general biology teacher looking for a good biology overview, this book is actually quite good. Just don't use it to prepare for the AP test.
The content of this book was NOT changed to match the new curriculum, which means it still includes information that is no longer a main focus of the course. The list of labs also was NOT changed. In the old curriculum, there were 12 labs. The new one has 13 labs. The list in this book matches the old curriculum, not the new one. Several of the labs listed in this book have been eliminated in the new curriculum. Finally, the practice tests do NOT reflect the questions on the new test at all. Every single question on the 2013 test will be an application question, and all recall questions have been eliminated. The practice tests in this book still have a bunch of questions that are simply memorization. In addition, these questions focus on content that will not be covered on the 2013 test.
My concern is that well-meaning AP students will buy this book and use it to prepare for the 2013 test. While the content is still valid biology, this book does not reflect what the students will be asked to do on the new test. I am disappointed in the folks at Princeton Review for not producing a new product for a new test. Please, do not waste your money or time on this review book!
There is NO mention anywhere of the incorporation of the 4 so-called "Big Ideas" around which the new test is based - how could the publisher of a test prep book leave that information out? I know Princeton Review has made its reputation on test-taking strategies, but knowing the 4 GIANT themes that every question on the test maps to seems like fairly important information no matter what testing strategies you attempt to teach.
The review material seems reasonable - the summaries of facts and processes are accurate as far as I have seen; I'm just not sure how useful they will be in preparing for the real test, which no longer stresses memorization of vast quantities of material.
Overall, I'm really disappointed with this book. Princeton beat other publishers to market with this book, but it's not going to do the job of preparing them for the revised test. Let's hope some of their competitors get it right...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a lot of new material. Does NOT adequately reflect new exam. Needs more thoughtful questions and better questions following each section.Published on May 4, 2013 by Deirdre O'Mara
Despite the fancy green seal that says "Revised for the 2013 test" this book is poorly revised at best. They didn't even both to change from the old 12 labs to the new 13 labs. Read morePublished on April 2, 2013 by Rodgers
Bought it early in the spring semester and studied along with assigned work. Great tool to help prepare for the exam. Princeton Review never disappoints.Published on March 11, 2013 by Green valley, AZ
I'm extremely disappointed. It appears the first chapter and the practice tests have been modified, but the bulk of the book is based on the old test. Read morePublished on March 8, 2013 by book clubber
My son was required to get this for his 10th grade class. The first one was 'recalled' - so we were given a full refund - -ThanksPublished on February 11, 2013 by Sparky