Comprehensive AP Biology Course
Next session on Dec 8, 2023
Although AP biology gets a lot of bad press for being one of the most difficult APs or for the low percentage of students who score a 5 on it, you will see that with the right mindset and guidance, it can be pretty fun and not too challenging. Through this course, I hope to help those taking AP biology at school or self-studying it feel sure of themselves and do well on tests as well as te AP exam in May. - Overview - We will meet for an hour or 90 minutes (depending on how long it takes us to cover the material) every two weeks to thoroughly review the different AP Biology units. Each unit will be divided into two sessions. The exceptions are units 6 and 7. Because these two units are long and include a lot of material, I decided to divide each of them into 3 sessions. The sessions will start with a quick review of and/or a question about some of the topics discussed in the previous session(s) followed by a discussion of the concepts and topics in the particular part of the unit assigned for that week. Then, we will do some practice questions (MCQ and FRQ) and a Q&A (questions are also welcome anytime during the session). Advice on how to approach test questions and tips for studying for the AP biology test will be incorporated throughout our sessions. - Qualifications - I self-studied for the AP Biology exam and took it in May 2022. I got a score of 5. I took the AP biology course at my school in 2023 (the year they started offering it). I also taught this same course on Schoolhouse last year. Some of the feedback I received on my course last year: "Ragad had one of the most comprehensive PowerPoint presentations on Schoolhouse that I have ever witnessed." "Lots of good details and explanation with the summary." "Your use of practice problems was awesome." "Thank you for the amazing session! I liked how you interacted with us frequently and got us involved!! :)" - Resources - I will depend on a variety of resources, but the ones I use most heavily are: (Organized from the ones I use most to the ones I use least.) - CliffsNotes AP Biology 2021 Exam (most recent edition) - Campbell, biology in focus 3rd edition - Princeton Review AP Biology Premium Prep 2022, 2023 - 5 Steps to a 5 500 Questions to Know by Test Day Looking forward to teaching all of you!
✋ ATTENDANCE POLICY
For the greatest benefit, students are highly encouraged, but not required, to attend all sessions. You are welcome to join us at any point during our course.
September 1 - April 26
18 / 30
About the Tutor
I am a rising senior who values education and enjoys learning and teaching! I am Jordanian, but I attend an International School in Saudi Arabia. My favorite subject at school is biology though chemistry and math are close seconds. I had a GPA of 4.0 in my junior year including an A+ in Math, which included Algebra II and Calculus. I ranked second in my junior year (my school had over 200 junior students). I have taken the ACT test twice and scored a 34 in the first trial and a 35 in the second. I have a super score of 36! I also self-studied AP Biology in 2022 and scored a 5 on the AP Biology test. However, when my school started a 2-year AP Biology program last year, I joined it because of my love for biology (and it was the most challenging biology course being offered at my school). In 2023, I took an AP Chemistry course offered by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth because my school does not offer AP Chemistry. I received an A in the course and a 5 on the AP test! I have also taken an "Introduction to Epidemiology" course offered by UC San Diego in which I received an A+ and am currently working on a research project with the IRI of North Carolina. As to English proficiency, in addition to attending international schools since kindergarten, I have scored 119/120 on the TOEFL test in 2023. I have been tutoring at Schoolhouse for about a year now and have enjoyed tutoring and learned greatly from my experience. I hope to continue sharing my knowledge and helping others during my senior year.
Unit 4 (part I) We will cover sections 4.1 to 4.4. We will discuss short-distance and long-distance cell communication, what a signal transduction pathway is, its parts, important types and examples, and the effects of changes and disruptions to signalling pathways. As usual, students will be given the chance to attempt some practice questions related to these topics. We will then discuss the answers together.
Unit 4 (part II) We will cover sections 4.5 to 4.7. After a quick revision of the ideas in the first four sections of unit 4, we will start discussing positive and negative feedback mechanisms and some of their important examples. We will also review the stages of the cell cycle, focusing on mitosis. Finally, we will also how the cell cycle is regulated and the effects of disruptions to the cell cycle.
Unit 5 (part I) We will cover sections 5.1 to 5.3. The topics we will discuss include meiosis and how meiosis and sexual reproduction result in genetic diversity. We will learn some important terms and foundational concepts related to heredity. This will include a discussion of Mendel's laws. We will focus in this session on Mendelian genetics, which describes the simplest pattern of inheritance: complete dominance. Students will have the chance to ask questions and solve practice problems.
Unit 5 (part II) We will cover sections 5.4 to 5.6. We will continue discussing inheritance. We will discuss non-Mendelian genetics, including linked genes, sex-linked traits, and polygenetic traits. We will also talk about the environmental effects on phenotype. Finally, we will talk once again about genetic variation, and we will revise other ideas related to chromosomal inheritance.
Unit 6 (part I) We will cover sections 6.1 to 6.4. You might notice that this session is 90 minutes long (instead of the usual 60-minute sessions). That is because unit 6 is one of the heavier units with a lot of details to cover. You are welcome to join even if you think you won't be able to attend the entire 90 minutes. In this session, we will revise DNA and RNA's structure and their differences. We will also discuss the replication of DNA. We will discuss the transcription of DNA into mRNA and the translation of mRNA into proteins. I will take questions throughout the session, and we will do some practice at the end.
Unit 6 (part II) We will cover sections 6.5 to 6.8. This session, like the previous one, is 90 minutes long because unit 6 has more material and details than most other units. We will review the regulation of gene expression, which includes operons in prokaryotes and transcription factors in eukaryotes, and how that relates to gene expression and specialization (in eukaryotes). We will discuss the different types of mutations and their effects on the phenotype. Finally, we will revise some main procedures in biotechnology, like gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reactions (PCR). We will do related practice questions together.
Unit 7 (part I) We will cover sections 7.1 to 7.7. Like unit 6, unit 7's sessions are 90 minutes long because unit 7 is quite long. We will discuss Darwin's theory of natural selection and compare it to artificial selection. Then, we will discuss population genetics, with an emphasis on the founder and bottleneck effects. We will discuss Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, what conditions are required for it, and how to solve mathematical AP questions about it. We will discuss the evidence supporting evolution and common ancestry. As always, I will take questions anytime during the session, and we will solve some related AP-style questions at the end of the session.
Unit 7 (part II) We will cover sections 7.8 to 7.13. This session is 90 minutes long because we have a lot to cover! In this session, we will talk about how evolution is a continuous process and look at evidence that illustrates that. We will also discuss phylogeny and how to draw and interpret cladograms and phylogenetic trees. We will revise the biological species concept and how speciation occurs (allopatric and sympatric speciation, prezygotic and postzygotic barriers) and go over the causes and effects of extinction and briefly explain the five mass extinctions that have occurred on our planet. Finally, we will discuss variations in populations and the hypotheses about the origin of life. I will answer any questions, and we will solve practice questions.
Unit 8 (part I) We will cover sections 8.1 to 8.4. We will start our ecology unit by discussing how different organisms communicate and respond to their environments. We will also discuss the different types of organisms based on how they regulate body temperature (endotherms and ectotherms), the source of their energy, and their trophic levels. We will also discuss density-dependent and density-independent factors and mathematical equations related to this concept. We will solve AP-style practice questions on the concepts we discuss.
Unit 8 (part II) We will cover sections 8.5 to 8.7. We will review the main points about community ecology and the different relationships between organisms in a community, including competition and symbiosis. We will talk about the importance of biodiversity. We will also discuss disruptions to ecosystems, including the effect of invasive species and human impact. I will take questions, and we will solve related questions. Congratulations on reaching the end of our material review! There will be one additional session that serve as a final review for the AP test.
Final Review This is our final session before the test. I will answer all the questions that students might have. We will focus on doing practice questions and using them as a way to discuss some of the topics on the test. I will also provide tips and strategies for answering questions. I will go over any concept that the students would like to revise. Depending on the students' needs and requests, I might add another review session. I wish everybody the best of luck on their AP tests!