This class is for highly motivated USABO competition students, or for any interested student who want to learn a lot of biology. We will be covering the materials taught in high school biology as well as the materials taught in college-level biology classes (aka AP Bio)--and more!
As recommended by the USABO organization, we will read the Campbell biology book (the official book of the competition). This means students may need to read and review up to 5 chapters each class.
Class is held synchronously, over zoom. Students who miss a class are welcome to watch class recording and email the teacher with any questions.
As we are covering a lot of materials, we will not have time to go over practice exams in this class. To have support in their practice, students can take the USABO PREP classes we hold in December and January. To cover materials in even more depth (at the level of Junior and Senior level college classes), we recommend that students join the Advanced USABO class once they have finished reading most of Campbell.
Our previous students have been extremely successful:
*all our students scored above 20 on the 2016 regional (the cutoff for nationals was 23.88)
*50% of our students made it to semifinals in 2016
*2 of our students have made it to finals in 2016 (top 20 in the US)
*over 10 of our students have made it to semifinals in 2017.
*over 17 of our students have made it to semifinals in 2018.
In 2019 at least 28 of our students qualified as semifinalist--one third of those students were 9th graders or younger.
In 2021, FIVE of SpringLight's students Qualified USABO Finalist/Camp
Sample of the USABO class video:
About the Exam
Round 1: USABO Open Exam
- Is a 50-minute, nationwide multiple-choice and multiple true/false choice exam available to any high school biology student (grades 9 to 12) who is registered by a school.
- Administered at a registered school (classroom or location designated by the teacher/test administrator) within the time period
- designated by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE).
- Structured like the multiple-choice portion of the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) Theoretical Exam.
- Has NO Penalty for guessing.
Round 2: USABO Semifinal Exam
- Is a 120-minute exam containing three parts:
- Part A is primarily multiple choice questions with one answer.
- Part B has more complex, sequenced multiple choice questions that may have several correct answers (see comment regarding penalty for guessing below) and may require calculations or extensive interpretation of graphs (see posted example) and multiple true/false choice questions.
- Part C may be short answer or essay.
- Administered at a registered school (classroom or location designated by the teacher/test administrator) over a 120-minute period within the time period designated by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE).
- Taken by students who score in the top 10% of the Open Exam.
- Has NO Penalty for guessing. For multiple choice questions with more than one answer, the question value will be the number of wrong responses subtracted from the number of right responses with no question value below zero.