Atoms, Molecules, and Biochemistry to Know for the AP Biology Exam

By Peter J. Mikulecky, Michelle Rose Gilman, Brian Peterson

Part of AP Biology For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You’ll find taking the AP Biology test much less stressful if you know some key concepts that will be on the exam. Here are some important concepts to remember about atoms, molecules, and biochemistry:

  • Water is highly polar. Water’s properties give it a large heat capacity and high surface tension and cause it to drive the formation of phospholipid membranes.

  • Proteins are built from amino acids. Nucleic acids are built from nucleotides. Polysaccharides are built from monosaccharide sugars.

  • Enzymes are biological catalysts. They speed up chemical reactions without altering the reactants or products and without being consumed in the reactions.

  • pH = –log[H+]

  • DNA acts as a template for RNA during transcription. RNA acts as a template for protein during translation.