How to prepare for the biology olympiad without reading a ton of textbooks

martyna p Tips and Tricks

I know the struggle, busy people. In this hectic world (almost) nobody never has time. And when it comes to the biology olympiad, it is even more impossible to cover all study materials in a short time.

Some time ago I published this list of recommended biology textbooks for the olympiad. Honestly, when you look at it, you might fell overwhelmed, confused, and even demotivated. How on earth can you read all of this in like a year when you have school, extracurricular activities and your personal life after all?

So let me suggest some alternatives to the main key biology textbooks. Instead of reading 10 books each of which consists of around 1000 pages, you can simply review handouts and summaries of these textbooks.

So let’s first have a look at what topic are the most important for the biology olympiad. Below is the list from the International Biology Olympiad syllabus that you should know before you even start preparing for the olympiad.

Biology olympiad topics

  • Animal anatomy and physiology: 25%
  • Cell Biology: 20%
  • Genetics and Evolution: 20%
  • Plant anatomy and physiology: 15%
  • Ecology: 10%
  • Ethology: 5%
  • Biosystematics: 5%

So now that we know what topics come very often let me share the list of the key biology textbooks for the olympiad which include:

  1. General biology: Campbell Biology
  2. Animal anatomy and physiology: Vander’s Human Physiology
  3. Cell Biology: Albert’s Molecular biology of the cell
  4. Plant anatomy: Raven’s Plant Biology
  5. Biochemistry: Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry

Below you will find the notes for all the above mentioned textbooks.

In addition, try googling the name of the textbook + a keyword “notes”, “ppt”, “PDF” or “handout”. On the Internet you will find a bunch of notes for each of the above mentioned textbook to help you learn the information fast.

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