From OpenWetWare
Jump to navigationJump to search


Welcome to the USABO link exchange. Collect any useful links you come across and put them up on this site. Spend your time studying - not Googling fruitlessly - and help your colleagues do the same.

This page is intended as a resource for those preparing for the USA Biology Olympiad. Others are welcome.

IBO Syllabus

Contains a complete list of exam topics, rules, and background information. Not to be missed.

Theoretical Topics

Cell Biology (20%)

Plant Anatomy and Physiology (15%)

  • Word - Outline of plant chapters in Campbell
  • Plant Anatomy course website - Contains a comprehensive image database of prepared slides. The best way to learn microanatomy is to look at pictures and try to understand them...these are excellent prep for practical.

Animal Anatomy and Physiology (25%)

Ethology (5%)

Genetics and Evolution (20%)

  • Zip file - contains DOS-based population genetics simulator. Teaches selection, heterozygous advantage, genetic drift, and speciation.

Ecology (10%)

  • Word - Outline of ecology chapters in Campbell

Biosystematics (5%)

Practical Topics

Science Process Skills

Basic Biological Skills

Biological Methods

Cytological methods

Methods to study plant anatomy and physiology

Ethological methods

Ecological and environmental methods

Taxonomic methods

Physical and chemical methods

Microbiological Methods

Statistical Methods

All-Purpose Resources


The overall content of the USABO exams comes from the leading textbook in biology, Campbell and Reece's Biology. The best thing students can do to prepare for the competition is thoroughly study the textbook. Students should attempt to learn the charts and formulas in the book and be able to reproduce them.

Biology (6th Edition)

   * by Neil A. Campbell (Author), Jane B. Reece (Author)
   * Hardcover: 1175 pages; Dimensions (inches): 1.81 x 11.02 x 9.38
   * Publisher: Pearson Higher Education; 6th edition (December 11, 2001)
   * ISBN: 0805366245

Additional References


   * by Peter Raven, George B. Johnson, Jonathan Losos, Susan Singer
   * Hardcover: 1238 pages
   * Publisher: McGraw-Hill College; 7 th edition (revised 2005)
   * ISBN: 0072921641


   * by Donald Voet (Author), Judith G. Voet (Author)
   * Hardcover: 1664 pages
   * Publisher: Winway Corporation; 3rd edition (December 2003)
   * ISBN: 047119350X

Biology of Plants

   * by Peter H. Raven, Ray F. Evert, Susan E. Eichhorn
   * Hardcover: 944 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 1.45 x 11.20 x 9.42
   * Publisher: W H Freeman & Co.; 6th edition (January 1999)
   * ISBN: 1572590416

Life: The Science of Biology (6th Edition)

   * by Purves, Orians, Heller and Sadava
   * Hardcover: 1100 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 1.61 x 11.21 x 9.12
   * Publisher: W H Freeman & Co.; 6th edition (December 2000)
   * ISBN: 0716738732

Modern Genetic Analysis: Integrating Genes and Genomes

   * by Anthony J. F. Griffiths, William M. Gelbart, Richard C. Lewontin, Jeffrey H. Mille
   * Hardcover: 736 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 1.25 x 1.75 x 8.50
   * Publisher: W H Freeman & Co.; 2nd edition (March 2002)
   * ISBN: 0716743825

Molecular Biology of the Cell

   * by Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter
   * Hardcover: 1616 pages; Dimensions (in inches): 2.19 x 11.10 x 8.74
   * Publisher: Garland Pub; 4th edition (March 2002)
   * ISBN: 0815332181

The Ultimate Study Guide for Biology, Volume I, II, III

   * by Patrick Leonard
   * Publisher: Silver Educational Publishing (July 2004)
   * Volume I
         o  88 pages; ISBN: 0971999643 
   * Volume II
         o 87 pages; ISBM: 1933533015 
   * Volume III
         o 104 pages; ISBM: 1933023023

Practice Questions

Additional Practice

Specific to USABO