The 2013 DCAS is Coming

On May 1st, biology students will take the ‘End of Course’ biology DCAS assessment.  Here are some links to help you get ready for that test.

  • There is a practice test located here https://dept.tds.airast.org/student/
  • I have collected the ‘End of Course Specifications‘ for biology as a PDF document.  You can use that to see everything you are expected to know for the test.
    • Make sure to pay special attention to the items given a ‘priority’ of ‘essential’
    • You can mostly ignore the items given a priority of ‘compact’
  • For items we have not covered in class yet, you should go to my biology page and click the appropriate links to investigate those topics.  Here are the items I suggest you look over that we may not finish before the test.
    • Diffusion and Osmosis – I will be assigning a Molecular Workbench activity to address this.
    • Punnett Squares – I have a general description and lots of practice opportunities available on my wiki page.
    • Dominant and Recessive relationships, independent assortment, sex-linked traits, and Genotypes and Phenotypes – you can look these up most anywhere, but we will also be covering them in relation to blood types and blood type inheritance and some other conditions.
    • You might also want to read through the Classical Genetics section at the DNAFTB website
      • pay particular attention to #11 – which details ‘crossing over’ during meiosis.  This just means that parts of the homologous pairs of chromosomes swap a section of DNA.  The end result is more variation in the offspring, which is one reason that sexual reproduction gives more variation than asexual reproduction.
    • Energy – Photosynthesis and Cell Respiration – you can mostly just read the appropriate sections of the ‘specifications PDF’ above.  It will list the facts you need to know.  For the chemical equations you can see my wiki pages on photosynthesis and cell energy (as well as many other sources).
    • Evolution’s ‘Natural Selection’ and ‘Survival of the Fittest’
    • Sexual vs. Asexual reproduction – the advantages and disadvantages of each. (also read a short Science Daily article about snails)