Campbell Biology Review

campbellRating: ★★★★★

The Campbell Biology textbook is perhaps the book you used for your General Biology courses. It is a well-written and popular textbook for high school and college Biology courses. It is no secret either that this is the textbook which the questions for the Biology section of the DAT were derived from, making it a popular review source among pre-dental students.


The book is long and thorough, after all it is a textbook covering all topics in Biology. Everything you need to know about Biology for the DAT is contained within the book. However, the book is way too long and detailed to spend the time reading and studying it from cover-to-cover. You would not be smart for doing that and would waste too much of your study time. You need to know what to study in it in order to be effective while studying Biology for the DAT.

I’ll help navigate you in the right direction so that you can effectively use this resource to prepare for the Biology section of the DAT. You should be familiar with the Biology topics covered on the DAT and only study those subjects in the Campbell textbook. Biology is such a broad field of study that there is plenty of material that does not apply to the DAT so be smart and only study what you need to know.

The textbook is available in multiple formats to meet your learning style. You can purchase it as a hardcover, paperback, or an Amazon Kindle Edition eTextbook. The book is expensive so renting it instead of purchasing is an option in order to save some money. As with all textbooks, publishers continuously revise them to release new editions with improved graphics and text revisions as necessary. There isn’t a huge difference between the most recent edition and some of the previous editions, but you will have the most current information and superior graphics by using the most recent edition.

The book does a great job of presenting information in a clear and understandable manner. It does well at connecting ideas together and explaining mechanisms and difficult concepts. Plenty of diagrams and graphics help explain the more complicated processes to help you more fully understand. The language in the textbook is clear and fairly easy to read. I don’t think any textbook is necessarily entertaining or fun to read, but this textbook is easier to read than most others. It can be beneficial to helping you understand Biology and to learn the concepts in a short amount of time.

The best way to use this book is in conjunction with a condensed review guide such as; CliffsNotes AP Biology or Barron’s AP Biology. Start your study with a review guide and as you come across topics that you do not understand well then resort to Campbell Biology for a more in-depth study of that topic. You could also read the chapter summaries in Campbell’s as well while studying through the review guide. After finishing a topic in the review guide take the quiz in the review guide, but also take the end of chapter quiz in the Campbell Biology textbook. If you score poorly on these quizzes then review that subject with the Campbell Biology textbook in order to properly learn the material. This way you will review all the necessary material for the DAT, but only spend additional time when it is needed on areas that you are weaker in which will make you much more efficient at studying and help you score higher on the DAT.

If you would like an alternative way of studying besides reading a textbook then try the Campbell Biology Slides. These slides were made in accordance with the 8th Edition of the textbook, but are still relevant and nearly identical to the most recent edition. You should use them in addition to the textbook to review Biology.

My Suggestion

The Campbell Biology textbook contains everything you need to know about Biology for the DAT, but it is overkill for your needs and that is why it is not recommended to read it from cover-to-cover. I suggest that you use it in conjunction with one of the AP Biology review guides for a thorough and effective study of Biology. If you have a limited knowledge of Biology then I would suggest this textbook for you. You will be well-prepared for the DAT Biology section with this textbook and by following my suggested method of studying with it you will be effective in your studies and score higher on the DAT. Make sure to do many DAT-formatted practice questions as well for the Biology section and don’t rely solely upon the chapter quizzes and practice questions within the AP review guides and the Campbell Biology textbook.

Campbell Biology Review Information

Campbell Biology  Review
1. Presents information in a clear and understandable manner
2. Long and Thorough
3. Available in Multiple Formats
4. Great When Used With Other Guides
Campbell Biology Review
Written by: Kip Nielsen
3 / 5 stars
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