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Important Updates

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use My Reports to highlight progress and additional areas for support.

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Course Overview

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics like evolution, energetics, information storage and transfer, and system interactions.

Course Content

Based on the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students must know, be able to do, and understand, with a focus on the big ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The framework also encourages instruction that prepares students for advanced work in STEM majors.

The AP Biology framework is organized into eight commonly taught units of study that provide one
possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

 Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
 Unit 1: Chemistry of Life  8%–11%
 Unit 2: Cell Structure and Function  10%–13%
 Unit 3: Cellular Energetics  12%–16%
 Unit 4: Cell Communication and Cell Cycle  10%–15%
 Unit 5: Heredity  8%–11%
 Unit 6: Gene Expression and Regulation  12%–16%
 Unit 7: Natural Selection  13%–20%
 Unit 8: Ecology  10%–15%

Science Practices

The AP Biology framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills, called science practices, that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like biologists.

 Skill  Description  Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
 1. Concept Explanation  Explain biological concepts, processes, and models presented in written format  25%–33%
 2. Visual Representations  Analyze visual representations of biological concepts and processes  16%–24%
 3. Question and Method  Determine scientific question and method  8%–14%
 4. Representing and Describing Data  Represent and describe data  8%–14%
 5. Statistical Tests and Data Analysis  Perform statistical tests and mathematical calculations to analyze and interpret data  8%–14%
 6. Argumentation  Develop and justify scientific arguments using evidence  20%–26%

AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The Higher Education site features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the Credit Policy Search.

Meet the Development Committee for AP Biology.