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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
AP Exams will cover the full content in each course, giving students the opportunity to receive college credit and placement.

Given the uncertainties of the 2020-21 school year, some students may feel unsure about taking AP Exams in May. So that students feel comfortable registering by the fall deadline, this year there will be no fees whatsoever if a student decides not to test or to cancel their exams. Every AP student should keep their options open by registering for the exam on time because there will still be a $40 fee for late orders.

View the latest information on testing.

AP Questions and Feedback Throughout the Year
AP practice exams and past exam questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank. Personal progress checks are also available to ensure your students build mastery of content and skills. The progress dashboard highlights progress for every student and class across units.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information on exam weighting, download the AP Biology Course and Exam Description (CED).

Encourage your students to visit the AP Biology student page for exam information and exam practice.

  • Event
    • FRI, MAY 14, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP Biology Exam Day

    •  

Exam Format

Starting with the 2021 exam, the AP Biology Exam will have question types and point values that will remain stable and consistent from year to year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Exam Updates
2019 Exam Starting with the 2021 Exam

Section I: Multiple Choice

69 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

- Discrete questions.
- Questions in sets.
- The multiple-choice section currently includes 6 grid-in questions.

Section I: Multiple Choice

60 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam
Score

- Discrete questions.
- Questions in sets.
- Grid-in questions have been
removed. (Note that multiple-choice
questions still assess mathematical
calculations.)

Section II: Free Response

8 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

- 2 long questions, one of which is lab- or data-based

- 6 short-answer questions, each requiring a paragraph-length argument/response

Section II: Free Response

6 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

- 2 long questions, both focusing on interpreting and evaluating experimental results (one requires graphing)

- 4 short-answer questions

o Scientific Investigation

o Conceptual Analysis

o Analysis of Model or Visual Representation

o Analysis of Data

Exam Tasks and Content

Section 1: Multiple Choice

  • Individual questions
  • Sets of questions with 4–5 questions per set

Section 2: Free Response

  • There are 2 long questions and 4 short-answer questions. Long questions are worth 8–10 points each; short-answer questions are worth 4 points each.
  • The long questions ask students to:
    • Interpret and evaluate experimental results
    • Interpret and evaluate experimental results with graphing
  • The short-answer questions assess students’ understanding of the following:
    • Scientific investigation
    • Conceptual analysis
    • Analysis of a model or visual representation
    • Data analysis

AP Calculator Policy and Equations and Formulas Sheet

A four-function (with square root), scientific, or graphing calculator may be used on the exam.

Students are permitted to use the AP Biology Equations and Formulas Sheet on the exam. This resource is also available in Appendix A of the CED.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 Free-Response Questions

2020 free-response questions are now in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and do not require secure assessment. These questions have been updated, where possible, to best match the format of free-response questions in the course and exam description and on traditional AP Exams.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

Past Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions and scoring information from the 2018 and earlier exams, visit Past Exam Questions.