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Important Updates

Preparing Students for the Exam 

Starting August 1, students and teachers will have new resources and a daily support tool called AP Classroom to use throughout the year. Designed and tested in collaboration with AP teachers, these resources include unit guides that cover the content and skills assessed on the exam, progress checks and a dashboard to highlight strengths and opportunities for growth, and a question bank of real AP

Learn more about the new resources

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). Scoring guidelines for each of the sample free-response questions in the CED are also available.

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

  • Event
    • Mon, May 11, 2020

    AP Biology Exam Day

    • 8 a.m. | 3 hrs

Exam Format

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, 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 2020 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

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

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

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

Calculator Policies and Approved Calculators

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

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.

New Exam Resources

Beginning in August 2019, you’ll have access to the full range of questions from past exams in AP Classroom. You’ll have access to:

  • an online library of AP questions relevant to your course
  • personal progress checks with new formative questions
  • a dashboard to display results from progress checks and provide real-time insights
2019: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Coming Soon