AP BIOLOGY EXAM: 3 HOURS
Exam questions are based on learning objectives, which combine science practices with specific content. Students learn to
- Solve problems mathematically — including symbolically
- Design and describe experiments and analyze data and sources of error
- Explain, reason, or justify answers with emphasis on deeper, conceptual understanding
- Interpret and develop conceptual models
Due to the increased emphasis on quantitative skills and application of mathematical methods in the questions, students are allowed to use simple four-function calculators (with square root) on the entire exam. Students also receive a formula list as part of their testing materials.
The AP Biology Course and Exam Description(.pdf/3.7MB) provides complete details about the exam.
Visit A Guide to Demonstrating Understanding on the revised AP Biology Exam for additional support.
Format of Assessment
Section I: Multiple Choice | 69 Questions | 90 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
- Multiple-Choice: 63 Questions
- Discrete Questions
- Questions in sets
- Grid-In: 6 Questions
- Discrete Questions
- Questions integrate biology and mathematical skills
Section II: Free Response | 8 Questions | 90 minutes | 50% of Exam Score
- Long Free Response (2 questions, one of which is lab or data-based)
- Short Free Response (6 questions, each requiring a paragraph-length argument/response)
2015: Free-Response Questions
2014: Free-Response Questions
2013: Free-Response Questions
Past Exam Questions
The College Board provides free-response questions from past AP Biology Exams. These questions do not reflect the redesigned AP Biology Exam administered for the first time in May 2013, but the question types are the same and the topics similar, making them a valuable resource for students and teachers. Included with the questions are scoring guidelines, sample student responses, and commentary on those responses, as well as exam statistics and the Student Performance Q&A (Chief Reader's Report) for the May 2012 administrations and before.