An updated AP Biology Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2015, featuring changes to the curriculum framework, is now available. The changes include more precise language, corrections, and the addition of three new learning objectives supporting Big Idea 2. There will be no changes to the design of the 2016 exam. For more information on what changed, see the chart on pages v-vii of the PDF.
Welcome, AP Teachers! This page features the important information and resources you need to implement the AP Biology course. The AP Biology course reduces breadth, shifts the instructional emphasis from content to skills, and promotes the complex thinking and reasoning skills essential for in-depth study at the college and university level.
Essential Course Resources
- AP Biology Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2015
Course Overview (.pdf/555KB) | Full Course Description (.pdf/5.8MB)
- AP Biology Lab Manual Resource Center
Information, links, and resources relating to the AP Biology lab manual. Includes downloadable PDF of AP Investigative Labs: An Inquiry-Based Approach.
- AP Biology Quantitative Skills Guide (.pdf/3.9MB)
Contains an overview of the quantitative skills included in the course and on the exam. Provides numerous links to online activities.
AP Biology Course Planning and Pacing GuidesWritten by AP teachers, these versatile guides demonstrate a variety of ways to plan and pace the AP Biology curriculum across one academic year. Each author brings a unique perspective to approaching the course based on his or her teaching context (e.g., demographics, schedule, school type, setting), and presents a host of ideas for activities, resources, and assessments.
- AP Biology Course Planning and Pacing Guide 1 (.pdf/1.5MB)
Teresa Massey, Elizabeth Andrews High School, GA — This course is taught at a nontraditional public high school on a block schedule where the teacher focuses on student-centered and inquiry-based investigative labs.
- AP Biology Course Planning and Pacing Guide 2 (.pdf/1.5MB)
Ed Braddy, J.W. Mitchell High School, FL — This course is taught at a suburban public high school where the teacher uses open and guided inquiry-based labs and activities, models, role-playing, videos, and other techniques to develop scientific inquiry and reasoning.
- AP Biology Course Planning and Pacing Guide 3 (.pdf/1.5MB)
Elizabeth Carzoli, Castle Park High School, CA — This course is taught in a public suburban high school where the teacher plans instructional activities around the difficulty of the content or the students' prior knowledge. Activities are student-centered and inquiry-based.
- AP Biology Course Planning and Pacing Guide 4 (.pdf/1.5MB)
Julianne M. Zedalis, The Bishop's School, CA — This course is taught at an independent college-preparatory school in a suburban community. The teacher uses lectures, open and guided inquiry-based labs and activities, videos, journal readings, and other practices to develop students' critical thinking about biology.
Other Core Resources
- CB Standards for Science Success
- AP Biology Frequently Asked Questions
- AP Biology Development Committee
- Biology Textbook Correlations (.pdf/770KB)
- Inquiry Instruction in the AP Science Classroom (.pdf/48KB)
AP Exam Information and ResourcesThe AP Biology Exam assesses understanding of biological principles, content, and concepts in combination with science practices. The exam features multiple-choice and free-response questions, a new grid-in question type, and short free-response questions, as described in the AP Biology Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2015 (.pdf/5.8MB)
Visit, A Guide to Demonstrating Understanding on the revised AP Biology Exam for additional support.
A full Practice Exam is available for all AP Biology teachers in a secure location. Sign in to AP Course Audit account for access.
AP Course Audit Information
From the College Board
Special Focus Materials
From Your AP Colleagues
Course Content—Related Articles
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- Achieving Gender Equality in the Science Classroom
- Gastrulation: Shaping the Embryo
- Mendel's Legacy
- Milestones for Women in Science
- DNA and Computers—A Marriage Made in Heaven
- Causes and Consequences of the Black Death—A Reappraisal
- Rosalind Franklin: She's Worth Another Look
- AP Biology Readers Revisit Mitotic Spindle Formation
Reviews of Teaching Resources
There are currently more than 250 reviews of teaching resources, including textbooks, web sites, software, and more, in the Teachers' Resources area. Each review describes the resource and suggests ways it might be used in the classroom.
- June–August: AP Summer Institutes are offered for AP Biology. These workshops, which occur at different sites from June through August, provide an in-depth look at the revised course and exam.
- September–December: One-day Professional Development Workshops are offered for AP Biology.
- To locate Summer Institutes and workshops and register, visit Professional Development for AP Biology Teachers.
Background on Course and Exam Revisions
- Consortium of Experts (.pdf/349KB)
- Key Goals of Course Revisions (.pdf/140KB)
- Higher Education Validation for Biology (.pdf/378KB)