The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course usually taken by biology majors during their first year.  AP Biology will include those topics regularly covered in a college biology course for majors.  The college course in biology differs significantly from the usual first high school course in biology with respect to the kind of textbook used, the range and depth of topics covered, the kind of laboratory work done by students, and the time and effort required of students.  The textbooks and labs done by AP students must be equivalent of those done by college students.

 

Three areas of study have been subdivided into major categories with percentage goals for each major category specified in accordance with The College Board guidelines.  Student proficiency will be assessed through the required laboratory work and examinations constructed according to The College Board guidelines.

 

The two main goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process.  The ongoing information explosion in biology makes these goals even more challenging.  Primary emphasis in an Advanced Placement Biology course should be on developing an understanding of concepts rather than on memorizing terms and technical details.  Essential to this conceptual understanding are the following:  a grasp of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts: personal experience in scientific inquiry: recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology: and application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environment and social concerns.