College Board AP Biology Course Description
AP Biology is a high school course designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory course usually taken by biology majors during their first year at colleges and universities across the nation. A college biology course differs significantly from the usual high school course in respect to the textbook used, the range and depth of topics covered, the laboratory work done by students, and the time and effort required. Although much of the content will be presented during class time, students should be expected and required to cover additional materials on their own. Students in AP Biology will only succeed if they appreciate that this course will be taught at the college level and will find it very challenging. It is recommended by The College Board that students be prepared to spend a minimum of 1 and 1/2 hours of study time per 1 hour of time spent in class. Students who do not wish to invest this type of amount of effort and time should NOT be enrolled in AP Biology. The course is designed to prepare students for the AP Biology examination given each spring by the College Board. An acceptable score on the AP Biology exam (3 or better), as deemed by the university a student decides to attend may grant a student college credit and/or advanced placement in college. Students may choose to take the exam in May, but it is not required.
The course is a survey of the most current biological theories and ideas. There are four major themes that are stressed throughout the course. These are:
1. The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
2. Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic
3. Living systems store, retrieve transmit and respond to information essential to life processes.
4. Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.
(AP Biology 2015)