Welcome to AP Biology!

The exam for AP Biology will be held on the morning of May 12, 2014.

AP Biology is a rigorous in-depth study of biology following a curriculum set by the College Board. The  curriculum has been reorganized from this school year into four big ideas.

  •  BIG IDEA 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
  •  BIG IDEA 2: Biological systems utilize energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain homeostasis.
  • BIG IDEA 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.
  •  BIG IDEA 4: Biological systems interact, and these interactions possess complex properties.

It is my intention to finish teaching the material for the course and complete all labs required for the course (including a few others) by April to allow for sufficient time to review the syllabus and practice for the exam.

This course will progress at a rapid clip, with an emphasis on testing, lab reports and essay writing. I suggest that you adopt a strategy to pre-read the chapters before coming to class and realize that studying/work  for this class will require at least 6 -7 hours a week.

The following three systems must be covered in depth – Endocrine, Immune, and Nervous. I expect that you will have covered this in Anatomy and Physiology as this is a pre/co-requisite for my class.

Labs in AP biology typically cannot be completed in one class period and as such you will have to stay after school or come on Saturday mornings to complete them.  You are obliged to be present and participate completely in these labs as these are an integral part of the AP exam. You will usually be given two optional days to come in for lab. Lab reports are mandatory and have to follow a prescribed format. There are NO make-ups and absence will result in a zero for that lab. I reserve the right to administer pre-lab quizzes that will be due the FIRST day the lab is offered.

**While I am aware of the exemption rules for midterms in AHS, I require ALL my students to take the AP Biology midterm exam REGARDLESS of whether they are eligible to exempt or not.**

Once we begin to review for the AP exam, students will have to return to school one night a week for 6 – 8 weeks to take mock AP exams. Each of the first five exams will last an hour and a half and the last one will last three hours. There are NO make-ups and absence will result in a zero for that Exam. This is so that students are as familiar as possible with the format and strategies for the exam.

The Exam you will take in 2014 has changed in format. There will still be two parts to the exam – each for 90 minutes.

Part 1 – has two parts:

  • Section 1 – 63 multiple choice questions
  • Section 2 – 6 grid in answers

Part 2 – has two parts – the 90 minutes includes 10 minute mandatory reading, and 80 minutes writing portion.

  • Section 1 – long free response – 2 questions
  • Section 2 – short free response = 6 questions.

The new exam will incorporate a lot more math, and as such students will be given a formula sheet and will be allowed to use a simple four function calculator.

SUPPLIES FOR THIS CLASS (subject to updates)

  • Four Function calculator  Ex: Sharp EL-233s, or Texas Instruments® TI-503SV
  • Pencils
  • 6″ ruler
  • Blue or black ink pen
  • Composition book – preferably quad ruled.
  • highlighter
  • Biology by Campbell – 9th edition ISBN 0-13-137504-0


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