This course can help prepare students who wish to continue their scientific education after high school, as well as students who wish to prepare for the SAT exam. The level of aptitude in this subject will assist students wishing to excel on the SAT and in college courses.
According to the College Board’s website, AP Biology courses are designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory course, usually taken during a biology major’s first year of college. Students who choose to take AP Biology may be allowed to skip over introductory biology courses and enroll in courses in which biology is a prerequisite. Because universities grant college credit for this course, they require that the textbooks, labs, and coursework used by AP courses be equivalent to those used in actual college courses.
This course is offered to highly motivated students who wish to pursue their interests in the biological sciences. Enrollment requirements for the AP Biology course depend on policies established by each high school offering the course, but AP Biology is usually preceded by a less rigorous entry level Biology course, and sometimes by Chemistry as well. While some schools may have selective acceptance into the course, determined by academic record in prerequisite courses, other schools adhere to a policy of open enrollment, encouraging its undertaking by students that demonstrate capability for the course, though they may have performed unsatisfactorily in previous science courses.
Topics covered by this course include, Anatomy & Physiology, Biochemistry, Biodiversity, Botany, The Cell, Developmental Biology, Ecology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Origin of life, Population Biology, and Evolution.
Students taking AP Biology should first complete an introductory course in Biology, usually lasting one school year. An introductory course will prepare students to study higher levels of science and familiarize them with the scientific process. Students should also have experience with basic mathematical functions in order to complete experiments.
AP Biology is a serious course with a number course goals. According to the College Board’s website, by the time students take their AP Biology exam (or the SAT exam) they should:
- Develop a conceptual framework of Biology as a science. Students should focus more on concepts and discoveries rather than simply memorizing terms and technical details and routinely repeating information on exams. Students should be able to appreciate science as a coherent body of information and seek to apply it both inside and outside of the classroom.
- Gain an appreciation of the scientific process, its history, and its present day applications. Students should also be able to understand the importance of the scientific process while experimenting and be able to explain how they’ve used the scientific process in their own experiments both in writing and through the written word.
- Develop a deeper understanding of different biological process, particularly as they apply to living beings and life cycles.
- Use study notes and other study techniques in conjunction with various AP Biology textbooks.
The College Board also recently released a requirement for the AP Biology exam, underlining what portion of the test should be dedicated to what field of study. Accordingly, the following goals for the test were released:
- 25% of the test should be dedicated to Molecules and Cells.
- 25% of the test should be dedicated to Heredity and Evolution.
- 50% of the test should be dedicated to Organisms and Populations.
Students studying for both the AP Biology exam as well as the SAT should keep these parameters in mind. These basic goals may determine how much time is spent covering these different areas of study over the course of the school year as well as how much time is allotted to complete each section of the AP Biology test.
Students interested in taking AP Biology or any other Advanced Placement course should keep in mind that taking college level courses in high school requires a commitment of time and energy. Students that commit themselves to their classes and treat them as college level courses will see a definite pay off in their grades as well as their confidence.
Students wishing to get into prestigious, well-respected colleges or universities should definitely consider taking Advanced Placement courses. These courses look excellent on high school transcripts and can give students an invaluable look at college courses before they even enroll in them. Students also have the opportunity to earn college credit before graduating, which can save valuable time and money once college begins. The more students work to prepare themselves for the high-pressure college atmosphere before beginning their college education, the more enjoyable and successful their college career will be in the end. So, for student wishing to get a jump start on their college education and their careers after college, the AP course program is the perfect choice!
Here you will find AP Biology outlines and slides. We are working to add more AP Biology resources such as vocabulary terms, unit notes, topic notes, study questions, practice quizzes and glossary terms.