The AP Biology courses and exam are “organized around a few underlying principles called the big ideas, which encompass the core scientific principles, theories and processes governing living organisms and biological systems. For each of the big ideas, enduring understandings, which incorporate the core concepts that students should retain from the learning experience, are also identified.”1
1.A. Change in the genetic makeup of a population over time is evolution.
1.B. Organisms are linked by lines of descent from common ancestry.
1.C. Life continues to evolve within a changing environment.
1.D. The origin of living systems is explained by natural processes.
2.A. Growth, reproduction, and maintenance of the organization of living systems require free energy and matter.
2.B. Growth, reproduction, and dynamic homeostasis require that cells create and maintain internal environments that are different from their external environments.
2.C. Organisms use feedback mechanisms to regulate growth and reproduction, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.
2.D. Growth and dynamic homeostasis of a biological system are influenced by changes in the system’s environment.
2.E. Many biological processes involved in growth, reproduction and dynamic homeostasis include temporal regulation and coordination.
3.A. Heritable information provides for continuity of life.
3.B. Expression of genetic information involves cellular and molecular mechanisms.
3.C. The processing of genetic information is imperfect and is a source of genetic variation.
3.D. Cells communicate by generating, transmitting and receiving chemical signals.
3.E. Transmission of information results in changes within and between biological systems.
4.A. Interactions within biological systems lead to complex properties.
4.B. Competition and cooperation are important aspects of biological systems.
4.C. Naturally occurring diversity among and between components within biological systems affects interactions with the environment.
Note: The course provides links to the online materials, but you may also buy a printed copy of the textbook if you would like to.
You will complete both written and computer-graded work for the course.
Multiple-choice questions on the lesson material in each lesson. These questions help you evaluate your knowledge and prepare for the objective portion of the AP exam.
Short-answer questions based on your reading for each lesson. Completely answering these questions helps you review and remember the information and gives you a valuable set of study notes to help you prepare.
Lesson 12 includes a virtual lab and worksheet. This lab is designed to help you better understand the information you must know to pass the AP exam.
You should understand that, generally speaking, 17 percent of the multiple-choice questions and one of the four essay questions on the AP exam are based on labs very similar to the ones in this course. A lot of time and effort went into designing these labs so that you would have an additional resource to help you pass the AP exam.
Note: You will handwrite your lab worksheet, then scan and submit it to me for grading along with your Unit 4 Essay.
Longer essay questions, worth 10 points each. This assignment is to help prepare you for the AP Biology exam, which includes long and short essay questions. The questions in this course are similar or identical to essay questions found on past AP exams.
Note: You will handwrite your essays, then scan and submit them to me for grading.
The final exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The exam is closed book and notes. The time limit is ninety minutes, just like the real AP exam. You are allowed to use simple four-function calculators (with square root) on the entire exam.
Advice and sample assessments from the College Board: The AP Biology Exam.
Your grade is based on these assignments and exams:
|14 Reading Assignments||40%|
|4 Unit Essays, one with a Lab Worksheet||20%|
|E (fail)||59 or below|
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Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602-1514
These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.
Summary: 4 instructor-graded unit essays (one including a lab worksheet assignment), 14 instructor-graded reading assignments, 14 computer-graded lesson quizzes. May resubmit each once for a fee.
Summary: 1 proctored, computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course
You must pass the final exam with a score of sixty percent or higher in order to pass this course. If you fail the final exam, you may retake the exam once for a fee.
You have 1 year to complete this course. You may purchase one 3-month extension if you need more than a year to complete this course.
Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.
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