The AP Biology Exam consists of two sections: multiple choice and free response. Both sections include questions that assess students' understanding of the big ideas, enduring understandings, and essential knowledge and their application of these through the science practices. These may include questions on the following:
- the use of modeling to explain biological principles;
- the use of mathematical processes to explain concepts;
- the making of predictions and the justification of phenomena;
- the implementation of experimental design; and
- the manipulation and interpretation of data.
The exam is 3 hours long and includes both a 90-minute multiple-choice section and a 90-minute free-response section that begins with a mandatory 10-minute reading period. The multiple-choice section accounts for half of the student's exam grade, and the free-response section accounts for the other half.
The AP Biology Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2019(.pdf/3.7MB) provides complete details about the exam.
Section I: Multiple-Choice Section
Part A consists of 63 multiple-choice questions that represent the knowledge and science practices outlined in the AP Biology Curriculum Framework that students should understand and be able to apply.Part B includes 6 grid-in questions that require the integration of science and mathematical skills. For the grid-in responses, students will need to calculate the correct answer for each question and enter it in a grid on that section of the answer sheet.
Section II: Free-Response Section
Students should use the mandatory reading period to read and review the questions and begin planning their responses. This section contains two types of free-response questions (short and long), and the student will have a total of 80 minutes to complete all of the questions.