AP Biology

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About the Exam

Important Update

2021 AP Biology Exams will be offered on paper in early May and as a digital exam in late May and early June.

All versions of the exams will cover the full scope of course content, giving you the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement. On the digital exam, you’ll answer free-response questions with a keyboard, rather than by hand. If you take the digital exam, you won’t be asked to draw or graph as part of your response—rather, these skills will be assessed with questions about given graphs or other stimuli. The digital exam app will include any symbols you’ll need to type your responses. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Biology only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

The AP Biology Exam will test your understanding of the biological concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to utilize the scientific method and analyze data. You are allowed to use a four-function calculator (with square root), scientific, or graphing functions throughout exam.

Exam Duration
3hrs

Exam Dates

  • Fri, May 14, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Biology Exam

    This is the Administration 1 date for the AP Biology Exam.

  • Thu, May 27, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP Biology Exam

    This is the Administration 2 date for the AP Biology Exam.

  • Fri, Jun 11, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP Biology Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP Biology Exam.

Exam Components

Note on 2021 Exams

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Biology only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Biology Exam will be full length and measure the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description. On the digital exam, you’ll answer free-response questions with a keyboard, rather than by hand. If you take the digital exam, you won’t be asked to draw or graph as part of your response — rather, these skills will be assessed with questions about given graphs or other stimuli. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

60 questions 1hr 30mins 50% of Score

The multiple-choice section includes individual, single questions as well as sets of questions that refer to the same diagram or data presentation.

Questions will test your ability to:

  • Explain biological concepts, processes, and models
  • Analyze diagrams, flow charts, and other visual representations
  • Use the scientific method
  • Perform mathematical calculations to analyze data
  • Support scientific claims with evidence

6 questions 1hr 30mins 50% of Score

The free-response section includes two long free-response questions and four short-answer questions.

Questions will test your ability to:

  • Interpret and evaluate results from an experiment
  • Graph and analyze data
  • Understand the principles and procedures of lab investigations
  • Predict the causes or effects of a change in a biological system
  • Analyze a visual representation of a biological phenomenon

Exam Preparation

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