Welcome to Advanced Placement Biology

Welcome to Advanced Placement Biology
As you start your Advanced Placement Biology course, I’d like to give you an idea of what
you have to look forward to. You have signed on to take a college level introductory course in Biology. It
is designed to be more challenging, and consequently, more interesting and go beyond the scope of a high
school level biology course. This course will follow guidelines set down by the College Board regarding
material to e covered. The approximate amount of time devoted to each topic is roughly equivalent to the
approximate weight given to each area on the AP exam in spring.
The Advanced Placement Program of the College Board is designed to let students in high school obtain
college credit by examination. The exam will be give nationwide on the morning of May 14th, 2012.
Grades are assigned on a basis of 1-5, with a 3 as the “passing” score using standards set by the College
Board. Each college or university however, sets its own guidelines for granting credit for your
performance on the AP Biology Exam. Typically a student may receive between four and eight semester
hours of credit in biology, depending on their performance on the Exam. In biology, a large number of
institutions only grant credit for grades of 4 or 5 only, so we are offering a course that will prepare
students for that level of achievement.
Colleges expect students to have had an “equivalent” experience to their freshman course, including the
laboratories, and to have mastered its content. There are a dozen or so lab that are required. These will be
tested on the exam. You will be expected to write original lab reports for each of these. Because this is a
college level lab science course, it makes very heavy demands on your time and energy. You can count on
having to spend time after school or before school to complete laboratory work. You will also be
responsible for several levels of assignments at the same time. For example, there will be regular reading
assignments, labs to write up, articles to read and summarize, essays to write, and major exams.
Since most AP Biology students are staking a full academic load and are involved in extra-curricular
activities, please consider carefully the time burden that holding an after-school job would add. This is a
college level course taught inside a high-school schedule. You need to make the time commitments that
are necessary in order to be successful.
Besides become knowledgeable about biology, you will develop important skills that will help you
become successful in any university or college you choose to attend. You will:
o learn time management
o learn how to read a textbook
o learn how to study for a multiple choice test
o learn how to write a college level lab report
o develop responsibility
o become very organized
o develop good study habits
o become self-motivated and self-reliant
o learn how to understand relationships and make concept connections
With these goals in mind, and my love for biology, I plan to provide you with the opportunity to have a
simulation year of discovery about biology.
The text for the course is Biology fifth edition by Cmapbell, Mitchell, and Reece, 1999. The text contains
55 chapters and we will attempt to cover all of them. The volume of material to be covered prohibits me
from lecturing on all the material, therefore, you, the student, will be required to learn a substantial
amount through your own study and reading.
Let’s look at life together,
Mrs. Wojcik
AP Biology Teacher
[email protected]
(Please detach and return the signed student accountability contract)
Student Accountability Contract
I, ________________________, understand and accept the rigor, pacing, course expecations and
grading policies in this class. I have also reviewed the course outline. I understand that much of my
learning will take place outside of the class period. Most of the class time is structured around labs,
demonstrations, and discussions. I understand I am expected to prepare for exams outside of class.
Students are required to attend two Sunday sessions:
1. Sunday, April 22nd from 5:00-7:00 pm – Practice AP Exam
2. Sunday, May 6th from 3:00-5:00 pm – Comprehensive Final Exam
The Biology AP Exam is scheduled for Monday, May 14th at 8:00 AM
Student’s name _________________________________ (Please print)
Student’s Signature
Parent/Guardian Signature
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