AP® Biology

  • $700.00 / Full Year
  • $380.00 / Semester 1
  • $380.00 / Semester 2
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Course Overview

Our online AP Biology course builds students' understanding of biology on both the micro and macro scales. After studying cell biology, students move on to understand how evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Students will examine how living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information and how organisms utilize free energy. This course is the equivalent of an introductory college-level biology course and prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in science, health sciences, or engineering.

The AP Biology course provides a learning experience focused on allowing students to develop their critical thinking skills and cognitive strategies. Frequent no- and low-stakes assessments allow students to measure their comprehension and improve their performance as they progress through each activity. Students regularly engage with primary sources, allowing them to practice the critical reading and analysis skills that they will need in order to pass the AP exam and succeed in a college biology course. Students perform hands-on labs that give them insight into the nature of science and help them understand biological concepts, as well as how evidence can be obtained to support those concepts. Students also complete several virtual lab studies in which they form hypotheses; collect, analyze, and manipulate data; and report their findings and conclusions.  During both virtual and traditional lab investigations and research opportunities, students summarize their findings and analyze others' findings in summaries, using statistical and mathematical calculations when appropriate. Summative tests are offered at the end of each unit as well as at the end of each semester, and contain objective and constructed response items. Robust scaffolding, rigorous instruction, relevant material and regular active learning opportunities ensure that students can achieve mastery of the skills necessary to excel on the AP exam.

This course has been authorized by the College Board® to use the AP designation.

Course Details

Grade Levels
High School


Pre–Requisite Courses
Course Length

Full Year: Full year courses are two semesters in length, 18 weeks maximum each; suggested summer pacing is 9 weeks.

Semester 1: Courses have a maximum duration of 18 weeks per semester.

Semester 2: Courses have a maximum duration of 18 weeks per semester.

Required Materials

Semesters 1 and 2: Required

AP Biology requires a college-level biology textbook. Students may use any college-level biology textbook to successfully complete the course.

Though students may use any college-level textbook, resources such as page references and scaffolded reading guides are provided in the course to support students who use either of the following texts:

  • Campbell Biology, 11th ed. Lisa Urry et al. (Pearson, 2016)
    ISBN-10: 0134093410 / ISBN-13: 9780134093413
    Acceptable alternate: 12th ed. (2020). ISBN-10: 0135188741
    Acceptable alternate: 10th ed. (2013). ISBN-10: 0321775651

– OR –

  • Principles of Life, 3rd ed. David M. Hillis et al. (W. H. Freeman, 2019)
    ISBN-10: 1319017711 / ISBN-13: 9781319017712
    Acceptable alternate: 2nd ed. (2014). ISBN-10: 1464109478
    Acceptable alternate: 1st ed. (2011). ISBN-10: 1429257210

AP Biology requires the completion of hands-on lab activities and has been approved by the College Board as meeting all requirements for a laboratory science course. For a list of hands-on lab materials, go to http://support.apexlearning.com/materials.

Apex Learning has partnered with a third-party vendor to create a custom laboratory kit that contains all
the materials needed for this course. The kit may be purchased here: http://www.qualitysciencelabs.com/apex-learning-science-kits/. Once there, select “Advanced Biology Kit for Apex Learning.” Note that a microscope is not included and must be obtained separately. Kits may take up to 3 weeks to ship. For Quality Science Labs customer service, call 1-866-700-1884.

Course Units & Syllabus

Download the Syllabus