AP BIOLOGY SYLLABUS
Heritage High School
Instructor: Cathleen Gough, BS Biology Frostburg State University, MS Biological Sciences
University of MD Baltimore County, MEd Interdisciplinary Studies Frostburg State
School: Heritage High School
Classroom: Room 500
School Phone: 571-252-2800
Textbook: Raven and Johnson. Biology: Sixth Edition. McGraw Hill. 2002.
This textbook is provided by Loudoun County Public Schools.
Expectations: AP Biology is designed as a college level course with a college level
framework to prepare students for the AP Biology Exam and is equivalent to an
introductory level biology course. This course contains rigorous requirements in terms of
the range and depth of topics presented, the kind of laboratory work done by the students,
and the time and effort of students. This course is challenging and requires students to
have a level of responsibility and accountability in order to succeed in the course.
Students are expected to go beyond daily classroom and lab experiences to reach their
full potential due to the amount and complexity of material that will be covered. Chapter
readings should be done prior to the class in which the topic is being discussed. The
three major areas of study are molecules and cells, heredity and evolution, and organisms
and populations. The Advanced Placement course outline is followed, and students are
prepared to be successful on the AP exam for possible college credit. The instructor will
provide numerous resources and opportunity for outside class help. Working together
with fellow classmates and your instructor will greatly benefit your success.
Course Format: This course will meet every other day for 90 minutes and may require
additional outside time which can be scheduled. The course is a total of 80 class days
prior to the AP Exam which will include at least 20 days of lab (25% of the course).
Major Course Themes (set forth by the College Board):
1. Science as a Process
3. Energy Transfer
4. Continuity and Change
5. Relationship of Structure to Function
7. Interdependence in Nature
8. Science, Technology, and Society
Evolution will be the common thread that will weave throughout and connect the study of
the AP Biology content.
Laboratory Component : Students will write 3 formal lab reports on designated lab
activities; one each quarter not including the 4th quarter when the AP Exam is given. Lab
understanding is assessed through lab components on unit exams including multiple
choice and essay questions.
Student Evaluations: Exams will be given to evaluate student knowledge covering all
key concepts, review questions, class discussion, lecture, notes, and LAB objectives.
Exams will consist of multiple choice questions and include at least one essay question
similar to the free response section of the AP Exam. Other means of assessment will also
be used (i.e. quizzes and special projects). Each unit will have one exam and a midterm
and final will be given. The AP Exam will be the true evaluation on the work and effort
put forth by the student to succeed in the demanding course.
Special Projects: Several projects will be assigned over the course of the year, including
but not limited to, reading, abstracting, and discussing journal articles, book review,
inquiry investigations, working models, and creating and delivering powerpoint
presentations and videos. Students will complete a comprehensive classification of
organisms’ project by creating an organism of the week journal. Journal article
discussion will involve current topics of biology from the 8 units that will be covered
through the course.
What Will Be Graded: Lab reports, exams, quizzes, special projects, article
abstracts and selected homework assignments as assigned.
How Final Grade Will be Calculated: Grade will be calculated based on a total
number of points. Exams, labs, and special projects will carry the bulk of the points for
98 – 100 A+
93 – 97 A
90 – 92 A-
87 – 89 B+
83 – 86 B
80 – 82 B-
77 – 79 C+
73 – 76 C
67 – 69 D+
63 – 66 D
60 – 62 D-
0 – 59 F
Late work and Make Up work: It is your responsibility to make up any and all missed
work. If you know ahead of time that you will be missing class please see the instructor
to make arrangements. All work will be penalized 50% for one day late and will then
be given a 0%. This is a college level course and work is not accepted late in college.
When a student misses a previously announced test, paper, quiz or project, the student
must make up the activity the first day he/she returns to school. If a student is present for
part of the day, then the previously announced assignments are due on that day.Make-up
work completed on time is graded on the same basis as other schoolwork. Failure to
complete work within the time allowed results in a failing grade.
Required Material: 3 – ringed binder 2” for Organism of the Week Project optional
3 – ringed binder 2” for Lab
3 – ringed binder of your choosing for notes and handouts
Dividers (required for project and lab binder)
24 assortment pack of the color pencils
Pen and Pencil
Zip top sandwich baggies (Do not bring everyday.
I will let you know when needed)