This course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course usually taken by biology majors during their first year. Some AP students, as college freshmen, are permitted to undertake upper-level courses in biology or to register for courses for which biology is a prerequisite. Other students may have fulfilled a basic requirement for a laboratory science course and will be able to undertake other courses to pursue their majors.
The two main goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process. The ongoing information explosion in biology makes these goals even more challenging. Primary emphasis in an AP Biology course should be on developing an understanding of concepts rather than on memorizing terms and technical details. Essential to this conceptual understanding are the following: a grasp of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns.
Additional information can be found at the College Board website