The AP Biology program changed recently with new Course and Exam Descriptions (CEDs). The emphasis of the course has moved from teaching for knowledge to teaching for understanding. Students are less responsible for memorizing facts and details and are more responsible for being able to answer questions such as what, where, why, how, and when.
The Biology CED has eight content units with suggestions of pacing (number of days) and they show the percent of coverage of each unit on the next exam. A much higher emphasis is placed on the six science skills.
The AP national exam has changed. Some of the changes include: dropping the grid-in questions (but having calculation questions in the multiple-choice), having 18 points in 2 long essays, having 16 points in 4 short essays, and having a master grading rubric which shows where all of the points will come from on every essay question. The essay exams focus on the application of science skills rather than focusing on the memorization of content. 2020 was the first test under the new format, and APSI workshop participants will spend time looking at the free response questions and grading rubrics as well as discussing what was learned from the administration of the new exam.