AP Biology Pre-Assessment

AP Biology Pre-Assessment

AP Biology Essential Knowledge Student Diagnostic - A tool for diagnosing student understanding of the AP Biology statements of Essential Knowledge. Created by ClearBiology.com

AP Biology Essential Knowledge Student Diagnostic

I’ve developed a tool for diagnosing student understanding of the new AP Biology Essential Knowledge. Students read each Essential Knowledge statement and use a simple code system to indicate their comprehension level.  The document also introduces students to the process of developing scientific explanations.

I am administering the diagnostic as part of my AP Biology Summer Assignment.  I believe that early exposure to the Essential Knowledge statements will serve useful to the students; it will help the them begin the course with the end in mind.

You can find the pre-assessment here: Essential Knowledge Student Diagnostic





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Jeremy Conn

Science Teacher and Founder of Clear Biology at Clear Biology
I hold a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and have been teaching science in public schools since 2004. I have a love for biology and instructional design. My mission is to share with other educators the best of what I know about teaching.

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  1. Thank you for your work on this resource Jeremy. I would like to use this document in the same manner to assess my students’ perceived knowledge heading into the course. Can I distribute this to my class? (With attribution of course!)

    • Michael, you can definitely use the document. I hope it provides you with useful information.

  2. Hi Jeremy:
    i would like to use it as well. I think it will really be helpful for both me and the students as a way to begin.


    • Lori, That’s great. I think letting the students see the “big picture” in regards to the essential knowledge will help them understand what their goals for the course are. I’m really interested to see how my students rate themselves.

  3. Jeremy (which is my husband’s name, by the way),

    Thanks so much for graciously sharing these resources. So far, they have made me less anxious as I approach the new changes to our curriculum. Thanks again and I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me again real soon!

    Best 🙂
    – Dawn Berkeley

    • Thanks Dawn,

      I’m really glad to hear that you will be able to use these resources. I think it will be helpful to show the students what what they have in store for them. Their feedback will be important in guiding the sequence of instruction. Remember, the content hasn’t really changed. It’s the manner in which the concepts are taught that has been reformed.

      Students will gain a deeper understanding of concepts as we illustrate how everything is connected. Don’t do all the work, make the students find these connections on their own.

      Good Luck ~ Jeremy

  4. Thank you for this resource. I’m going to modify it to use it as a review for the exam along with the learning objective cards. Your website has been helpful over the past year.

    • Hey Valerie, that’s awesome. Last year I had my students sort the cards into three stacks (red, yellow, and green). Green cards were meant to be the LOs the students understood the best. Red cards were supposed to be the LOs least familiar to them. Yellow cards were somewhere in between. I had the students use this information to focus their review.


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