Expectations for Science Courses 

The following chart is meant to give you an idea of how much time is needed to prepare for each class period for each science course offered at Chantilly High School. These entries are meant to be an approximation of time and assignments for the average student enrolled in that course who is succeeding at high levels. While the level of rigor and time is comparable in the elective science classes, it is the content that is significantly different. In choosing an elective, we find that it is the student’s interest in the subject that most supports their engagement in learning. All science classes require a minimum of two formal lab reports per year.



Area of Study

Amount of Reading

Daily Workload (includes homework and studying)

Major Assessments per Quarter


Core Science Courses

Biology 1

Varies based on unit topic

30 minutes

2-3 tests per quarter

2-3 labs per quarter

1 formal lab report per semester


Honors Biology

10-15 pgs/week

1-2 content proofs per unit

Heavy writing component

0.5-1 hr/day

Research project work varies from 2-10 hr/week first semester

2 tests with short answer

1-2 labs per 2 week period – 1 formal lab per semester

Daily writing component

Additional Units-Biotechnology, Body Systems

Frequent Quizzes

6 month commitment to Scientific Research Project: literature review/research plan/blackboard/formal paper


Chemistry 1


Varied based on unit topic

30 minutes per day

2-3 tests per quarter

6 labs per quarter

1 formal lab per quarter


Honors Chemistry

15-20 pgs/week

2X that during 1st semester for research project

0.5-1 hr/night (2nd quarter has science fair research so 10-20 additional for the quarter)

2-3 unit tests

3-4 informal lab reports per qtr

1 formal lab report per quarter

Some topics explored with deeper content level

Topics include deeper analysis and application

Independent Research required: literature review/research plan/blackboard/formal paper

Strong algebra skills critical

Ability to work independently


Varies based on unit topic

20 minutes

2-3 tests per quarter

4-6 quizzes per quarter

Labs (mostly online) with 1 per qtr

Computer usage daily


Honors Geosystems

10-20 pages per class; including textbook and articles

30min-1hr per class (1st semester is slightly higher for research project)

2-4 per quarter

Labs – online and hands-on - with 1 per qtr

Written evaluations of class topics

Quarter project and/or paper

Research Project likely involving GIS/ARCVIEW software to include all parts of scientific research process

Good mathematical and analytical skills essential

Physics 1


Varies based on unit

30 min per day

1-2 tests per quarter

4-5 quizzes per quarter

4-5 labs per quarter



Fourth Year Science Electives


Daily reading varies based on unit

30 minutes to 1 hour depending on topic

2-3 tests

1 lab per week

1 formal lab per semester

Midterm and final exam

1 major project with paper and presentation components

Small unit projects

Aquarium project each quarter with written log book

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Daily reading varies based on unit

30 minutes each night

2-3 tests per quarter

1-2 labs per unit

Independent research project over year

Detailed structure knowledge is expected

Genetics and Biotechnology

Daily reading varies based on unit

30 minutes each night

2-3 tests per quarter

6 labs per quarter

1-2 formal lab per quarter

Unit projects with paper and presentation components

Toshiba Exploravision project required

Advanced Placement

Science Electives

AP Biology

1-2 chapters/week

5-10 hours per week

2-3 tests per quarter

Inquiry based labs designed by students

2-3  formal lab reports per quarter

Summer Assignment

Independent Research Project

AP Chemistry

Daily text reading and problem solving

1.5-2 hrs/day

Summer work is tested

Lab project after AP exam

Assessments every 1.5-2 weeks

Summer assignment

Independent research project

Class attendance and strong Algebra II skills are critical

AP Environmental Science

15-20 pages & articles

1-1.5 hr/class

2-4 tests with free response

3-5 labs; at least 2 formal labs

Quarter project or paper

Summer reading

End of course project & final exam

Independent research project encouraged

AP Physics 1

20 pgs/week

1 hr/day

Additional time for independent research

Unit tests with daily quizzes

Many lab investigations

2 formal labs per quarter

Independent assignments weekly


research project required

AP Physics C and AP Physics 2

10 pgs/week

1-2 hr/class

Frequent formal lab reports

1 test per quarter

Frequent quizzes