Financial Services

What You Need To Know About Ap Chemistry

By Gabriel Adams

Advanced Placement Chemistry (AP Chem) is only one of the 35 Advanced Placement courses (in over 20 different subjects) participated in by over a million gifted, talented, and/or highly motivated students each year.

Each student of AP Chem will become well acquainted, if not completely familiar with a multitude of subject matter including, but not limited to: chemical bonds, chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, properties and phases of matter and solutions, nuclear chemistry, reaction kinetics, atomic theory, stoichiometry, and thermodynamics.

Successful completion of both a second-year high school algebra course and general chemistry course are recommended as prerequisites prior to taking an AP Chem class. An AP Chem course is the equivalent to a first-year college general chemistry course, including laboratory experience.

Typically, AP courses are taken in preparation for the Advanced Placement Examaminations (AP Exams) taken in May of each year. The two main sections of the AP Chem Exam are currently 6 free-response essay questions based on hypothetical scenarios and 75 multiple-choice questions.


A periodic table of elements is the only acceptable reference material in the hour and a half of time alloted for section one. The use of a calculator is forbidden during the multiple-choice questions section and during the second part of section two. However, two pages of conventions, equations, and a list of standard reduction potentials may be used in section two.

The second section is split into two subsections of two problems each, (A) 55 and (B) 40 mintues, respectively. If subsection B is completed early, subsection A may be edited in the time remaining.

The AP Chemistry Exam is available to any student in secondary school throughout the U.S. and Canada, but also to home-school students. Regardless of the letter grade attained in class or even whether or not the student has even taken the AP Chem course, he or she is eligible take the AP Exam.

These college-level exams and programs have been stringently improved and regularly updated since their initial inception in 1955, by the College Board. Though the organization known as the College Board is a non-profit organization, students are charged a fee in order to take the exams. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

The exams are scored on a scale of 1 through 5. A score of 1 (No Recommendation) is effectively an ‘F’, while a 5 (Well-Qualified) equates to an ‘A’, though typical transcripts simply show whether or not credit has been acquired. Test scores are compared, using the bell curve grading method, as opposed to a set standard. Though their policies differ, most colleges accept a score of 4 or 5; a 3 is considered ‘passing’ or ‘Qualified.’ Approximately 25% of the nearly 100,000 students who take the AP Chemistry exam receive a failing score of 1.

A student demonstrating aptitude by scoring ‘Qualified’ (or better) on AP tests are often exempt from introductory course requirements by many colleges and universities. Over two thousand colleges participate in Advanced Placement Programs. Admissions Counselors and/or Course Advisors should be consulted due to variations in placement testing methods and policies at individual institutions of higher learning.

About the Author: Get help with

ap chemistry





Permanent Link: