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AP Chemistry

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Advanced Placement Chemistry (AP Chemistry or AP Chem) is a course and examination offered by the College Board as a part of the Advanced Placement Program to American high school students the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and earn college-level credit in chemistry.


The course

AP Chemistry is a course geared toward highly motivated students with interests in chemical and physical sciences. This course prepares students to take the AP Chemistry exam toward the end of the academic year. AP Chemistry topics include atomic theory, chemical bonding, phases of matter, solutions, types of reactions, equilibrium, reaction kinetics, and thermodynamics.


The Collegeboard recommends successful completion of High School Chemistry and Algebra II.[1]

Topics covered

The exam covers common chemistry topics, including:

The exam

The annual AP Chemistry examination, administered in May, is divided into two major sections (multiple-choice questions and free response essays). The two sections are composed of 75 multiple-choice questions and 6 free-response essay prompts that require the authoring of chemical equations, solution of problems, and development of thoughtful essays in response to hypothetical scenarios.

Section I, the multiple-choice portion, does not allow the use of a calculator, nor does it provide any additional reference material, other than a periodic table. 90 minutes are allotted for the completion of Section I.

Section II, the free response section, is divided into two sections: Part A, requiring the completion of three problems, and Part B, containing three problems. Part A, lasting 55 minutes, allows the use of calculators, while Part B, lasting 40 minutes, does not. The first problem in Part A concerns equilibrium related to solubility, acids and bases, or pressure/concentration. The first question of Part B is a chemical equation question in which 3 scenarios are presented and the student is required to work all 3 scenarios, authoring a balanced net ionic chemical equation for each scenario and answer questions about the equations and scenarios. If time permits, students may edit their responses from Part A during the time allotted for responding to Part B, though without the use of a calculator.

While the use of calculators is prohibited during Section I and Section II Part B, a periodic table, a list of selected standard reduction potentials, and two pages of equations and conventions are available for use during the entirety of Section II.

Grade distribution

In the 2007 administration, 97,139 students took the exam from 6,911 schools. 2,040 different colleges received scores from this exam. The mean score was a 2.79 and the standard deviation was 1.39.

The grade distribution for 2007 was:

Score Percent
5 15.3%
4 18.0%
3 23.0%
2 18.5%
1 25.3%
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "AP_Chemistry". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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