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AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry

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Encyclopedia
Advanced Placement Chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

(AP Chemistry or AP Chem) is a course and examination offered by the College Board
College Board
The College Board is a membership association in the United States that was formed in 1900 as the College Entrance Examination Board . It is composed of more than 5,900 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. It sells standardized tests used by academically oriented...

 as a part of the Advanced Placement Program
Advanced Placement Program
The Advanced Placement program is a curriculum in the United States and Canada sponsored by the College Board which offers standardized courses to high school students that are generally recognized to be equivalent to undergraduate courses in college...

 to give American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canadian high school students the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and earn college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

-level credit.

The course


AP Chemistry is a course geared toward highly motivated students with interests in chemical and physical science
Physical science
Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science and science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the life sciences...

s as well as any of the biological sciences. This course prepares students to take the AP Chemistry exam toward the end of the academic year. AP Chemistry topics include atomic theory
Atomic theory
In chemistry and physics, atomic theory is a theory of the nature of matter, which states that matter is composed of discrete units called atoms, as opposed to the obsolete notion that matter could be divided into any arbitrarily small quantity...

, chemical bonding, phases of matter, solutions, types of reactions, chemical equilibrium
Chemical equilibrium
In a chemical reaction, chemical equilibrium is the state in which the concentrations of the reactants and products have not yet changed with time. It occurs only in reversible reactions, and not in irreversible reactions. Usually, this state results when the forward reaction proceeds at the same...

, reaction kinetics, electrochemistry
Electrochemistry
Electrochemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies chemical reactions which take place in a solution at the interface of an electron conductor and an ionic conductor , and which involve electron transfer between the electrode and the electrolyte or species in solution.If a chemical reaction is...

, and thermodynamics
Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is a physical science that studies the effects on material bodies, and on radiation in regions of space, of transfer of heat and of work done on or by the bodies or radiation...

.

Prerequisites


The College Board recommends successful completion of High School Chemistry and Algebra II; however, requirement of this may differ from school to school. AP Chemistry usually requires knowledge of Algebra I, however, some schools allow students to take Algebra II concurrently with this class.

Topics covered


The exam covers common chemistry topics, including:
  • Reactions
    • Chemical equilibrium
      Chemical equilibrium
      In a chemical reaction, chemical equilibrium is the state in which the concentrations of the reactants and products have not yet changed with time. It occurs only in reversible reactions, and not in irreversible reactions. Usually, this state results when the forward reaction proceeds at the same...

    • Chemical kinetics
      Chemical kinetics
      Chemical kinetics, also known as reaction kinetics, is the study of rates of chemical processes. Chemical kinetics includes investigations of how different experimental conditions can influence the speed of a chemical reaction and yield information about the reaction's mechanism and transition...

    • Stoichiometry
      Stoichiometry
      Stoichiometry is a branch of chemistry that deals with the relative quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions. In a balanced chemical reaction, the relations among quantities of reactants and products typically form a ratio of whole numbers...

    • Thermodynamics
      Thermodynamics
      Thermodynamics is a physical science that studies the effects on material bodies, and on radiation in regions of space, of transfer of heat and of work done on or by the bodies or radiation...

    • Electrochemistry
      Electrochemistry
      Electrochemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies chemical reactions which take place in a solution at the interface of an electron conductor and an ionic conductor , and which involve electron transfer between the electrode and the electrolyte or species in solution.If a chemical reaction is...

  • States of matter
    Matter
    Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

    • Gas
      Gas
      Gas is one of the three classical states of matter . Near absolute zero, a substance exists as a solid. As heat is added to this substance it melts into a liquid at its melting point , boils into a gas at its boiling point, and if heated high enough would enter a plasma state in which the electrons...

      es
    • Liquid
      Liquid
      Liquid is one of the three classical states of matter . Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Some liquids resist compression, while others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly...

      s
    • Solid
      Solid
      Solid is one of the three classical states of matter . It is characterized by structural rigidity and resistance to changes of shape or volume. Unlike a liquid, a solid object does not flow to take on the shape of its container, nor does it expand to fill the entire volume available to it like a...

      s
    • Solution
      Solution
      In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture composed of only one phase. In such a mixture, a solute is dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent. The solvent does the dissolving.- Types of solutions :...

      s
  • Structure of matter
    • Atomic theory
      Atomic theory
      In chemistry and physics, atomic theory is a theory of the nature of matter, which states that matter is composed of discrete units called atoms, as opposed to the obsolete notion that matter could be divided into any arbitrarily small quantity...

      , including evidence for atomic theory
    • Chemical bonding, including intermolecular forces (IMF)
    • Nuclear chemistry
      Nuclear chemistry
      Nuclear chemistry is the subfield of chemistry dealing with radioactivity, nuclear processes and nuclear properties.It is the chemistry of radioactive elements such as the actinides, radium and radon together with the chemistry associated with equipment which are designed to perform nuclear...


The exam


The annual AP Chemistry examination, which was administered on May 2, 2011, 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
    Calculator
    An electronic calculator is a small, portable, usually inexpensive electronic device used to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. Modern calculators are more portable than most computers, though most PDAs are comparable in size to handheld calculators.The first solid-state electronic...

    , nor does it provide any additional reference material, other than a periodic table. 90 minutes are allotted for the completion of Section I. Section I covers the breadth of the curriculum.

  • 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
    Bases
    Bases may refer to:*Bases , a military style of dress adopted by the chivalry of the sixteenth century.*Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students...

    , 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. The student must complete all six questions.


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


The grade distributions for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 were:
Score 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
5 15.3% 18.4% 18.0% 17.1% 17.0%
4 18.0% 17.5% 17.9% 18.5% 18.4%
3 23.0% 20.0% 20.2% 19.3% 19.5%
2 18.5% 14.3% 14.2% 12.7% 14.6%
1 25.3% 29.9% 29.8% 32.3% 30.4%
Mean 2.79 2.80 2.80 2.76 2.77

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