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AP Chemistry

This course can help prepare students who wish to continue their scientific education after high school, as well as students who wish to perform exceptionally well on the SAT exam. The level of aptitude in this subject will assist students wishing to excel on the SAT and in college courses. Students who wish to go into a career in science or even enter a science-related field of study in college should strongly consider getting a jump start on their education and take AP Chemistry.

According to the College Board, AP Chemistry is an introductory college level course designed to be the equivalent of a student’s first year of college chemistry. It may also fulfill a lab requirement and free students from having to take other science classes. Students should attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems and solutions.

AP Chemistry is a course geared toward highly motivated students with interests in chemical and physical sciences. AP Chemistry builds on concepts covered in a regular or "honors" chemistry course, using greater detail in concept exploration and laboratory investigation. 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.

Anyone wishing to take an AP Chemistry course should take at least two years of high school math before enrolling in this course. Their math experience should also include a second year Algebra course in order to ensure that students are familiar with the types of functions that will be used during experiments. A basic first year chemistry course (Chemistry I) should also be completed in order to provide students with the foundation they need to succeed with higher levels of chemistry. Additionally, while AP Chemistry is a desirable course, universities also recommend that students take a basic physics course while in high school as well as higher math classes to prepare students for college.

AP Chemistry is a serious course and includes many course goals. According to the College Board’s website, by the time students take their AP Chemistry exam (or the SAT exam) they should be prepared to do the following:

  • Express scientific ideas both orally and in writing.
  • Plan scientific experiments involving chemical use, while also being able to record and explain each step of the experiment for future records.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the periodic table as well as its more basic elements. Students should also become familiar with how different types of chemicals combine, their reaction when combined, as well as the behavior of molecules during the reacting process.
  • Become familiar with chemical equations and mathematical principles involved in chemical experiments and calculations.
  • Spend at least 290 minutes in a laboratory, familiarizing themselves with laboratory protocol, safety rules, equipment, etc.
  • Spend approximately 5 hours per week outside of class, studying chemistry and applying what they’ve learned. A practical application of chemistry is crucial to fully appreciating the course.
  • Gain an appreciation for chemistry as a coherent body of information and its applications towards science as well as everyday life.
  • Gain an appreciation and understanding of the scientific process and its many uses in chemistry, other scientific endeavors, and everyday life.
  • Use study notes and other study techniques in conjunction with textbooks such as Chemistry: The Central Science, or Modern Chemistry.

Students who choose to take Advances Placement courses should remember that they’re just that: Advanced. Students should be prepared to challenge themselves in order to develop above average study skills and discipline. Students who do this and commit themselves to their education will see a definite payoff. Their grades and academic confidence will improve tremendously, as will their preparedness for college.

Advanced placement courses are not only important for a student’s development, but they can look excellent on high school transcripts. Students that wish to get into the college or university of their choice should talk to their counselor about enrolling in an AP course (or several). Most importantly, students can save valuable time, energy, and money by earning college credit while still in high school! The more a student does to prepare themselves for college, the more it will pay off in the end. Advanced Placement courses are the perfect answer to students who want to get the most out of their education. 

Here you will find AP Chemistry outlines and slides. We are working to add more AP Chemistry resources such as vocabulary terms, unit notes, topic notes, study questions, practice quizzes and glossary terms.

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