Course Overview

AP Chemistry is an introductory college-level chemistry course. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based lab investigations as they explore the four Big Ideas: scale, proportion, and quantity; structure and properties of substances; transformations; and energy.

Calculator Policy

Starting with the 2022-23 school year (spring 2023 exam), a scientific or graphing calculator is recommended for both sections of the exam. Note that neither the exam format (number of sections, number of questions) nor the science practices or skills are changing. This is strictly a change to the calculator policy.

Course Content

Based on the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students must know, be able to do, and understand, with a focus on big ideas that encompass core principles and theories of the discipline. The framework also encourages instruction that prepares students for advanced chemistry coursework.

The AP Chemistry framework is organized into nine commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

Unit

Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)

Unit 1: Atomic Structure and Properties

7%–9%

Unit 2: Molecular and Ionic Compound Structure and Properties

7%–9%

Unit 3: Intermolecular Forces and Properties

18%–22%

Unit 4: Chemical Reactions

7%–9%

Unit 5: Kinetics

7%–9%

Unit 6: Thermodynamics

7%–9%

Unit 7: Equilibrium

7%–9%

Unit 8: Acids and Bases

11%–15%

Unit 9: Applications of Thermodynamics

7%–9%

Science Practices

The AP Chemistry framework included in the CED outlines distinct skills, called science practices, that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like chemists.

Skill

Description

Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)

Exam Weighting (Free-Response Section)

1. Models and Representations

Describe models and representations, including across scales.

8%–12%

2%–4%

2. Question and Method

Determine scientific questions and methods.

8%–12%

10%–16%

3. Representing Data and Phenomena

Create representations or models of chemical phenomena.

Not assessed in multiple-choice section.

8%–16%

4. Model Analysis

Analyze and interpret models and representations on a single scale or across multiple scales.

23%–30%

5%–9%

5. Mathematical Routines

Solve problems using mathematical relationships.

35%–42%

43%–53%

6. Argumentation

Develop an explanation or scientific argument.

8%–12%

15%–24%

AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role in developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education section features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

Over 950 colleges and universities offer credit and placement policies for AP CSP. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.

Meet the AP Chemistry Development Committee

The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.