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Important Updates

AP Chemistry Updates and New Resources for 2019-20

To help more students prepare for—and succeed on—the AP Chemistry Exam, we’ve clarified the course’s focus starting with the 2019-20 school year and are introducing new resources for your classroom. We’ve also moved exam registration to the fall, a best practice that improves students’ chances of earning college credit and placement.

Download the new course and exam description

New AP Resources
This August, we’re introducing AP Classroom, with a suite of new resources designed in collaboration with AP educators that will help give students personalized feedback throughout the year. These include in-depth unit guides, personal progress checks and a dashboard to measure student progress, and a question bank of real AP questions.

Learn more about AP Classroom

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.

Your updated course and exam description (CED) for the 2019-20 school year more clearly outlines all required course content and skills and defines how they will be assessed on the exam.

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.

 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 updated 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.

 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 developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education site features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.

Meet the current Development Committee for AP Chemistry.