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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.
AP Chemistry Course at a Glance
Excerpted from the AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description, the Course at a Glance document outlines the topics and skills covered in the AP Chemistry course, along with suggestions for sequencing.
AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description
This is the core document for this course. Unit guides clearly lay out the course content and skills and recommend sequencing and pacing for them throughout the year. The CED was updated in the summer of 2020 to include scoring guidelines for the example questions.
AP Chemistry CED Errata Sheet
This document details the updates made to the course and exam description (CED) in September 2019. It includes printable copies of the updated pages, which can be used as replacement sheets in your CED binder. Note: It does not include the scoring guidelines, which were added to the online CED in the summer of 2020.
AP Chemistry CED Scoring Guidelines
This document details how each of the sample free-response questions in the course and exam description (CED) would be scored. This information is now in the online CED but was not included in the binders teachers received in 2019.
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%|
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.
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 Development Committee for AP Chemistry.