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Important Updates

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.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use My Reports to highlight progress and additional areas for support.

Sign In to 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.

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 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.