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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information

Updated April 8 Students can now download the digital testing application and take digital practice to prepare them for the testing experience. See below for more information on digital practice and taking the digital exam.

AP Chemistry Exams will be offered on paper in early May and late May, and as a digital exam in early June. Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Chemistry Exam will be full length and measure the range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description (CED), giving students the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

The paper exams will follow the typical multiple-choice and free-response format given in the CED. The digital exam will take the same amount of time, but will contain more multiple-choice questions and fewer free-response questions. On the digital exam, students will answer free-response questions with a keyboard, rather than by hand. The digital exam app will include any symbols students would need to type their responses. Students taking digital exams will not be asked to draw or graph as part of their response—rather, these skills may be assessed by asking students to provide explanations about given diagrams or other stimuli. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

Please note that calculators will be permitted on all sections of the digital exam in 2021.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Chemistry only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

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 personal progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use the progress dashboard to highlight progress and additional areas for support. As the exam approaches, assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank and encourage students to take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description (CED).

Encourage your students to visit the AP Chemistry student page for exam information.

Digital Practice and Testing Information

Updated April 8

Digital Practice Now Available

Starting April 8, students can try out the test-day experience by answering example questions in the digital testing application.  See the Digital Practice page for general information about practice options.

AP Chemistry students will have two options to answer example questions in the digital testing application. Both provide approximately the same time limit per question as the full exam.

  • Digital Practice has the same sections as the actual digital exam, but with shortened MCQ sections:
    • Section I: 9 multiple-choice questions, 15 minutes, followed by a shortened 5-minute break
    • Section II, Part A: 6 multiple-choice questions, 10 minutes, followed by a 1-minute pause
    • Section II, Part B: full-length FRQ section (3 questions, 45 minutes)
  • The App Demo is an even shorter subset of the questions in Digital Practice–5 multiple- choice questions, a 2-minute break, and 1 free-response question.

We highly recommend all students take the Digital Practice, and strongly advise that if they can’t take the Digital Practice, they at least take the App Demo. Both can be taken multiple times, and can be accessed directly in the digital testing application. Students can access their answers and solution materials (MCQ answer key, FRQ scoring guidelines) for the Digital Practice. Note: Taking the App Demo after completing Digital Practice may override student answers from Digital Practice.  Teachers can also access digital practice from the teacher dashboard, available beginning April 22.

Taking the Digital Exam

Students should be aware of some aspects of testing digitally that they’ll encounter—in the Digital Practice and on exam day:

  • As a reminder, students will answer all multiple-choice questions and type all free-response answers directly in the digital exam application. Scratch paper is permitted for notes or planning, but students cannot handwrite or otherwise upload responses.
    • The free-response questions won’t require students to draw diagrams, charts, or complicated mathematical expressions. All responses can be typed on a regular computer keyboard, along with a selection of formatting options (including superscript and subscript) and special characters that can be accessed by clicking the Omega button:

  • Some free-response question prompts reference a specific question part. Students can click on the » symbol shown in the prompt to automatically scroll to the referenced location.
  • A calculator is allowed on all sections of the digital exam. However, students will need to bring their own calculator, because the digital testing application does not include one.
  • The AP Chemistry Equations and Constants and Periodic Table can be accessed with the Reference button in the upper right button bar of the application. The interface and layout are different in the digital testing application than in the paper exam booklet, so students should take a look when they take digital practice.
  • As a reminder, students cannot go back to questions they’ve already answered, and cannot skip ahead.
  • However, free-response questions will each be presented in multiple parts, and students will answer each part on a separate screen. They may move among the parts of the question currently being answered, with the Back and Next buttons. Once they’ve entered their response to the last part of a question, they won’t be able to go back to any part of that question.
  • Exam directions and section-specific directions will not be read by a proctor–they’ll appear entirely in the application. Students will see them at the beginning of each section, and can access them at any time during the exam. Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so. Teachers and students can view the full text of the exam and section directions in advance of the exam.

More information about taking digital exams is available in the Digital Testing Guide.

Digital Exam Readiness Dashboard

Beginning April 22, AP teachers and AP coordinators will have access to a new digital exam readiness dashboard. Teachers and coordinators will access the dashboard from their personalized AP login page (after signing in through AP Central or through myap.collegeboard.org). The dashboard can be used to monitor students’ progress in taking the steps necessary before and on exam day to enable them to take a digital exam. See details in the “Preparing for Digital AP Exams” section of the AP Digital Testing Guide.

Exam Dates

  • Event
    • FRI, MAY 7, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP Chemistry Exam—Administration 1

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • TUE, MAY 25, 2021, 8 AM LOCAL

    AP Chemistry Exam—Administration 2

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • THU, JUN 10, 2021, 12 PM EDT

    AP Chemistry Exam—Administration 3

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  

Exam Format

The AP Chemistry Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Note on 2021 exams: There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Chemistry only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

The digital AP Chemistry Exam will take the same amount of time as the paper exam, but will include:

  • More multiple-choice questions than the paper exam.
  • Fewer free-response questions than the paper exam.

Free-response questions will consist of familiar tasks that could appear on a traditional AP Exam, but they will be answerable with a regular computer keyboard and won’t require drawing or graphing. The digital exam app will include any symbols students would need to type their responses. All responses must be typed directly into the exam app. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

Please note that calculators will be permitted on all sections of the digital exam. in 2021. Educators and students will be able to practice multiple-choice and free-response questions within the 2021 digital exam app, available in early April.

Early May and Late May Exams (Paper) Early June Exam (Digital)

Section I: Multiple Choice

60 Questions | 1 Hour 30 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Questions are either discrete questions or question sets, in which students are provided with a stimulus or a set of data and a series of related questions.
  • A calculator is not permitted on Section I.

Section I: Multiple Choice

60 Questions | 1 Hour 30 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Questions are either discrete questions or question sets, in which students are provided with a stimulus or a set of data and a series of related questions.

Section II: Free Response

7 Questions | 1 Hour 45 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • There are 3 long-answer and 4 short-answer questions. Long-answer questions are worth 10 points each; short-answer questions are worth 4 points each.
  • The questions assess all 6 of the course skills: models and representations, question and method, representing data and phenomena, model analysis, mathematical routines, and argumentation.

A scientific or graphing calculator is recommended for use on Section II.

Section II: Multiple Choice and Free Response

50% of Exam Score

Multiple Choice (33.3% of Exam Score):

40 Questions | 60 minutes

Free Response (16.7% of Exam Score):

3 Questions | 45 Minutes

  • There is 1 long-answer and 2 short- answer questions. The long answer question is worth 10 points; short-answer questions are worth 4 points each.
  • The questions assess the course skills (other than graphing or drawing, as noted above): models and representations, question and method, representing data and phenomena, model analysis, mathematical routines, and argumentation.

A scientific or graphing calculator is allowed on all sections and recommended for the free-response questions.

AP Calculator Policy

On the paper exam, calculators are not allowed on Section I, and are allowed on Section II, per the AP Exam Calculator Policy. On the digital exam, calculators will be allowed for all sections.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 (Last Year’s) Free-Response Questions

Last year’s free-response questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and do not require secure assessment using the LockDown Browser. Since the 2020 exams had to be designed for highly unusual circumstances, these questions were updated, where possible, to best match the format of free-response questions in the course and exam description and on traditional AP Exams.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.