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Important Updates

Support for Students and Schools Impacted by Coronavirus
In response to school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re providing free, live AP online classes and review lessons. We’ll also offer at-home testing for 2020 AP Exams. Note that any related adjustments to 2020 AP Exams, such as length or content covered, may not be reflected on all AP Central pages. Visit Taking the Exams for the latest exam information.

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 (CED) and log into your Course Audit account to access the updated AP Chemistry Teacher Lab Manual.

New AP Resources
AP Classroom is now available. Designed with AP educators, it helps you provide students daily practice and personalized feedback throughout the year. Sign in to access AP unit guides with aligned resources, topic questions, personal progress checks, the progress dashboard, and your question bank.

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 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 Development Committee for AP Chemistry.