Calculators

Calculators are not permitted on the multiple-choice section of the AP Chemistry Exam.

This is due in part to the recent rapid expansion of scientific calculators' capabilities, which now include not only programming and graphing functions but also stored equations and other data. For the section of the exam in which calculators are permitted, students should use the calculators with which they are familiar, with as few limitations as possible. Nevertheless, they should not have access to information in their calculators that is not available to other students, if that information is needed to answer the questions.

Calculators are allowed on the entire free response section

For the free response section of the exam any programmable or graphing calculator may be used, with a few exceptions (see the current calculator policy). Although most calculators are permitted on the free-response section, calculators may not be shared with other students and those with typewriter-style (QWERTY) keyboards will not be permitted on any part of the exam.

Commonly Used Equations

Tables containing commonly used equations in chemistry are provided with each exam for students to use when taking both the multiple choice and free-response section.

The availability of these equations means that in the scoring of the free-response section, little or no credit will be awarded for simply writing down correct equations or for ambiguous answers unsupported by explanations or logical development.

The equations in the tables express relationships that are encountered most frequently in an AP Chemistry course and examination. However, they do not include all equations that might possibly be used. For example, they do not include many equations that can be derived by combining others in the tables. Nor do they include equations that are simply special cases of any that are in the tables. Students are responsible for understanding the physical principles that underlie each equation and for knowing the conditions for which each equation is applicable.

The equations are grouped in tables according to major content category. Within each table, the symbols used for the variables in that table are defined. However, in some cases the same symbol is used to represent different quantities in different tables. It should be noted that there is no uniform convention among textbooks for the symbols used in writing equations. The equation tables follow many common conventions, but in some cases consistency was sacrificed for the sake of clarity.

The lists of equations may be used during the entire exam. You should printout the list of equations and use them throughout the year to get used to using such a list in a testing situation. However, since the equations will be provided with the exams, you will NOT be allowed to bring your own copies to the exam room.