With the ever-increasing need for innovators, problem finders, and designers of materials, pharmaceuticals, and even new fuels, comes the need for individuals skilled in the science practices and knowledgeable about chemistry. The AP Chemistry course provides students with training for such knowledge and skills through guided inquiry labs, a focused curriculum on content relevant to today's problems, and an exam that assesses students' mental models of the particulate nature of matter instead of memorization of rules to understand chemistry.

AP Chemistry and College Credit or Placement

The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. The goal is that students will take the AP Exam to receive college credit or placement at the student’s college of choice. Students may be able to undertake second-year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or take courses for which general chemistry is a prerequisite. For other students, this course fulfills the laboratory science requirement and frees time for other courses.

Lab Notebooks and College Credit

Colleges may require students to present their laboratory materials from AP science courses before granting college credit for laboratory, so students are encouraged to retain their laboratory notebooks, reports, and other materials.

Big Ideas and Science Practices

The course centers around six big ideas and seven science practices:

Big Ideas Science Practices
1. Structure of Matter 1. Drawing, explaining, and interpreting representations
2. Bonding and Intermolecular Forces 2. Using mathematics and logical routines appropriately
3. Chemical Reactions 3. Asking and refining scientific questions
4. Kinetics 4. Designing and implementing data collection strategies
5. Thermodynamics 5. Analyzing and evaluating data
6. Chemical Equilibrium 6. Making predictions and justifying claims with evidence
  7. Connecting chemistry concepts across the big ideas.


Students who take the AP Chemistry course, designed with this curriculum framework as its foundation will develop a deep understanding of the concepts within the big ideas through the application of the science practices in the required laboratory component of the course. Students must complete a minimum of 16, hands-on lab investigations to support the learning objectives in the curriculum framework. At least six of the lab investigations must be guided inquiry-based labs. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses — a goal of every AP course.

Links to More AP Pages

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