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 redesigned Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry course provides students with training for such knowledge and skills through guided inquiry labs, a more 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.

The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. This course is taken with the idea in mind that students will take the AP Exam to receive college credit or placement at the student’s college of choice.  For some students, this course enables them to undertake, in their first year, second-year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or to register in courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. For other students, the AP Chemistry course fulfills the laboratory science requirement and frees time for other courses. Note: Some institutions may require a review of students’ laboratory work prior to awarding credit for a chemistry laboratory course. It is strongly recommended that students not only maintain a lab notebook throughout their AP Chemistry course but that students keep their notebook to show to the chemistry department head of the institution to which they wish to attend for review for credit or placement. Credit and placement tied to the AP Chemistry exam could lead to students' readiness for and engagement in  the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses and eventually the achievement of a STEM degree and successful career.

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. The course facilitators are expected to devote 25 percent of instructional time to students performing a minimum of 16, hands-on lab investigations to support the learning objectives in the curriculum framework. Additionally, teachers are expected to provide guided inquiry-based labs for at least six of the aforementioned 16 lab investigations. 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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