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Flashcards in AP Overview Deck (22)
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In what order do the sections come on Test Day?

Section I is always first, Section II is always second (broken up into part A and part B).


What percent of the total score does each section comprise?

Exactly 50% of the total score is contributed from each section. 


How many questions total, and what type, are there in section I?

75 questions total in section I.

All of the section I questions will be multiple-choice, and cover the entire range of chemistry content. 


How many questions total, and what type, are there in section II?

6 questions total in section II.

Section II consists of: three multipart quantitative questions, one question on writing balanced chemical equations and answering a short question for three different sets of reactants, and two multipart questions that are essentially nonquantitative 


How long are the sections and subparts?

Section I is 90 minutes.

In section II: part A is 55 minutes, part B is 40 minutes. 


Is there a penalty for guessing on the multiple choice portion?

No penalty for guessing.

All questions on the AP Chem test are worth the same value: 1 raw point if correct, 0 raw points if incorrect.


How is the Free Response section scored?

The free response section is scored at the annual AP Reading held during the first two weeks in June. Specially appointed college professors and experienced AP teachers evaluate free-response answers and set standard score values. 


What is the score range and what does that correlate to?

5  Extremely well qualified*
4  Well qualified*
3  Qualified
2  Possibly qualified
1  No recommendation**

*Most schools accepting AP credit will offer full credit for either a 4 or a 5 score.
**No schools accepting AP credit will offer full credit for a score of 1.


What is the average (50th percentile) score of students in 2011?

Mean score in 2011 was a 2.77.

Note: many schools do not accept a score of 3 for full college credit, as that is too close to the mean national score. 


How does the final score get determined?

During score-setting sessions composite scores are translated into AP scores by setting boundaries for each score based on a statistical technique called equating.

Equating relates an AP Exam from one year to an AP Exam from another year by looking at how well AP students performed on a set of multiple-choice questions that is common to both exams.


When can I use a calculator, and what kind can it be?

Only during section II part A.

Calculators are not permitted on the multiple-choice section, nor on section II part B. 

Any standard multi-function calculator, or graphing calculator may be used.

The memory does NOT have to be cleared prior to or after the exam, though a proctor may ask to verify that no additional equations/data are stored there.


What calculators are NOT permitted on the AP test, for any reason, on any section?

Calculators that are not permitted are

  • PowerBooks and portable/handheld computers;
  • electronic writing pads or pen-input/stylus-driven devices (e.g., Palm, PDAs, Casio ClassPad 300); 
  • pocket organizers; models with QWERTY (i.e., typewriter) keypads (e.g., TI-92 Plus, Voyage 200);
  • models with paper tapes;
  • models that make noise or “talk”;
  • models that require an electrical outlet; cell phone calculators.
  • Calculators may not be shared between students.


What is a calculation question type?

What general formulas are expected to show up?

A calculation question type requires quantitative analysis of numbers, with care given to significant figures, precision, and use of mathematical relationships.

  1. Percentage composition
  2. Empirical and molecular formulas from experimental data
  3. Molar masses from gas density, freezing-point and boiling-point measurements
  4. Gas laws, including the ideal gas law, Dalton’s law and Graham’s law
  5. Stoichiometric relations using the concept of the mole; titration calculations
  6. Mole fractions; molar and molal solutions
  7. Faraday’s laws of electrolysis
  8. Equilibrium constants and their applications, including their use for simultaneous equilibria
  9. Standard electrode potentials and their use; Nernst equation
  10. Thermodynamic and thermochemical calculations
  11. Kinetics calculations


How much time does the AP anticipate a question from section I should take to answer?

60-90 seconds to answer a multiple-choice question.

If finishing exactly on time, each question will average to be 72 seconds.


The section II questions can be broadly chosen, but what two specific questions must appear?

Of the 6 total section II questions: one will be a quantitative question that is based on chemical equilibrium, and one will be based on laboratory.

The laboratory question may appear in Part A and be quantitative, or it may appear in Part B and require little or no calculation 


What are the equation tables, and when can they NOT be used?

Equation tables contain the common equations used in chemistry. They are printed both in the section II exam booklet and in the inserts provided.

The equation tables are NOT permitted for use with the multiple-choice section . 


How much Chemistry content does the AP expect is known prior to taking the exam?

There are 12 general Chemistry categories, and 62 subject areas with multiple sub-topic points in each. 

The following cards highlight the main bulk of material that is expected to be known.


What percent of the test is dedicated to the structure of matter, and what general topics does it test?

Structure of matter comprises 20% of the test.


  • Atomic theory/structure
  • Periodic trends
  • Chemical bonding
  • Molecular models
  • Nuclear chemistry


What percent of the test is dedicated to chemical reactions, and what general topics does it test?

Chemical reactions comprises 35-40% of the test.


  • Acid-base / precipitation
  • Reduction / Oxidation
  • Stoichiometry
  • Equilibrium
  • Kinetics and rates
  • Thermodynamics and state functions


What percent of the test is dedicated to the descriptive chemistry, and what general topics does it test?

Descriptive chemistry comprises 10-15% of the test.


  • Reactivity and expected products
  • General periodic trends and examples
  • Organic chemistry descriptions / nomenclature


What percent of the test is dedicated to the states of matter, and what general topics does it test?

States of matter comprises 20% of the test.


  • Ideal gas laws
  • Kinetic theory and deviations
  • Liquids and solids
  • Phase changes
  • Solution chemistry


What percent of the test is dedicated to the Laboratory, and what general topics does it test?

Laboratory comprises 5-10% of the test.


  • Making observations
  • Recording data
  • Calculating results based on qualitative data
  • Communicating results effectively