About AP Chemistry
Click here for the 2014 Summer
Click here for the AP
Chemistry Welcome/ Information Letter
For the 2014-2015 syllabus click
The Advanced Placement Chemistry course is designed to be the
equivalent of a first-year college Chemistry course. It is meant to be
taken after successful completion of Chemistry 1 Honors and includes
such topics as the structure of matter, states of matter, and
reactions. It is an exciting but challenging course involving a lot of
problem solving and high level lab work. Students therefore need to
have been successful in higher level math courses (Algebra II or higher)
and be prepared to spend 1 to 2 hours per night reading, practicing
problem solving, and reviewing material from class. Students are also
expected to perform associated labs and produce quality lab reports.
Detailed Course Information
A detailed official course description, including sample test
topics, formulas used, and exam format is available at the official
College Board Website.
What Can You Expect?
- Lots of explanations
- Plenty of practice problems - in groups and individually.
- Many actual AP problems and test questions
- Answers to your questions.
- Study tips and help.
- Lots of homework and practice problems.
- Spending significant, quality study time (the College Board
recommends at least 5 hours per week for AP Chemistry).
- Readings, projects, assignments, practice AP problems, challenge
problems, and lab reports.
What Do I Expect?
- Hard work and honesty.
- Excellent attendance.
- Maturity (this is a college-level class).
- Development of high level study skills, organization, and time
- Respect for everyone in class - be prepared to work with other
students and to share ideas and help each other solve challenges.
- Open communication - let me know early if you are having any
AP Chemistry is an extremely challenging course. You will need
to work hard to be successful, but the rewards and satisfaction when you
pass the exam will be tremendous (not to mention how it will look on
your college resume). You can expect to be frustrated sometimes
when trying to figure out complex problems and concepts. If you
give up at the first sign of frustration then you will never master the
critical thinking needed for this, and other high level courses.
There are many sources of help available to you:
For New Topics and Concepts:
- Print off the notes and read ahead in the textbook before we
start a topic so that you can ask relevant questions.
- Ask appropriate questions in class.
- Make your own notes from class discussions and from the text.
- Read over your class notes and the worked examples.
- Ask a classmate if they can help explain.
- Come for tutoring after school (check with me for times and
- Re-read the appropriate part of the textbook and follow the
sample problems at home.
- Check out some of the online tutoring sites and practice
problems (see useful links page).
- Consider buying or borrowing a review guide (Ex: The Princeton
- Form a study group with some other class members - online or in
When Homework Problems Get Frustrating:
- Do NOT leave practice problems until the last minute - some of
them are more complex than they look.
- Keep trying - do not give up as soon as you see an unknown word
or term. Find terms you do know and work from there.
- Refer back to your textbook and the problems we've worked in
class - see if one looks similar.
- Talk through the problem aloud - to your brother, parents,
poster on the wall etc. It's often helpful to reason aloud
even if no-one's responding.
- Try to solve the problem using any method you can think of -
there are many ways of solving the same problem and yours may just
- Walk away from the problem - go on to another problem, get a
snack, or do other homework and then come back to the problem later
(not too late to finish it in time though).
- If it's still before the deadline, ask for a hint in class (I
will not, however, give hints on challenge problems, reaction
predictions, or other problems specifically assigned to enhance your
critical thinking skills).
- Ask a friend for a hint (but NOT for all the steps and certainly
NOT for the answer).
- If all else fails, do as much as you can then move on.
With a course this challenging, everyone gets stumped from time to
time. It is better to hand in a partial assignment than none
- Once the assignment has been graded make sure you understand how
to solve the problem and practice solving it by yourself so you'll
be prepared next time.