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For most high school students, any AP course represents a challenge in terms of the content, workload, and necessary preparation for its corresponding AP exam. AP chemistry is certainly no exception; however, with the right approach, this course can be mastered, and a top score can be attained on the AP exam. Whether you need top Chemistry tutors in Richmond, Chemistry tutors in Tulsa, or top Chemistry tutors in San Diego, working with a pro may take your studies to the next level.
AP Chemistry covers many topics, but several of them are interrelated. For instance, thermochemistry and thermodynamics both involve the concept of enthalpy, while electrochemistry expands on the concepts of a redox reaction and identifying reducing and oxidizing agents. Lewis structures, atom hybridization, and molecular geometry are another example of closely related topics. Thus, understanding one topic can also help you understand other topics. When studying, try to identify how different concepts are related.
Underlying these topics are basic concepts that must be mastered, and mastered early on in the course. One prominent example is balancing chemical equations. Virtually all later topics (enthalpy and entropy, electrochemistry, and stoichiometry, to name but a few) depend on one’s knowing how to write a balanced chemical equation.
Naming compounds and writing chemical formulas is another essential topic. In fact, it would be wise to expect an AP free-response question that names reactants and products and asks for a balanced chemical equation. Usually, providing this balanced equation makes up only the first of a four- or five-part question. If the chemical equation is wrong, however, it can make it very difficult to answer the rest of the questions correctly. In short, the topics covered early on in AP Chemistry (naming compounds, significant figures, naming and writing compound formulas, balancing equations, assigning oxidation numbers, etc.) provide the foundation for the topics covered later on in the course.
As for the AP exam itself, it consists of two parts: a 90-minute multiple choice section with 60 questions, and a 90-minute free-response section divided into short and long responses. Note also that a calculator is allowed for the free-response section, and that a periodic table and constant chart are provided. In other words, don’t waste your time trying to memorize the periodic table, formulas, and constants (such as the ideal gas law constant, R). They will be given! It is important, however, to understand how and when to use them. Varsity Tutors offers resources like a free AP Chemistry Flashcards help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an AP Chemistry tutor.
To approach the multiple-choice section, use process of elimination to narrow down choices if you are uncertain about a question, and don’t get bogged down on any given question. They are each worth the same number of points! If necessary, skip a question that you aren’t sure about, or take an educated guess if you can eliminate some choices, then move on! The free response section is more open-ended, but it does provide the opportunity for partial credit. If you find one part of one question to be difficult, see if you can answer subsequent parts of the question. Sometimes, the answer depends on previous parts of the question, but this is not always the case.
Finally, taking practice tests, before taking the AP Chemistry exam, is a good idea. You don’t have to take multiple practice tests in one session; in fact, this could be done over several sessions. The main goal is to become familiar with the type of questions that the exam might ask, and how such questions can be approached. When beginning to study the structure of the AP Chemistry exam and its content, you can begin by taking Varsity Tutors' free AP Chemistry Practice Tests. Each free AP Chemistry Practice Test consists of 10 to 12 AP Chemistry questions; think of each practice test as being a quiz that can help you hone your skills. In addition to the AP Chemistry Practice Tests and AP Chemistry tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our AP Chemistry Diagnostic Tests.
You might benefit from kicking off your review by taking one of the free Full-Length AP Chemistry Practice Tests, which cover the entire range of knowledge you may be asked about on the real exam. Just like the one for the regular practice tests, the complete practice tests’ results pages include thorough explanations and pertinent information on each question’s relevant concepts. The free online AP Chemistry practice tests can also aid in focusing your review plan by showing you the topics you have already mastered, and those you haven’t. You can take advantage of any of the other Learning Tools to review as you work toward test day, and check your progress by taking another Full-Length AP Chemistry Practice Test. Since they mimic the actual exam, you’ll be able to get that real test experience every time you take one.
By taking lots of AP Chemistry Practice Tests, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses in understanding AP Chemistry material. In becoming familiar with the test, and in learning and mastering the key concepts that it assesses, you can greatly improve your chances of doing well both in the AP Chemistry course and on the AP Chemistry exam.
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My 2017 AP Chemistry Released Exam Draft Answers & Comments appear below. The questions are here. These are DRAFT answers and may change as errors are pointed out to me, and other thoughts come to my mind. Should you find an error PLEASE let me know by commenting on this post below, rather than emailing me or using the contact form me (that way all problems can be addressed in this post), and I will comment/change as necessary.
PLEASE NOTE: Any of my comments below about how your individual answers might be graded, are highly speculative – you should not take them as fact.
Many, many, many words. Reading comprehension rules more than ever, but overall an easy exam I think.
Specific Question Comments
Not much to report here, although in 1(c)(ii) I suspect the effect of lone pairs is now well and truly dead and buried, so not only will a wide-range of angles be acceptable, they will probably be quite content with 109.5°.
In d(i) don’t put hydrogen bonding! It may or may not cost a point, but just don’t do it!
In (a) a ton of people that CAN calculate formal charge will not get the point about negative charges residing on more electronegative atoms.
Part (d) is tricky IF it wants something OTHER than capacity. The ratio change is a subtle point, and gets far too (indeed perilously) close to an exclusion statement for my liking, i.e., that the computation of changes in pH of buffers are not required. Yes, I know no calculation is required here, but still…
In (b) I cannot imagine a calculation of Rf would be required.
I’m confused by part (c). A MASSIVE amount of unnecessary text seems to complicate the question and the chemistry much more than required, but this is what the TDC/CB does these days. They want “storytime” context, and “real life situations”. Get ready for more of this nonsense.
I think that there is the possibility of DIFFERENT answers to mine scoring full credit! Maybe…
Nothing to add.
Nothing to add.