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AP Chemistry Course Description Latest Syllabus (2022)

About AP Chemistry

The AP Chemistry course provides students with a college-level foundation to support
future advanced coursework in chemistry. Students cultivate their understanding of
chemistry through inquiry-based investigations, as they explore content such as: atomic
structure, intermolecular forces, and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics,
and equilibrium.

College Course Equivalent

The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course
usually taken during the first college year.


Students should have successfully completed a general high school chemistry course and
Algebra II.

Lab Requirement

This course requires that 25 percent of instructional time engage students in lab
investigations. This includes a minimum of 16 hands-on labs (at least six of which are
inquiry-based). It is recommended that students keep a lab notebook throughout.

Units Exam Weighting of AP Chemistry

Units Topics Exam Weighting
Unit 1 Atomic Structure and Properties 7–9%
Unit 2 Molecular and Ionic Compound Structure and Properties 7-9%
Unit 3 Intermolecular Forces and Properties 18-22%
Unit 4 Chemical Reactions 7-9%
Unit 5 Kinetics 7-9%
Unit 6 Thermodynamics 7-9%
Unit 7 Equilibrium 7-9%
Unit 8 Acids and Bases 11-15%
Unit 9 Applications of Thermodynamics 7-9%

Unit 1: Atomic Structure and Properties

1.2 Mass Spectroscopy of Elements

1.3 Elemental Composition of Pure Substances

1.5 Atomic Structure and Electron Configuration

1.6 Photoelectron Spectroscopy

1.7 Periodic Trends

1.8 Valence Electrons and Ionic Compounds

Unit 2: Molecular and Ionic Compound Structure and Properties

2.2 Intramolecular Force and Potential Energy

2.4 Structure of Metals and Alloys

2.5 Lewis Diagrams

2.6 Resonance and

2.7 VSEPR and Bond Hybridization

Unit 3: Intermolecular Forces and Properties

3.3 Solids, Liquids, and Gases

3.4 Ideal Gas Law

3.6 Deviation from Ideal Gas Law

3.8 Representations of Solutions

3.9 Separation of Solutions and Mixtures Chromatography

3.10 Solubility

3.11 Spectroscopy and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

3.12 Photoelectric Effect

3.13 Beer-Lambert Law

Unit 4: Chemical Reactions

4.1 Introduction for Reactions

4.3 Representations of Reactions

4.4 Physical and Chemical Changes

4.5 Stoichiometry

4.7 Types of Chemical Reactions

4.8 Introduction to Acid-Base Reactions

4.9 Oxidation-Reduction (Redox) Reactions

Unit 5: Kinetics

5.1 Reaction Rates

5.3 Concentration Changes Over Time

5.5 Collision Model

5.7 Introduction to Reaction Mechanisms

5.8 Reaction Mechanism and Rate Law

5.9 Steady-State Approximation

5.10 Multistep Reaction Energy Profile

5.11 Catalysis

Unit 6: Thermodynamics

6.1 Endothermic and Exothermic Processes

6.2 Energy Diagrams

6.3 Heat Transfer and Thermal Equilibrium

6.4 Heat Capacity and Calorimetry

6.5 Energy of Phase Changes

6.6 Introduction to Enthalpy of Reaction

6.7 Bond Enthalpies

6.8 Enthalpy of Formation

6.9 Hess’s Law

Unit 7: Equilibrium

7.1 Introduction to Equilibrium

7.2 Direction of Reversible Reactions

7.3 Reaction Quotient and Equilibrium Constant

7.4 Calculating the Equilibrium Constant

7.5 Magnitude of the Equilibrium Constant

7.6 Properties of the Equilibrium Constant

7.7 Calculating Equilibrium Concentrations

7.8 Representations of Equilibrium

7.9 Introduction to Le Châtelier’s Principle

7.10 Reaction Quotient and Le Châtelier’s Principle

7.11 Introduction to Solubility Equilibria

7.12 Common-Ion Effect

7.13 pH and Solubility

7.14 Free Energy of Dissolution

Unit 8: Acids and Bases

8.1 Introduction to Acids and Bases

8.2 pH and pOH of Strong Acids and Bases

8.3 Weak Acid and Base Equilibria

8.4 Acid-Base Reactions and Buffers

8.6 Molecular Structure of Acids and Bases

8.7 pH and pKa

8.8 Properties of Buffers

8.9 Henderson-Hasselbalch Equation

8.10 Buffer Capacity

Unit 9: Applications of Thermodynamics

9.2 Absolute Entropy and Entropy Change

9.3 Gibbs Free Energy and Thermodynamic Favorability

9.4 Thermodynamic and Kinetic Control

9.5 Free Energy and Equilibrium

9.7 Galvanic (Voltaic) and Electrolytic Cells

9.8 Cell Potential and Free Energy

9.9 Cell Potential Under Nonstandard Conditions

9.10 Electrolysis and Faraday’s Law

Recommended Lab Experiments for AP Chemistry

  • Use the absorption of light to determine the identity and/or concentration of an analyte in solution.
  • Use differences in intermolecular forces to separate a mixture into its components or to determine the identity of components of a mixture.
  • Determine the formula of a compound by measuring the stoichiometry of the reaction of that compound with known reagents.
  • Use gravimetric analysis to determine the amount of an analyte in a mixture.
  • Use titration to determine the concentration of an analyte in a solution.
  • Determine the rate law of a chemical reaction.
  • Use calorimetry to determine the change in enthalpy of a process.
  • Build electrochemical cells to determine the characteristics of an electrochemical reaction.

Exam Overview of AP Chemistry

Section Question Type Number of Questions Exam Weighting Timing
I Multiple-choice questions 60 50% 90 minutes
II Free-response questions 50% 105 minutes
Long-answer questions (10 points each) 3
Short-answer questions (4 points each) 4

References and Source of AP Chemistry

AP® Chemistry. Course and Exam Description. Fall 2022. CollegeBoard.

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