AP Chemistry Course Outline

The following course is similar with that of the general chemistry course taken during the first year of college. For various students, this course nurture them to undertake, as freshmen, second-year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or helps to register for the courses in other field of areas where general chemistry is a prerequisite. The AP Chemistry course fulfills the laboratory science requirement for some students.

The objectives of a good general chemistry course should be met by AP chemistry. Students should gain the depth of understanding of basic fundamentals and a reasonable competence while dealing with chemical problems. The course focus on the development of the students abilities to think and understand clearly and to express their ideas either in oral or written form with firm clarity and logic. The college course in general chemistry differs qualitatively from the first secondary school course in chemistry in the areas of textbook used, the topics covered, the emphasis on chemical calculations and the mathematical formulation of principles, and the kind of laboratory work done by students. The Quantitative differences will be seen in the no. Of topics completed, time spent on the course by students, and the nature and the variety of experiments done in the laboratory. Secondary schools who wants to offer an AP Chemistry course must be well prepared to give a laboratory experience similar to that of a college course.

To enhance and attain intellectual and laboratory skills, AP Chemistry student needs to devote adequate classroom and laboratory time. A minimum of 290 minutes per week will be allotted for an AP Chemistry course is expected. Of that time, a minimum of 90 minutes per week, preferably in one session, should be spent in the lab. It may be noted that Time devoted to class and laboratory demonstrations should not be counted as part of the laboratory period. As well as, students will probably need to spend at least 5 hours a week studying outside of the classroom.

The following course will cover the topics quoted below:

Structure of Matter (20%)

  • Atomic theory and atomic structure
  • Chemical bonding
  • Nuclear chemistry: Nuclear equations, half-lives, and radioactivity; chemical applications

States of Matter (20%)

  • Gases
  • Liquids and solids
  • Solutions

Reactions (35%-40%)

  • Reaction types
  • Stoichiometry
  • Equilibrium
  • Kinetics
  • Thermodynamics

Descriptive Chemistry (10%-15%)

  • Particular facts of chemistry and its knowledge is important for the understanding of principles and concepts. These descriptive facts as well as the chemistry involved in environmental and societal issues should be included in the principles and studied, should be taught throughout the course to illustrate the principles. The following topics and areas will be covered:
  • Chemical reactivity and products of chemical reactions
  • Relationships given in the periodic table: Horizontal, vertical, and diagonal with examples from alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, halogens, and the first series of transition elements
  • Introduction to the organic chemistry: Hydrocarbons and functional groups (structure, nomenclature, chemical properties).
  • Exemplary material's physical and chemical properties for the study of other areas such as bonding, equilibria involving weak acids, kinetics, colligative properties, and stoichiometric determinations of empirical and molecular formulas.

Laboratory (5%-10%)

  • The main differentiation between college chemistry and secondary school chemistry course are especially focused in the laboratory work. The AP Chemistry Exam includes questions based on skills that students acquire in the laboratory like making observations of chemical reactions and substances; recording data; calculating and interpreting results based on the quantitative data and interacting effectively the results of experiment.
  • Some AP candidates, while doing well in the exam, suffered from a serious disadvantage because of inadequate laboratory knowledge as reported by some colleges. Laboratory work is crucial in attaining the requirements of a college-level course of a laboratory science and it prepare a student for sophomore-level chemistry courses in college.
  • Hence now-a-days chemistry professors at some institutions ask for the record of the laboratory work done by an AP student before giving the credit, placement, or both, in the chemistry program, it is important for the students that they keep reports of their laboratory work that can be readily reviewed.

Chemical Calculations

The list given below summarizes types of problems either explicitly or implicitly included in the topic outline. Proper focus and Attention should be given to significant figures, precision of measured values and the use of logarithmic and exponential relationships. Encouragement of Critical analysis of the reasonableness of results should be there.

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