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#easiestthingyoudoinMay AP Chemistry Exam
Ultimately… If we considered real estate, the mantra we’d consider is location, location, location. Success in on the AP Chemistry exam has its own mantra: preparation, preparation, preparation. If you are like the turtle, you’ll be consistently slow but steady. This breeds success. It’s rare that the procrastinating, cramming rabbit wins the race
What’s On This Piece? The AP Chemistry exam is very similar to every other AP exam. Two Sections Section I – 90 minutes 60 Multiple Guess questions oNo Calculators Allowed! oEquation Tables/Periodic Table Given Section II – 90 minutes 3 Long Free Response 4 Short Free Response oCalculators (any programmable) allowed oEquation Tables/Periodic Table Given
Section II – Part A YearQuestion 1Questions 2 and Acids/Bases2) Gas Laws 3) Kinetics; electrochemistry 2002Acid-base Equilibria; Titration2) Electrochemistry buffers; Structure and acid strength 3) Stoichiometry; Thermochemistry; Organic isomers 2001Solution Equilibrium, K sp 2) Thermodynamics; Bond energies 3) Stoichiometry; Acid-base titrations, pH 1997Acid/Base2) Electrochemistry 3) Kinetics 1996Acid/Base2) Thermodynamics; Bond energies 3) Solution concentrations 1995Gas equilibrium2) Gas stoichiometry; Heat of reaction 3) Decomposition of solid carbonates (stoichiometry essentially)
Section II – Part B YearQuestions ) Lab – Spectrophotometry 6) General Chemical Principles 7) Thermodynamics 8) Organic Chemistry 20025) Heat of neutralization 6) Atomic Structure – Periodic Properties 7) Kinetics and Reaction Mechanisms 8) Thermodynamics and equilibrium 20015) Lab – Solution Properties 6) Reaction types; Kinetics – Reaction Rates and Rate Order 7) Electrochemical Cells 8) Intermolecular Forces 20005) Lab – Molar mass by freezing point depression 6) Kinetics – Reaction Rates and Rate Orders 7) Isotopes; Electron Configuration; Ionization Energy; Molecular Structure 8) Acid-base Titration, indicators
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Here is an example score distribution for an AP Chemistry exam * 160 Possible Points between both sections…. So while it may seem trite, getting a 50% on the exam gets you a 3…which is a pretty good score… * May 2002…before the changes we see for today… GradeRange of Points% Ranges
Before The Exam… Review = Smart and Successful Cram = Draw Shapes on the Bubble Sheets There is a time and place to try to cram in things. This isn’t one of those places! Just practice AP-level questions Get a good night’s sleep PRACTICE A ROUTINE Be early and take time to breath before you do anything Bring all the necessary tools – pencils, erasers, watch, calculator (with extra new batteries), snacks/water
Strategies for Section I
Based on the old system… You could in theory skip every third question and still get a 5 You could in theory skip half the questions and still get a 4 You could in theory skip two out of every 3 and still get a 3 The new system will likely not be quite this generous with the scoring curve but it will still give you plenty of slack to answer incorrectly/skip and still do very well. So the question becomes….when do you skip?
Strategies for Section I I would recommend that you do a two-pass system for questions Read through the exam and if you know how to do it, then do it. As you come to ones you don’t know, put a big circle on the booklet number to indicate you need to come back to it On the second pass (which at this point is only looking at numbers which you’ve circled), if you realize how to do it, then do it. If not… Try to POE. Statistically speaking, if you can eliminate at least one of the five possible answers, it stands to benefit you to guess. Just remember…if you get to this point and you do guess…it’s just that. A GUESS. Don’t put much thought into it. Pick your favorite letter and just move on.
Strategies for Section I Don’t turn any question into a crusade to find the truth! If you can figure it out, great but most people run out of time on standardized exams because they sit and pull their hair out over 2-4 problems. Skipping a question doesn’t mean you’re a failure Just consider that if you can’t/won’t skip one and need to guess, guessing randomly on every question won’t exactly hurt you… (15 right x 1 point)-(60 wrong x ¼ point) = = 0
Strategies for Section II Time isn’t quite the issue here as in Section I This isn’t the time to fluff your way to a 5 Remember that the AP readers see thousands of these exams If you fluff, they start to glaze over If they have to hunt for your answers, they are angered If you have an impossibly laid out logic, odds are they aren’t going to take the time to sit for an hour and figure out what the heck you did Be succinct and direct while still showing each step Most times you don’t get full credit for something simply by putting an answer together. Most of your credit is awarded from the work…
Strategies for Section II Familiarize yourself with the types of questions which arise each year (see the sample chart I showed you earlier) Make certain to box your answers and include appropriate units/labels with your answers There’s a reason why I keep pushing that all year…. Significant Figures They count….get over it Your answer can be ±1 sig fig off after which you lose one point of credit Generally you’ll see that answers contain 2 or 3 sig figs Thus, if you express all answers to 3 sig figs, you should be Au-en
Stress Management Some stress is good. Stress triggers your brain to focus, your breathing to deepen, your body to keep your blood sugar levels up, etc Freaking out is bad. Sweating and crying that you’re going to fail a test which cannot be failed won’t really help you. Many times the thing that stresses people out is the feeling out of control. Take control of the situation by setting, and sticking to, an appropriate study/review period now rather than a fortnight before the exam
Stress Management Focus on your strengths Make a list of things you know how to do and a list of things you typically struggle doing Set a realistic goal of getting help with one new/old thing per week Getting help with 15 topics at a time can feel overwhelming Exercise is very good for you anyhow Don’t do drugs…no…not what I mean… Once again, routine helps reduce stress
Stress Management As hard as it may be for you to believe (and consequently as easy as it is for me to say…) This one test will not define you as a person or a future scientist This exam is an opportunity to show how much you’ve learned in a short time rather than an example of how dum you are I promise to still think you’re incredibly bright regardless I’ve made attempts to make the class hard. This should mean that you’re already functioning at a high level and won’t be blindsided by anything on the exam. You’ll be ready!