The AP Chemistry Test
2015 Test Changes
Updates from The AP College Board August 2015 have stated that the test format will be as follows: The exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and includes both a 90-minute multiple-choice section and a 105-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for half of each student's exam grade, and the free-response section counts for the other half.
2013 Test Changes
Updates from The AP College Board August 2013 have stated that the test format will be as follows: The exam is 3 hours long and includes both a 90-minute multiple-choice section and a 90-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for half of each student's exam grade, and the free-response section counts for the other half.
2010 Test Changes
Updates from The AP College Board August 2010 have stated that the grading policy for Section I will no longer be determined by the (1/4) points attempted and missed rule.
2007 Test Changes
As described in
the new 2007, 2008 AP Chemistry Course Description, the AP Chemistry Exam will
have a new format beginning in May 2007. It is important to note that the
content covered by the exam will not change. The weighting of the two
major parts of the exam will change slightly -- Sections I and II will each
contribute 50 percent toward the final grade.
One area of interest among AP teachers lies in
the reformatting of question 4; therefore, the remainder of this article will
present the reactions that appeared in the 2006 exam and show how these
reactions might be recast in the new 2007 format.
4. Write the formulas to show the reactants and the products for any FIVE of the laboratory situations described below. No more than five choices will be graded. In all cases, a reaction occurs. Assume that solutions are aqueous unless otherwise indicated. Represent substances in solution as ions if the substances are extensively ionized. Omit formulas for any ions or molecules that are unchanged by the reaction. You need not balance the equations.
Example: A strip of magnesium is added to a solution of silver nitrate.
4. For each of
the following three reactions, in part (i) write a BALANCED equation and in part
(ii) answer the question about the reaction. In part (i), coefficients should be
in terms of lowest whole numbers. Assume that solutions are aqueous unless
otherwise indicated. Represent substances in solutions as ions if the substances
are extensively ionized. Omit formulas for any ions or molecules that are
unchanged by the reaction.
As shown, the new directions for question 4 require the students to provide a balanced chemical equation showing only the reacting substances and ask the student to answer a question about the reaction. The majority of the credit for a response will be earned for writing the balanced equation; the remaining credit will be earned for correctly answering the question that follows each reaction, which will require the student to focus more on the meaning of the reaction. For instance, the example given above is an oxidation-reduction reaction. Ask yourself what your students should know about a redox reaction. Here are some questions that I hope most students would be able to answer:
· Which substance is being oxidized?
· Which substance is being reduced?
· What is the change in the oxidation number of the magnesium?
· What would you observe happening to the magnesium metal strip in this reaction?
Any one of
these questions -- and you may be able to come up with more -- is representative
of what question 4 will include on the 2007 AP Chemistry Exam. Table 2 (below)
lists some sample questions -- suggested by members of the AP Chemistry
Development Committee -- that might be asked about the reactions that appeared
on the 2006 exam. Part (i) asks for the balanced chemical equation, omitting any
ions or molecules that are unchanged in the reaction; part (ii) asks one
question that focuses on such things as the type of reaction (redox,
proton-transfer, Lewis acid-base, and so forth), the stoichiometry of the
reaction, and the physical observations that one might expect as the reaction
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