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How Hard Is AP Chemistry?

blabbermouthblabbermouth Posts: 820Registered User Member
edited August 2011 in AP Tests Preparation
I don't mean that in a sense of how many hours of homework because I know that will vary from school to school. What I mean is, is it just memorization? For example, a lot of people say APUSH is all memorization. Or, does AP Chem require critical thinking and make you apply what you learned for difference situations?

Also, is it possible to take it without Chem 1/ How much does Chem 1 help?
Post edited by blabbermouth on

Replies to: How Hard Is AP Chemistry?

  • swim2daendswim2daend Posts: 2,497Registered User Senior Member
    I would say that if you memorize chemistry, you won't do well. Literally, everything connects with each other. Can you memorize somethings? Yes. All of it? no.

    It would be difficult to just jump right into AP Chem I think. AP Chem is considered to be one of the hardest AP courses there is. Some really smart people just can't connect with chemistry, so I would definitely recommend not skipping Chem 1.
  • nks123nks123 Posts: 221Registered User Junior Member
    I wouldn't recommend skipping Chem 1, most teachers expect their AP Chem students to have a few important concepts down before they enter the course.

    Overall there isn't too much memorizing in AP Chemistry, it is more understanding and applying various concepts.
  • cool5scool5s Posts: 146Registered User Junior Member
    agree with nks123
  • nerdofcomputersnerdofcomputers Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    AP Chemistry is almost entirely application
    If you write down everything you need to memorize (assuming you have the ability to apply and think critically), you would probably not exceed a 4x6 notecard.

    If you are going to memorize everything and not apply anything, then better start memorizing...

    Chemistry is as hard as you make it.
  • CranberryOrangeCranberryOrange Posts: 931Registered User Member
    I think a dumb person who worked hard could do pretty well in APUSH, whereas a dumb person who worked hard in AP Chem might run into more difficulties. I took Chem 1 (or the equivalent--my school is weird), but my teacher kind of (really) sucked, so I could imagine doing AP Chem without the class, but you'd probably want to familiarize yourself briefly with some basic concepts.
  • 10iswarrior10iswarrior Posts: 362Registered User Member
    Chem 1 helps a good bit, but you don't need it if you have a knack for chemistry. Unfortunately, there's no way to know that unless you take chem 1. AP Chemistry is all about understanding the concepts and applying them. It's more important to understand why something happens, than knowing the formula in my opinion. It's a whole different ballgame from APUSH.
  • yohobroncosyohobroncos Posts: 223Registered User Junior Member
    yeah you probably want some prep. i self-studied without any prior chem exposure and it was fine, but learning to apply the concepts can be a beast of a challenge at times
  • GreedIsGoodGreedIsGood Posts: 2,039Registered User Senior Member
    If your going to rush right into AP Chem, your going to need to do some preparation work. NOW!
  • sd6sd6 Posts: 1,251Registered User Senior Member
    AP Chemistry is absolutely more application than memorization. You need to be able to grasp underlying concepts and tie in everything together. It is a difficult class, but it is manageable by anyone.

    I got a 5 on the exam without any previous Chemistry class, so no, one does not need any previous Chem knowledge.
  • DorkyelmoDorkyelmo Posts: 1,770Registered User Senior Member
    Can you self-study Chem? Is it possible>.<
  • Nighthawk1Nighthawk1 Posts: 111Registered User Junior Member
    Dokyelmo wrote:
    Can you self-study Chem? Is it possible>.<

    I know a student who did it at my school. He got a 5, but he worked with the chem teacher at our school to get practice and help with difficult concepts. Generally, due to the level of understanding required to do well, I would recommend against it. Also, chem requires significant application of general rules and concepts.

    If you are doing it for an extra AP, it may be worth it. However, no college will give you credit for the exam if you haven't taken the class because you will have missed all the labs
  • DemodogjrDemodogjr Posts: 97Registered User Junior Member
    Sadly, my school doesn't allow students to take Chem 1 then AP Chem. Each of us delve straight into one or the other. Being a student that did take AP Chem with no prior chem knowledge, I thought it was pretty rough.
  • Penguinito22Penguinito22 Posts: 156Registered User Junior Member
    I also took AP Chem without taking a basic chem class first, and it was very difficult for me at times. If you are going to jump strait into AP, you should teach yourself some of the fundamental chem 1 concepts like sig figs, stoichiometry, etc.
  • drinksuiteddrinksuited Posts: 290Registered User Junior Member
    I wholeheartedly agree that it's really application. I consider myself a very intelligent person, but I sucked madly at AP chem. The concepts just didn't click right for me
  • DorkyelmoDorkyelmo Posts: 1,770Registered User Senior Member
    Then should I turn to a different AP Class? What are your recommendations?

    P.s. I'm strong math and science. Also I'm planning on taking AP calc ab&bc, bio, and stats. So don't tell me to self study those (: .
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