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AP Chemistry difficulty level

RenegadeJRenegadeJ Posts: 178Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2011 in Sciences
I'm planning to take AP chemistry my senior year because I want to major in biochemistry or neuroscience in college. However, I heard mixed reviews about AP chemistry. Some people have said it was the worst class ever, some said it was very easy. I've taken Chem honors and I had an A on the final exam. How is the course load? How hard is the material? What grade do most people earn?

Note: I'm also taking AP Physics Newtonian mechanics next year.
Post edited by RenegadeJ on

Replies to: AP Chemistry difficulty level

  • improvmylifeimprovmylife Posts: 60Registered User Junior Member
    hey,
    I took AP chemistry last year as a junior, and it was the first class in high school I received an A in (all others being A+s). So it was difficult. But these questions are unfair to ask, as schools and teachers differ so drastically. It may be easy in one school and impossible in another. If you are interested in it, then take it! If you think you are capable, go for it. If it ends up being too demanding, you can drop it. I cannot say what "most people" earn.
    Good luck!
  • RenegadeJRenegadeJ Posts: 178Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks. The teacher at my school is not good at teaching chem from what I've heard. Is the material hard the comprehend? How much time a night do I need to dedicate to get an A?
  • cmb1292cmb1292 Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    Chem in my school is a block and known as the hardest class in the school. The teacher's never given out an A+ in over 20 years, so I was a bit scared before starting it. I have to say though, its really not that bad. My teacher says anybody who gets an A or B in the class usually gets a 5 on AP, and I easily pulled an A last semester. If you like science, esp chemistry you should do fine. Having taken an HL chem I class is a big help and AP Bio class is nice when you get to organic.

    In regards to your last post, we use Central Science, so to finish by May, we do a chapter about every 4-5 days on average (usually combining 2-3 chapters for tests, which are about 1hr 45 on average in length and 10-15 questions). I'd say I spend 2 hours per chapter reading it and another 2-3 hours (usually closer to 2) doing the 30-40 or so questions our teacher assigned. I guess that averages to about 1 hr per night, but this way you dont really need to do any real studying before the test, so I think its pretty fair. Plus lab reports, which drastically depend on the teacher.
  • chewydogchewydog Posts: 714Registered User Member
    I'm currently taking AP Chemistry as a sophomore (took Honors Chemistry as a freshman), and last semester I got an A in my class. AP Chemistry in my school is notorious for being one of the most demanding classes along with APUSH. Personally, my homework in that class takes about 30 minutes to an hour a day, but very rarely is the case of more than an hour (less than 30 minutes is possible though). For tests, I study as much as I can, spending all of any available time on the night prior to the test on studying. The stuff clicks easier the more you practice. Although that is true for any subject, the principle is easily proven with AP Chemistry.

    Point is, if you can handle the time frame, talk to the AP Chemistry teacher at your school and ask to see an overview of the curriculum offered there. Ask them about the average of the class (if they don't tell you, chances are that another student knows) on the AP test and grade distribution (as in scores on class tests), and these will give you a good indication of how much the teacher pushes you (more is a good thing). Doesn't hurt to ask around your school either for any of the aforementioned information.
  • kb0671kb0671 Posts: 69Registered User Junior Member
    It really depends on your school and your teacher, my AP chem teacher has been named science teacher of the year in ohio, and won chemistry teacher awards; aka the class is HARD and a lot of work. I have homework every night, usually an hour or so, and 10 page lab reports. It is considered the hardest class at my school, but our teacher says that her class is almost exactly like Gen Chem at the college level, and that she's had students at Princeton pass out of their Gen Chem class. She also had a kid at MIT who couldn't pass out of the class (he was pre-med so they made him take it), but charged other kids to tutor them.

    However, considering your major, you should definitely take it. Gen chem in college is sometimes a weed-out class for science majors, and the last thing you want to do is do horrible in a class directly linked with your major.

    I just regret taking the class because it is so time-consuming and I want to major in International Relations so I feel totally unmotivated to do the work. haha. but if you're into math and science it is definitely the class for you!

    As for my grades, I got an A last semester, and I currently have a B+ (although that may have something to do with my lack of motivation...). I took Honors Chem last year and did really well though so you should be fine. But yeah, I definitely recommend you take the class in high school (since you'll prob have to take it in college), where you have more one on one time and where it is probably less demanding.

    As for the exam, I haven't taken it yet, but most people at my school earned 4's and 5's. (and there isn't a calc for what "most" people earn...ap makes it so about 20% of people earn 1,2,3,4,5's)
  • RenegadeJRenegadeJ Posts: 178Registered User Junior Member
    If I brush up on chem over the summer I should be fine right?
  • GiancoliiGiancolii Posts: 99Registered User Junior Member
    AP Chem at my school, is probably the easiest class and almost hardest AP class. My teacher is AMAZING; there's like 40 people in the class. She's always bragging about how Oxford Academy (in Southern CA) is always trying to hire her, lolol. Anyways. In my class, it's easy because there's not much hw. (Only study guides and lab reports). But it's hard because the material/tests are hard, but that varies. Some topics might be harder for others than some. In my case, thermodynamics is tough shet. But equilibrium is easy. It could be vice versa for other people. But either way, it is an AP class so the material is complicated but not impossible. It's easy to get an A and a 5 on the exam, but it's just as easy to fail both. Depends on you. If you study, STUDY, like review, than it'll be a breeze.

    I love my chem class. :)
  • RenegadeJRenegadeJ Posts: 178Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks. I'm not particularly gifted at chemistry, but I do enjoy the subject. Only molecular geometry was difficult for me in honors chemistry.
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