AP Chemistry; forget about the AP exam, I'm worried about the class itself!

<p>Hi, I am a high school student taking AP Chem with probably the hardest teacher in the school (this is a fact).</p>

<p>I'm about 2.5 months in now, and I currently have 85.5 in the class which is a solid B.</p>

<p>The thing is that I need, NEED an A in the class for some personal reasons..</p>

<p>I've gotten 2 C's in the tests so far, and I've calculated that if I get an A (above 93%) on the next to exams along with 100% on homework, I can raise it up to an A-, hopefully an A.</p>

<p>But the problem about the class is that chemistry is not really entering into my brain well; I don't really get the basic concepts of how everything works out.</p>

<p>I do all my homework ,, sure. They are difficult though, taking me unsual amount of time. (2~3 hours a day on 7~10 questions) while my friends actually understand them and do them quickly.</p>

<p>The biggest problem is actually consuming the concepts and using the knowledge on the tests. </p>

<p>On the test, he asks really conceptual questions on the multiple choices and uses free responses from past AP exams.</p>

<p>I swear, if we learned a simple "addition," he is the person who expects us to know multiplication, division, square roots.. I can memorize definitions of words, but that does not do anything on the test. He just expects more than what the book and his lectures say. Maybe that's what actual AP test is like and he is trying to make us practice... But I really need to do well regardless and I would sacrifice up to 4~5 hours a day just for this subject.</p>

<p>So thats all the background ... and my biggest question is what do you think i should do to prepare for his tests? I read all the textbooks and everything but I still don't get the concepts of what we have learned. I just basically memorize and forget it after the test.</p>

<p>Any advice?</p>

<p>Khan Academy tends to be a really big help when you aren't getting everything you need out of a class.
The Chemistry section:
Khan</a> Academy</p>

<p>The problem is that AP Chem takes a higher level of thinking. You have to get it out of your mind that you can memorize and forget after the test. You really need to go address this with your teacher or you are not going to do well as it keeps building upon itself. It you are not getting the "why" behind the answers, it is going to continue to be a problem. And it is not likely that if you are running a B right now you are miraculously going to get solid A's on the next 2 tests that occur later in the course. And the final exam will kill your grade. You really need to go to your teacher asap and if he blows you off, get your parents involved. Maybe get a tutor through your school also. Also, maybe look at the books at the bookstore that prep you for the AP Chem exam. I have never looked at one, but maybe it will explain the concepts where you can understand them. My daughter has taken this class and gotten A's all the way through so I know what you are dealing with and I know it keeps building upon itself.</p>

<p>The Khan Academy videos on chemistry are too basic for AP Chem, except for the thermodynamics videos (I watched most of them).</p>

<p>Have you tried a study group with friends that "get" the material? AP review book?</p>

<p>Actually, what your teacher is doing is more beneficial to you than you think. In every class, especially AP Chem, if you don't know what you're calculating or why or what effect changing one variable has on both your answer and to the concept you're talking about, you shouldn't get an A. Remember, A grades are given not to those who 'need it' but to those who have somewhat mastered the concepts. Or, that's what it should be because you are not only taking this class for a college class exemption. If you get into the college class ahead of the ap chem level, you're going to be expected to know all of the basic concepts. That's my 5 cents about that.</p>

<p>However, if you need help with concepts and you want to understand them, get help. Either from your friends or from a tutor. It should be taking about 2 hours to cold read your book and doing homework problems because you need to first understand the material and then apply it. Don't get discouraged because you're not getting it as fast as your friends. You will be doing yourself a favor by not getting hung up on what you don't understand but why you don't understand it. You just need to work just a little harder because it doesn't come to you right away. I'm in AP chem right now and I have an A and my teacher expects a lot from us even though she doesn't teach. GL HF.</p>

<p>Milesokeef- thank you i will check it Out!</p>

<p>Ohiomom2 -thanks for the advice . I will try to go talk to the teacher, but the thing is that if i tell her that i dont get the material, that would lower her expectations and ultimately impact it on her future letters of reccomendation?</p>

<p>Aldfig2 - ive tried study group once at the beginning of the year and the results were similar to when i do it myself. Even though they explain it, sure i might get it then, but it doesnt stick to me and develop into higher level thinking. It just stops at whatever he/she explains to me. I do have a princeton review book for ap chem, but honestly have not actually used for preparation for a test, but skimming through it, i think its pretty short on explanations..</p>

<p>Emekablue- thank you. I think what he is trying to do is to get us prepared as well. And ok, i might not deserve an a as of now, but i would really like to , and am willing to try my hardest if i know the method to get an a(which i failed last 2 times..) i think its the conceptual issue that i am having problem with. I gt through pretty well in chem honors last year with an a- and an a by reading the textbook and i honestly just memorized everything. I felt that ap chem is different; it expects a lot more than what i knew in the past. People say our textbooks are not very good as an ap chemistry texy book, so i would need another sources that would elaborate on textbooks.. Thanks for your thoughts</p>

<p>I am having this same problem too, except our teacher never goes over our mistakes on quizzes or tests. More of a "better luck next time" attitude which really irritates me because I feel like I learn absolutely nothing in that class. I can't make info stick. I don't know where to start half the time and I get caught up every step of the way.</p>

<p>Yea. That is my problem as well.</p>

<p>My class is too fast paced, and he does not go over tests or quizzes, like you said , its "better luck next time."</p>

<p>I'm looking for an outside tutor, preferrably an online website with lots of AP CHEM contents (khanacademy is too simple..) so i could get independent studying outside of classroom.</p>

<p>Anybody know a such place?</p>

<p>You could always pick up a Princeton Review book for AP Chem. Apparently its the best for AP Chem. Barron's is more like a textbook. I have Barron's and it's alright. It sometimes misses the important stuff and has misspellings in it</p>

<p>Mybest, I don't think an outside tutor is necessary, but do definitely pick up a PR or Barron's book for AP Chem. I felt a lot comfortable when I studied from Barron's AP Chem than when I studied from PR's AP Chem due to the incredibly massive amount of information. Even though there's a lot to study for, I felt more prepared for the FR section on the AP exam. It's up to you to see which prep book you want to buy, but since it's the AP exam, I would suggest you to buy both Barron's and PR's AP Chem prep books, study from Barron's prep book, and take practice tests from PR's prep book. If you don't understand a particular topic that Barron's mentioned, google it and you'll find a lot of helpful websites that other AP Chemistry teachers had made specifically for AP Chem students. Good luck!</p>

<p>I heard the videos on apchemistrynmsi.wikispaces.com are good. I have had much time to look at them though</p>