AP exams in chemistry are considered difficult and challenging, and academics often find studying for this exam quite daunting. Whether you learn everything on your own and try to find the right resources, courses and materials, or work with the help of a teacher or friend, it proves to be a stressful experience, especially if you are unfamiliar with the subject and everything seems new and intimidating.
Difficult or not?
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There are several factors that can determine whether your AP course is difficult or not. By examining the data, you can find out which classes have the best and worst grades, as well as information about the percentage of students who pass the test. This way you can look at data from different years and discover what differences or patterns exist. However, this is not a clear indicator of complexity, although you can consider this and all other aspects. Unfortunately, the fact that chemistry was at the bottom of the list last year does not inspire confidence, quite the opposite.
The data shows that only a few exams have even lower percentages of scores and pass rates, and these are exams such as physics, environmental sciences and world history. On the other hand, there are subjects at the top of the list that are pretty close to 100%, and those are languages, art or design, or BC calculus. Looks scary, doesn’t it?
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Aside from difficulty factors such as a strict teacher or the fact that chemistry is not your area of expertise, there are some general factors to consider. As for the difficulty of AP exams, according to most schools and students, the most difficult AP courses are those with a broad curriculum, lots of material to process and understand, and difficult final exams and midterms. Depending on your personal preference, you may find history easier than math, or physics easier than languages.
But when it comes to the amount of time and effort it takes to pass these exams with high marks, and the amount of memorization to pass, the most difficult AP exams are history, biology, physics C, and finally chemistry, which is at the top of the list of nightmares for many students. What’s so complicated about AP Chemistry? This test consists of 9 to 10 units. Atomic structure and properties, molecular structure, chemical reaction, thermodynamics or equilibrium are some examples. Those who choose this course will have to explain all the chemical processes and memorize a lot of information, as well as distinguish the most important data in tons of material.
Although this test is composed of multiple-choice and free-answer questions, the long free-answer questions are the most difficult part of the exam because they require a thorough explanation of the phenomenon. The basic principles that explain why substances behave or react as they do are central to the chemistry exams and the course itself. Also be prepared to do a lot of calculations. So it’s unlikely you’ll feel anything a night or two before the big day. To pass the exam, you need to spend more time studying and put more effort into practicing.
What can you do?
There are a few tips and tricks that can help you tremendously on your AP Chemistry test. We have compiled a list of the top 5 practices to help you reach your goal:
Go to logic, not results
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Until you understand the process of the right answer, don’t bother with the study. The importance of thinking about the concept itself until you fully understand it cannot be stressed enough, because if you overlook something during the process – just be sure it will be a problem later on. Chemistry is like a big complex puzzle, and if you don’t solve it right, there will be pieces missing or arranged in a way that shouldn’t be. So you don’t have to memorize certain answers or guess luck.
But when it comes to memorization, it’s important to remember everything you need, and by that we mean the formulas. It’s often tempting to just read the formulas, especially if you know in advance that you’re going to get a whole sheet out of them, but having the formula in your head and knowing how to apply it is different than just reading it on paper. Memorizing them will also save you time during the test. Even if you think you know them well enough, you shouldn’t be afraid to memorize too much until you’re really sure you can remember everything that’s needed.
Practice makes perfect
However, it is not enough to memorize things and understand processes and concepts. You have to practice until you master the material. This means reviewing all available test cases and testing materials. There are several resources on the Internet where you can download and practice previous years’ questions. It is best to choose sample exams with answers so you can evaluate and compare your answers. Another thing you should do is buy an overview book, which can greatly help you organize your learning and understand every aspect of a difficult course like this one.
You need to sleep in a few nights before the exam. Not sleeping through the night or staying up late should not be an option if you want to achieve the best possible results. If you’re tired, chances are you’ll make random mistakes, misread a question, not understand something, or forget a number in your calculations, and you certainly don’t have to.
Hiring a teacher
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Unless you’re good at chemistry, chances are you’ll need to be organized and disciplined to understand everything you need to understand. This is why hiring a tutor is a great option, as the guidance of a tutor can make your study journey less stressful, more efficient, and ultimately much easier. There are useful platforms, like FineGrades, that allow you to find many highly qualified tutors, schedule a free assessment, and choose the right person to help you. Combined with the above tips, you are likely to get the best result in the exam. Good luck!
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