AP Chemistry

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About the Exam

Important Update

Updated April 8 You can now download the digital testing application and take digital practice to prepare for the testing experience. See below for more information on digital practice and taking the digital exam.

2021 AP Chemistry Exams will be offered on paper in early May and late May, and as a digital exam in early June. Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Chemistry Exam will be full length and measure the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description (CED), giving you the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

The paper exams will follow the typical multiple-choice and free-response format given in the CED. The digital exam will take the same amount of time, but will contain more multiple-choice questions and fewer free-response questions. On the digital exam, you will answer free-response questions with a keyboard, rather than by hand. The digital exam app will include any symbols you would need to type your responses. Students taking digital exams will not be asked to draw or graph as part of their responses—rather, these skills may be assessed by asking you to provide explanations about given diagrams or other stimuli. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted. 

In the multiple-choice section (where calculators aren’t allowed on the paper exam), the digital exam won’t include questions where you could benefit from using calculators.

You will be able to practice answering a representative sample of multiple-choice and free-response questions within the 2021 digital exam app, available in early April. The best practice for the digital version of the 2021 AP Chemistry Exam remains the existing multiple-choice and free-response questions.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Chemistry only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

As the exam approaches, take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

Exam Overview
The AP Chemistry Exam will test your understanding of the scientific concepts covered in the course units, as well as your ability to design and describe chemical experiments.

A scientific or graphing calculator is recommended for use on Section 2 of the exam, and you will be provided with a periodic table and a formula sheet that lists specific and relevant formulas for use on the exam.

Exam Duration
3hrs 15mins

Digital Practice and Testing Information

Updated April 8

Digital Practice Now Available

Starting April 8, you can try out the test-day experience, by answering example questions in the digital testing application. See the Digital Practice page for general information about practice options.

AP Chemistry students will have two options to answer example questions in the digital testing application. Both provide approximately the same time limit per question as the full exam.

  • Digital Practice has the same sections as the actual digital exam, but with shortened MCQ sections:
     
    • Section I: 9 multiple choice, 15 minutes, followed by a shortened 5-minute break
    • Section II, Part A: 6 multiple-choice questions, 10 minutes, followed by a 1-minute pause
    • Section II, Part B: full-length FRQ section (3 questions, 45 minutes)
     
  • The App Demo is an even shorter subset of the questions in Digital Practice–5 multiple-choice questions, a 2-minute break, and 1 free-response question.

We highly recommend that you take the Digital Practice, and strongly advise that if you can’t take the Digital Practice, at least take the App Demo. Both can be taken multiple times, and can be accessed directly in the digital testing application. You can access your answers and solution materials (MCQ answer key, FRQ scoring guidelines) for the Digital Practice. Note: Taking the App Demo after completing Digital Practice may override your answers from Digital Practice.

Taking the Digital Exam

You should be aware of some aspects of testing digitally that you’ll encounter–in the Digital

Practice and on exam day:

  • As a reminder, you will answer all multiple-choice questions and type all free-response answers directly in the digital exam application. Scratch paper is permitted for notes or planning, but students cannot handwrite or otherwise upload responses.
  • The free-response questions won’t require you to draw diagrams, charts or complicated mathematical expressions. All responses can be typed on a regular computer keyboard, along with a selection of formatting options (including superscript and subscript) and special characters that can be accessed by clicking the Omega button:
  • Some free-response question prompts reference a specific question part. You can click on the » symbol shown in the prompt to automatically scroll to the referenced location.
  • The AP Chemistry Equations and Constants and Periodic Table can be accessed with the Reference button in the upper right button bar of the application. The interface and layout are different in the digital testing application than in the paper exam booklet, so you should take a look when you take digital practice.
  • A calculator is allowed on all sections of the digital exam. However, you will need to bring your own calculator because the digital testing application does not include one.
  • As a reminder, you cannot go back to questions you’ve already answered, and cannot skip ahead.
  • However, free-response questions will each be presented in multiple parts, and you will answer each part on a separate screen. You may move among the parts of the question currently being answered, with the Back and Next buttons. Once you’ve entered your response to the last part of a question, you won’t be able to go back to any part of that question.
  • Exam directions and section-specific directions will not be read by a proctor–they’ll appear entirely in the application. You’ll see them at the beginning of each section, and can access them at any time during the exam. Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear. While you should read the directions, be aware that the timer will be running while you do so. You can view the full text of the exam and section directions in advance of the exam.

Exam Dates

  • Fri, May 7, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Chemistry Exam

    This is the Administration 1 date for the AP Chemistry Exam.

  • Tue, May 25, 2021,
    8 AM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Chemistry Exam

    This is the Administration 2 date for the AP Chemistry Exam.

  • Thu, Jun 10, 2021,
    12 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP Chemistry Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP Chemistry Exam.

Exam Components

Note on 2021 Exams

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Chemistry only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

The digital AP Chemistry Exam will take the same amount of time as the paper exam, but will include:

  • More multiple-choice questions than the paper exam.
  • Fewer free-response questions than the paper exam. 

Free-response questions will consist of familiar tasks that could appear on a traditional AP Exam, but they will be answerable with a regular computer keyboard and won’t require drawing or graphing. The digital exam will include any symbols you would need to type your responses. All responses must be typed directly into the exam app. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

Please note that calculators will be permitted on all sections of the digital exam in 2021.

You will be able to practice multiple-choice and free-response questions within the 2021 digital exam app, available in early April.

Early May and Late May Exams (Paper) Early June Exam (Digital)

Section 1: Multiple Choice
60 Questions | 1 Hour 30 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

 

The multiple-choice section includes individual, single questions as well as sets of questions that refer to the same diagram or data presentation. You’re not allowed to use a calculator on Section 1.

 

 

Questions will test your ability to:

  • Explain, analyze, and interpret models and representations of chemical properties or phenomena
  • Design experiments and procedures to test a prediction or theory
  • Solve problems using mathematical relationships
  • Make or justify a scientific claim and support it with evidence and/or reasoning

Section 1: Multiple Choice
60 Questions | 1 Hour 30 minutes | 50% of Exam Score

 

The multiple-choice section includes individual, single questions as well as sets of questions that refer to the same diagram or data presentation.

 

 

Questions will test your ability to:

  • Explain, analyze, and interpret models and representations of chemical properties or phenomena
  • Design experiments and procedures to test a prediction or theory
  • Solve problems using mathematical relationships
  • Make or justify a scientific claim and support it with evidence and/or reasoning

Section 2: Free Response
7 Questions | 1 Hour 45 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

 

The free-response section includes three long essay questions (worth 10 points each) and four short-answer questions (worth 4 points each).

 

 

Questions will test your ability to:

  • Explain, analyze, and interpret models and representations of chemical properties or phenomena
  • Design experiments and procedures to test a prediction or theory
  • Represent data and chemical phenomena with graphs and diagrams
  • Solve problems using mathematical relationships
  • Make or justify a scientific claim and support it with evidence and/or reasoning

A scientific or graphing calculator is recommended for use on Section 2.

Section 2: Multiple Choice and Free Response
50% of Exam Score

 

This section includes 45 multiple choice questions, one long answer question, and two short answer questions. You’ll type answers to the free-response questions in the digital exam app.

 

 

Multiple Choice:
40 Questions | 60 minutes

 

Free Response:
3 Questions | 45 Minutes

  • There is one long-answer and two short-answer questions. The long-answer question is worth 10 points; short-answer questions are worth 4 points each.
  • Free-response questions will be written so that you can type all your answers into the digital exam app. The app will include any symbols you’ll need. You cannot hand-write your answers.
  • The questions assess all six of the course skills (other than graphing, as noted above): models and representations, question and method, representing data and phenomena, model analysis, mathematical routines, and argumentation.

 

Questions will test your ability to:

  • Explain, analyze, and interpret models and representations of chemical properties or phenomena
  • Design experiments and procedures to test a prediction or theory
  • Solve problems using mathematical relationships
  • Make or justify a scientific claim and support it with evidence and/or reasoning

 

A scientific or graphing calculator is recommended for use on the free-response questions.

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