Directions for the 2021 Digital AP Chemistry Exam

Exam and section directions will appear in the testing application

Unlike on paper and pencil exams, students taking digital exams will receive directions primarily from the digital testing application, not from a proctor, whether they take the digital exam at school or at home.

On the digital exam, directions will be shown on a pop-up in the digital exam application when the clock starts at the beginning of each section. Students will have a chance to read them before starting to answer questions, and can view them at any time by clicking the Directions link in the upper left corner of the application.  

Please note that the exam timer starts when the directions appear at the beginning of each section. While students should read the directions, they should be aware that the timer will be running while they do so, both at the beginning of each section and while they’re working during the exam.

General Exam Directions will appear in the left column of the directions pop-up, and will be the same for all sections of that exam. Section Directions will appear in the right column, and will be specific to each section of the exam.

When you answer digital practice questions in the digital testing application, these same directions will appear along with a note when practice has a different number of questions than the actual exam.

The following is the full text of the directions that will appear on the digital AP Chemistry Exam.

Exam Directions

The AP Chemistry Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long. Section I lasts 1 hour, 30 minutes and consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. Section II, Part A lasts 1 hour and consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. Section II, Part B lasts 45 minutes and consists of 1 long free-response question and 2 short free-response questions.

You may use a calculator on all sections of the exam.

The Periodic Table and AP Chemistry Equations and Constants are available by clicking the Reference button in the toolbar at the upper right of your screen.

Please note that you are responsible for pacing yourself. The clock will turn red when 5 minutes remain, but the proctor or app will not give you any other time updates. 

Do not spend too much time on any one question, but remember that you cannot go back to a question once you’ve moved on to the next question.

You may use scratch paper for notes and planning, but credit will only be given for responses entered in this application.

Section Directions–Section I

Section I: 90 minutes, 60 multiple-choice questions.

Note: For all questions, assume that the temperature is 298 K, the pressure is 1.0 atm, and solutions are aqueous unless otherwise specified.

Each of the questions or incomplete statements is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the best answer to each question.

Section Directions–Section II, Part A

Section II, Part A: 60 minutes, 40 multiple-choice questions.

Note: For all questions, assume that the temperature is 298 K, the pressure is 1.0 atm, and solutions are aqueous unless otherwise specified.

Each of the questions or incomplete statements is followed by four suggested answers or completions. Select the best answer to each question.

Section Directions–Section II, Part B

Section II, Part B: 45 minutes, 3 free-response questions.

In this section, you will answer each question in multiple parts, shown on separate screens. You may move back and forth among the parts of the question you are answering, but once you answer the last part of the question and go on to the next one, you cannot go back to any part of the question you finished.

You are advised to spend:

  • Question 1 (short free-response question): approximately 10 minutes
  • Question 2 (long free-response question): approximately 25 minutes
  • Question 3 (short free-response question): approximately 10 minutes

For calculations, clearly show the method used and the steps involved in arriving at your answers. You must show your work to receive credit for your answer. Pay attention to significant figures.

Examples and equations may be included in your responses where appropriate.

All responses can be typed on a standard keyboard, along with special characters you can access from the Ω button on the toolbar.

For prompts that reference a specific question part, you can click on the » symbol shown in the prompt to automatically scroll to the referenced location.

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