Introduction to AP Chemistry

Chemistry is a branch of physical science that deals with the properties and structure of matter. Chemistry is one of the most challenging subjects for high school students. In America and Canada, high school students should earn credits from various subjects and examinations to be able to study in a good and prestigious university. One opportunity to earn credit is by studying AP Chemistry. Advanced Placement Chemistry or simply known as AP Chemistry is an in-depth chemistry course and examination that is a part of the students’ curriculum. After a rigorous study of the subject, a college-level assessment is to be taken by the students. Performing well on the exam may help students who wish to pursue careers such as civil engineer, aircraft pilot, surgeon, and pharmacist.

Matter, atoms, molecules — these are some of the things we can think of when we hear about chemistry. But knowing that all things are made up of atoms and molecules and there are different states of matter, namely, solid, liquid and gas may not be enough to get into college. In studying AP chemistry, you do not simply know things without understanding them. The course aims to enable the students to acquire and practice reasoning skills that are necessary especially when dealing with scientific problems. The different fields of study such as physics, biology, and mathematics are all involved with chemistry. Knowledge in these subject areas are a great help in understanding the examples and applications of chemistry.

An approach has been formed that will help ease the difficulty of the students in studying AP chemistry. There are 6 “Big Ideas” or key concepts that are essential in learning the course. The first big idea is about the fundamental materials, which are known as chemical elements that compose all matter. It is understood that all forms of matter are composed of more tiny particles called atoms and molecules. For big idea 2, it focuses on the structure and properties of matter. Here, the states of matter such as solid, liquid, and gas are going to be thoroughly discussed. Also, different kinds of bonding and forces of ions, atoms, and molecules are included. London dispersion forces, dipole forces, and covalent bonding are some of the topics. In big idea 3, the different reactions of the ions and molecules to certain conditions will be explained.  These reactions and collisions will cause movements of the materials and the rate of the reactions will be the topic in big idea 4. Temperature, heat exchange and energy transfer are some of the areas to be discoursed in big idea 5 which is all about thermodynamics. Lastly, in big idea 6 the main topic is equilibrium where molecular bonds can be affected by external forces.


Studying AP chemistry may be a lot difficult, but by using the Big Ideas as an approach it may be easier to understand and apply the lessons. It may be a hard and challenging course, but with hard work and perseverance passing AP chemistry is possible. Performing well in the exam will lead you to the road of success.