Is AP Chemistry Hard? Can You Scale It Easily?

You’re either an aspiring chemistry whiz or a determined college applicant if you’re considering enrolling in an AP Chemistry class.

Either way, your main concern is: how hard is the AP Chemistry test?

While AP classes are intended to introduce students to and prepare students for college content, with the right preparation you can perform very well on the AP Chemistry test.

How to Pass the AP Chemistry

Access Difficulty

Assessing the difficulty of the test may be a sound tactic before taking the class. AP chemistry is intended to replicate the first year of introductory chemistry.

Students scoring a 5, and possibly a 4, on the AP test are often eligible to earn college credits and take subsequent levels of chemistry.

Because the test is based on having taken the AP course, and both the course and the test are college level, if you are not planning on going to college, whether in the near future or indefinitely, then taking the AP test is going to present some challenges.

If you are not the most proficient in the sciences or specifically chemistry, then taking the AP test may also be a difficult endeavor.

Know What the Test Covers

But I love chemistry and am a determined student! If that’s the case, then it’s important to know what the test covers.

This is so that you can ensure you cover the material during the year and that you can prepare well before taking the AP Chemistry exam.

The AP test will cover the following topics:

  • Atomic structure and properties with an emphasis on the differences between ionic and molecular bonding.
  • Intermolecular forces.
  • Chemical reactions, reaction kinetics.
  • Thermodynamics
  • Chemical equilibrium and acid and base properties.

Your course very well may include information on nuclear chemistry. And there will probably be a few questions on the test as well.

Make Adequate Preparation

Great, so how can I prepare to do well for the test?

Since the course is intended to replicate a college-level course, having college-level skills will help you do well.

Both in the class and on the AP exam.

Make sure to attend all of your classes and labs. And ensure that you take detailed notes. And don’t forget to ask the teacher to identify key points.

It helps to make outlines as well as concept maps.

This will help you to identify the relationship between different information. And how it connects to overall concepts. Examples can be elements and their roles in bonding and reactions.

Regularly reviewing what you cover will help you to keep the information fresh in your mind. And studying with a partner, or even trying to teach someone who is either learning basic chemistry or also taking the class, will help you to master concepts.

While identifying areas that are confusing.

When it comes to preparing for the exam itself, reviewing your exams from the class while taking practice exam tests or questions, whether offered through the college board site or additional sites, will help you to prepare and review for the variety of concepts.

If you still feel like you need extra help, there are a variety of tutoring services and testing platforms that can help you to master concepts even more.


While the AP Chemistry test is renowned for being among the more challenging AP tests.

If you’re a student who is interested in studying the sciences in college. And who is motivated to do well and enjoys chemistry… you should have no trouble preparing and doing well on the AP exam.

The only decision you have to make now is when to take AP Chemistry!

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