So Are you a good AP Chemistry Student?
Do you go with the flow, listen in class, take notes, finish your homework? First the bad news:
It won’t cut it. The good news is that you are a great student, but to crack one of the hardest AP tests around, the most important thing you can do is scheduling.
Going by experience, there is a high likelihood that your teacher will struggle to finish the curriculum by the end of April. This is late already. It’s not usually the teacher’s fault. Teaching a class like this, making sure the students understand the concepts and helping them finish their experimental load often ends up taking a far longer time than the assigned 8 months. And then in April, you end up scrambling to finish 3 of the most important and the hardest topics in the curriculum: Equilibrium, Acids and Bases, Electrochemistry.
This is why the #1 advice I will give any student is to pace yourself. Know the curriculum, and mentally distribute it over 8 month. Note that this means that you finish 60-70% of the curriculum by December. This is because what follows starting with Equilibrium is the hard part, and it makes sense to spend just a little more time on it.
So how do you study something when it hasn’t been covered in class yet. You have three options:
- Khan Academy has an AP Chemistry section now. Go through the videos, make sure you understand, do practice problems from your text, source relevant problems from previous AP exams. Bozeman Science is also an excellent resource for shorter, more to-the-point videos.
- Go find a online AP class. There are some you can take for credit. PA Homeschoolers has a very well structured AP Chem program. However, note that this is an intense, for-credit class.
- Hire a tutor. Make sure you tell your tutor about your schedule, and make sure you are on track. Join my focused, tutor led group class here.
Finally, you should aim to be done with everything by the first week of April. April is for revision. April is for tons of practice exams. April is not, however, for scurrying to finishing Acids/Bases and Electrochemistry. Check out AP Chemistry Crash course for revision and practice.
In the next couple of months, I will be coming up with a study guide that will hand-hold you through what are usually the most challenging chapters (Equlibirum, Acids and Bases). More information coming up soon.
Comment here if you have questions, or would like suggestions with your scheduling.