You probably know that AP Chemistry is broken into Big Ideas: specifically six of them. My experience has been that in order to sustain your pace in AP Chem, it is really important to complete Big Idea 1 by October.

Yes, I said October. But the good news is that Big Idea 1 comprises of concepts that you have likely covered before.

So what is it that you need to know?

Let’s take a look at what the college board tells us.

Big Idea 1 :

The chemical elements are fundamental building materials of matter, and all matter can be understood in terms of arrangement of atoms. These atoms retain their identity in chemical reactions.

This might seem terribly simple, something that some of you studied in 6th grade, but on closer look, there’s significantly more that you need to learn.

The IDEA is not just that there are atoms, but how they interact with one another, and how we measure them.

That means, according to the College Board:

  1. Periodicity
  2. Spectroscopy
  3. Stoichiometry

Let’s go over them one-by-one shall we? If you aren’t thorough on periodicity, let’s do it now. Here’s a video for you to watch!

Note that periodicity isn’t just periodic trends! It means understanding the structure of the atom (that includes isotopes and all that jazz), electronic configuration, the periodic table and what it signifies, and then periodic trends!

Questions will be answered at