AP Chemistry Equation Table Policy

   Tables containing equations commonly used in chemistry are printed both in the free-response (Section II) examination booklets and in the green inserts provided with each examination for the students to use when taking the free-response section.  The equation tables are NOT permitted for use with the multiple-choice section of the examination.  In general, the equations for each year's examination are printed and distributed with the Course Description at least a year in advance so that students can become accustomed to using them throughout the year.  However, because the equations tables will be provided with the examination, students will NOT be allowed to bring their own copies to the examination room.     

       In 2004, the equation tables will be reformatted slightly and a few new equations will be added to those already appearing in the table.  The new equations relate to spectrophotometry (Beer's Law) and to kinetics (integrated rate-law equations, Arrhenius equation).   Ask your teacher for copies of this revised equation table    One of the purposes of providing the tables of commonly used equations for use with the free-response section is to address the issue of equity for those students who do not have access to equations stored in their calculators.  The availability of these equations to all students means that in the grading of the free-response sections, little or no credit will be awarded for simply writing down equations or for answers unsupported by explanations or logical development.

      The equations in the table express relationships that are encountered most frequently in an AP Chemistry Course and Examination.  However, they do not include all equations that might possibly be used.  For example, they do not include many equations that can be derived by combining others in the table.   Nor do they include equations that are simply special cases of any that are in the tables.  Students are responsible for understanding the physical principles that underlie each equation and for knowing the conditions for which each equation is applicable.

       The equations are grouped in tables according to major content category.   Within each table, the symbols used for the variables in that table are define.  However, in some cases the same symbol is used to represent different quantities in different tables.  It should be noted that there is no uniform convention among textbooks for the symbols used in writing equations.  The equation tables follow many common conventions,  but in some cases consistency was sacrificed for the sake of clarity.
      In summary, the purpose of minimizing numerical calculations in both sections of the examination and providing equations with the free-response section is to place greater emphasis on the understanding and application of fundamental chemical principles and concepts.   For solving problems and writing essays, a sophisticated programmable or graphing calculator, or the availability of stored equations, is no substitute for a thorough grasp of the chemistry involved.