The AP Chemistry Examination is a 180-minute examination (3 hours), divided into two parts. The first part (90 minutes) constitutes 45 percent of the final grade and consists of 75 multiple-choice questions with a broad coverage of topics. Teachers should not try to prepare students to answer every question on a test of this kind. To be broad enough in scope to give every student who has covered an adequate amount of the material an opportunity to make a good showing, the test must be so comprehensive that no student should be expected to make a perfect or near-perfect score. Thought-provoking problems and questions based on fundamental ideas from chemistry are included.
The second part of the examination, which constitutes 55 percent of the final grade, is 90 minutes. For the first 40 minutes of this part, students will be permitted to use a calculator as they work on several comprehensive problems. Time will be called at 40 minutes, after which calculators must be put away for the remaining 50 minutes. During these last 50 minutes, student will answer a question requiring the determination of products of chemical reactions and several essay questions.
The student is allowd some choice among the questions included in the second part of the examination. The problems allow the student to demonstrate reasoning abilities by the application of chemical principles to problem solving. The question pertaining to descriptive chemistry in this section of the examination asks students to write ionic and molecular formulas for reactants and products of chemical reactions. The essays give the student an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to think clearly and the present ideas in an logical and coherent fashion.