The AP Chemistry exam covers a ton of content. When I say a ton, I mean a TON. The course covers everything from quantum mechanics and atomic structure to properties of states of matter to acid-base titrations. By the time you’ve learned all of this, it’s more than likely that your brain is filled with a chemistry-soup, with terms like “equilibrium”, “orbital”, and “redox reaction” floating around in an unorganized fashion. To help you organize information, we’ve put together this list of study guides for every AP Chemistry unit!
Find the 2020 exam schedule, learn tips & tricks, and get your frequently asked questions answered on Fiveable’s Guide to the 2020 AP Exam Updates.
⚛️ Unit 1: Atomic Structure and Properties
Unit 1 is your first taste to chemistry and jumps right in with the foundation of every chemical reaction, molecule, and process: the atom. Atoms make up every single bit of matter in the universe and understanding their structure and properties will help you uncover how it all works. From orbitals to electrons, you’ll learn the ins and outs to the quantum world and have a better understanding of why atoms do what they do!
Unit 1.1: Moles and Molar Mass
Unit 1.2: Mass Spectroscopy of Elements
Unit 1.3: Elemental Composition of Pure Substances
Unit 1.4: Composition of Mixtures
Unit 1.5: Atomic Structure and Electron Configurations
Unit 1.6: Photoelectron Spectroscopy
Unit 1.7: Periodic Trends
Unit 1.8: Valence Electrons and Ionic Compounds
Our creators are hard at work writing study guides for this unit. We’ll be sure to update this article once we have study guides published for unit 1!
🧪 Unit 2: Molecular and Ionic Structure and Properties
Unit 2 takes you from learning about atoms into how molecules and compounds are structured. You’ll learn about why chemical bonds occur, both energetically and through electromagnetic force in ionic compounds. Along with this, by the end of this unit, you’ll be able to draw molecular structures and predict molecular geometries. This unit is typically one of the more fun and interesting ones, so enjoy it!
⚗️ Unit 3: Intermolecular Forces and Properties
In Unit 3, the focus is on the interactions between particles, specifically molecules. When molecules aren’t perfectly symmetric and organized, they interact through intermolecular forces. Gasses and states of matter are also a topic of discussion, and being able to make calculations using the Ideal Gas Law is especially important.
💥 Unit 4: Chemical Reactions
Chemical reactions are what chemistry is all about. Now that you’ve learned about how substances work. you can start to uncover how they interact with each other. AP Chem has three specific types of reactions: precipitation, redox, and acid-base. These three types of reactions along with other details of how reactions work and proceed will help you understand what happens when two chemicals mix.
📈 Unit 5: Kinetics
Kinetics is a field of chemistry all about the rate of a reaction. How quickly does a reaction proceed? How can we speed it up? Slow it down? Can we calculate how long a reaction will take, and how do we measure how far forward a reaction goes? These questions are all questions that can be answered using kinetics.
🔥 Unit 6: Thermodynamics
Energy plays a huge role in AP Chemistry and in chemistry as a whole. When chemical reactions occur, a huge part of what happens has to do with energy entering or exiting a system, usually through heat. You’ll learn about calorimetry, enthalpy, and bond energy and understand the role of energy in chemistry.
⚖️ Unit 7: Equilibrium
How far does a reaction go forward? In chemistry some (in fact most) reactions are reversible, that is to say, the reaction happens, but then the opposite also occurs. When the rates of the forward and reverse reactions are equivalent, the reaction is said to be at equilibrium. In Unit 7, you’ll explore reversible reactions and calculate concentrations at equilibrium.
7.1: Introduction to Equilibrium
7.2: Direction of Reversible Reactions
7.3: Reaction Quotient and Equilibrium Constant
7.4: Calculating the Equilibrium Constant
7.5: Magnitude of the Equilibrium Constant
7.6: Properties of the Equilibrium Constant
7.7: Calculating Equilibrium Concentrations
7.8: Representations of Equilibrium
7.9: Introduction to Le Chatelier’s Principle
7.10: Reaction Quotient and Le Chatelier’s Principle
Like Unit 1, our creators are hard at work writing study guides for Unit 7, and this article will be updated as soon as we have them. We’re sorry for the inconvenience!