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How hard is AP Chemistry?


I will be taking AP Chem next year as a sophomore and taking honors precalculus simultaneously. I have never taken a chemistry class before, though I do have a general idea of the principles, as well as specific parts of the AP Chem curriculum (thermodynamics mostly).

For anyone who has taken AP Chem, how difficult do you reckon it will be for me? Also how significant will it be in my academic profile?

Any advice or insight will help as I am questioning my decision a bit. Thank you!


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I took AP Chemistry this past year at my school. I would say AP Chem is pretty hard. The concepts are a lot to take in and understand, especially because there is so much to learn and everything is connected. I did take a normal chemistry class before taking AP chem, which I think helped me a lot with understanding basic concepts right away and giving me more time to focus on studying the harder topics. It's a hard class but through it, I was able to learn a lot about myself as a learner and the best ways for me to study. You should be able to do well if you use all of your resources and set aside specific studying time. There are lots of good youtube videos to help learn the concepts and Khan Academy is very good too.

As for its impact on your academic profile, I think that depends on what you want to go into. I'm planning on going into engineering, so AP Chem would be a pretty significant class for anyone going into a STEM field. If you're planning on anything related to chemistry, it would be good to take it to be introduced to the material. If not, it still shows colleges that you're willing to take challenging classes even if you get a lower grade than you would have gotten in an easier class. With it being an AP class, I'm assuming that your school will grade it on a 5.0 scale, and that can help boost your GPA if you do well and won't impact it as much if you don't do well. I hope that answers your questions :)

Thank you so much! This really helps because not a lot of people take AP chem at my school, and if they do they're upperclassmen that I don't know. I am strongly considering going into STEM and I feel much better about taking the class now, even if it will be a challenge. I have plenty of time to prepare until the next school year, anyway. Thank you for the insight!:)
You're welcome! :)