Cracking the AP Chemistry Exam, 2018 Edition

Cracking the AP Chemistry Exam, 2018 Edition PDF

Author: Princeton Review

Publisher: Princeton Review


Publish Date: August 1, 2017

ISBN-10: 1524710032

Pages: 400

File Type: EPub

Language: English

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Book Preface

Using This Book to Improve Your AP Score


Your route to a high score on the AP Chemistry Exam depends a lot on how you plan to use this book. Please respond to the following questions.

1. Rate your level of confidence about your knowledge of the content tested by the AP Chemistry Exam:

A. Very confident—I know it all

B. I’m pretty confident, but there are topics for which I could use help

C. Not confident—I need quite a bit of support

D. I’m not sure

2. Highlight your goal score for the AP Chemistry Exam.

  5        4        3        2        1        I’m not sure yet

3. What do you expect to learn from this book? Highlight all that apply to you.

A. A general overview of the test and what to expect

B. Strategies for how to approach the test

C. The content tested by this exam

D. I’m not sure yet


This book is organized to provide as much—or as little—support as you need, so you can use this book in whatever way will be most helpful to improving your score on the AP Chemistry Exam.

The remainder of Part I will provide guidance on how to use this book and help you determine your strengths and weaknesses

Part II of this book contains Practice Test 1, its answers and explanations, and a scoring guide. (Bubble sheets can be downloaded here.) We strongly recommend that you take this test before going any further, in order to realistically determine:

your starting point right now

which question types you’re ready for and which you might need to practice

which content topics you are familiar with and which you will want to carefully review

Once you have nailed down your strengths and weaknesses with regard to this exam, you can focus your test preparation, build a study plan, and be efficient with your time.

Part III of this book will

provide information about the structure, scoring, and content of the AP Chemistry Exam

help you to make a study plan

point you towards additional resources

Part IV of this book will explore

how to attack multiple-choice questions

how to write high-scoring free-response answers

how to manage your time to maximize the number of points available to you

Part V of this book covers the content you need for your exam.

Part VI of this book contains Practice Test 2, its answers and explanations, and a scoring guide. (Bubble sheets can be downloaded here.) If you skipped Practice Test 1, we recommend that you do both (with at least a day or two between them) so that you can compare your progress between the two. Additionally, this will help to identify any external issues: If you get a certain type of question wrong both times, you probably need to review it. If you only got it wrong once, you may have run out of time or been distracted by something. In either case, this will allow you to focus on the factors that caused the discrepancy in scores and to be as prepared as possible on the day of the test.

You may choose to use some parts of this book over others, or you may work through the entire book. This will depend on your needs and how much time you have. Let’s now look how to make this determination.


1. Take a Test

  Before you can decide how to use this book, you need to take a practice test. Doing so will give you insight into your strengths and weaknesses, and the test will also help you make an effective study plan. If you’re feeling test-phobic, remind yourself that a practice test is a tool for diagnosing yourself—it’s not how well you do that matters but how you use information gleaned from your performance to guide your preparation.

  So, before you read further, take AP Chemistry Practice Test 1 starting at this page of this book. Be sure to do so in one sitting, following the instructions that appear before the test.

2. Check Your Answers

  Using the answer key on this page, count how many multiple-choice questions you got right and how many you missed. Don’t worry about the explanations for now, and don’t worry about why you missed questions. We’ll get to that soon.

3. Reflect on the Test

  After you take your first test, respond to the following questions:

How much time did you spend on the multiple-choice questions?

How much time did you spend on each long form free-response question? What about each short form free-response question?

How many multiple-choice questions did you miss?

Do you feel you had the knowledge to address the subject matter of the free-response questions?

Do you feel you wrote well organized, thoughtful answers to the free-response questions?

Circle the content areas that were most challenging for you and draw a line through the ones in which you felt confident/did well.

Big Idea #1: Atoms, Elements, and the Building Blocks of Matter

Big Idea #2: Bonding and Phases

Big Idea #3: Chemical Reactions, Energy Changes, and Redox Reactions

Big Idea #4: Chemical Reactions and their Rates

Big Idea #5: Laws of Thermodynamics and Changes in Matter

Big Idea #6: Equilibrium, Acids and Bases, Titrations and Solubility

4. Read Part III of this Book and Complete the Self-Evaluation

  As discussed previously, Part III will provide information on how the test is structured and scored. As you read Part III, re-evaluate your answers to the questions on the previous page. You will then be able to make a study plan, based on your needs and time available, that will allow you to use this book most effectively.

5. Engage with Parts IV and V as Needed

  Notice the word engage. You’ll get more out of this book if you use it intentionally than if you read it passively, hoping for an improved score through osmosis.

  The strategy chapters will help you think about your approach to the question types on this exam. Part IV will open with a reminder to think about how you approach questions now and then close with a reflection section asking you to think about how/whether you will change your approach in the future.

  The content chapters are designed to provide a review of the content tested on the AP Chemistry Exam, including the level of detail you need to know and how the content is tested. You will have the opportunity to assess your mastery of the content of each chapter through test-appropriate questions.

6. Take Test 2 and Assess Your Performance

  Once you feel you have developed the strategies you need and gained the knowledge you lacked, you should take Test 2, which starts at this page of this book. You should do so in one sitting, following the instructions at the beginning of the test.

  When you are done, check your answers to the multiple-choice sections on this page. See if a teacher will read your answers to the free-response questions and provide feedback.

  Once you have taken the test, reflect on what areas you still need to work on, and revisit the chapters in this book that address those deficiencies. Through this type of reflection and engagement, you will continue to improve.

7. Keep Working

  After you have revisited certain chapters in this book, continue the process of testing, reflecting, and engaging with the second test. Each time, consider what additional work you need to do and how you will change your strategic approach to different parts of the test.



Title Page



Register Your Book Online!

Part I: Using This Book to Improve Your AP Score

Preview Activity: Your Knowledge, Your Expectations

Your Guide to Using This Book

How to Begin

Part II: Practice Test 1

Practice Test 1: Answers and Explanations

Part III: About the AP Chemistry Exam

The Structure of the AP Chemistry Exam

Overview of Content Topics

How AP Exams Are Used

Other Resources

Designing Your Study Plan

Part IV: Test-Taking Strategies for the AP Chemistry Exam

1     How to Approach Multiple-Choice Questions

2     How to Approach Free-Response Questions

Part V: Content Review for the AP Chemistry Exam

3     Big Idea #1: Atoms, Elements, and the Building Blocks of Matter

The Periodic Table


Coulomb’s Law

Photoelectron Spectroscopy

Predicting Ionic Charges

Periodic Trends

Chapter 3 Questions

Chapter 3 Answers and Explanations

4     Big Idea #2: Bonding and Phases

Bonds Overview

Ionic Bonds

Metallic Bonds

Covalent Bonds

Intermolecular Forces

Vapor Pressure

Lewis Dot Structures

Kinetic Molecular Theory

Maxwell-Boltzmann Diagrams


The Ideal Gas Equation

Dalton’s Law

Deviations from Ideal Behavior


Solution Separation

Chapter 4 Questions

Chapter 4 Answers and Explanations

5     Big Idea #3: Chemical Reactions, Energy Changes, and Redox Reactions

Types of Reactions

Chemical Equations

Gravimetric Analysis


Energy Diagrams

Catalysts and Energy Diagrams

Oxidation States

Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

Galvanic Cells

Electrolytic Cells

Chapter 5 Questions

Chapter 5 Answers and Explanations

6     Big Idea #4: Chemical Reactions and Their Rates

Rate Law Using Initial Concentrations

Rate Law Using Concentration and Time

Collision Theory

Beer’s Law

Reaction Mechanisms


Chapter 6 Questions

Chapter 6 Answers and Explanations

7     Big Idea #5: Laws of Thermodynamics and Changes in Matter

Heat and Temperature

State Functions

Enthalpy of Formation, ΔHºf

Bond Energy

Hess’s Law

Enthalpy of Solution

Thermodynamics of Phase Change


Heating Curves


Gibbs Free Energy

Free Energy Change, ΔG

ΔG, ΔH, and ΔS

Voltage and Favorability

Chapter 7 Questions

Chapter 7 Answers and Explanations

8     Big Idea #6: Equilibrium, Acids and Bases, Titrations, and Solubility

The Equilibrium Constant, Keq

Le Châtelier’s Principle

Changes in the Equilibrium Constant

The Reaction Quotient, Q


Acids and Bases Definitions


Acid Strengths

Neutralization Reactions




Chapter 8 Questions

Chapter 8 Answers and Explanations

9     Laboratory Overview

Part VI: Practice Test 2

Practice Test 2: Answers and Explanations

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