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Home > AP Courses and Exams > AP Exam Information > The AP Chemistry Exam

The AP Chemistry Exam

AP Chemistry Exam Timing Change

Beginning with the May 2015 AP Chemistry Exam, the free-response section of the exam will be extended by 15 minutes. The timing of the multiple-choice section and the number of questions in both sections will remain unchanged:

  • Section I: 60 multiple-choice questions, 90 minutes
  • Section II: 7 free-response questions, 105 minutes

The overall exam time will now be 3 hours, 15 minutes.

Exam Content

The AP Chemistry Exam consists of two sections: multiple choice and free response. Both sections include questions that assess the students' understanding of the big ideas, enduring understandings, and essential knowledge, and how they can be applied through the science practices. These may include questions on the use of modeling to explain chemistry principles, the use of mathematical processes to explain concepts, making predictions and justifying phenomena, experimental design, and manipulation and interpretation of data.

The exam is 3 hours, 15 minutes long and includes both a 90-minute multiple-choice section and a 105-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for half of each student's exam grade, and the free-response section accounts for the other half.

The AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2013(.pdf/1.96MB) provides complete details about the exam

Section I: Multiple-Choice Section

Section I consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, either as discrete questions or question sets, that represent the knowledge and science practices outlined in the AP Chemistry Curriculum Framework, which students should understand and be able to apply. Question sets are a new type of question: they provide a stimulus or a set of data and a series of related questions.

Section II: Free-Response Section

Section II contains two types of free-response questions (short and long), and each student will have a total of 105 minutes to complete all of the questions. This section also contains questions pertaining to experimental design, analysis of authentic lab data and observations to identify patterns or explain phenomena, creating or analyzing atomic and molecular views to explain observations, articulating and then translating between representations, and following a logical/analytical pathway to solve a problem.

Beginning with the May 2014 administration of the AP Chemistry Exam, multiple-choice questions contain four answer options, rather than five. This change saves students valuable time without altering the rigor of the exam in any way. A student's total score on the multiple-choice section is based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers or unanswered questions.

AP Chemistry Exam Format

Section I
Question Type Number of Questions Timing
Multiple Choice 60 90 minutes
Section II
Long Free Response 3 105 minutes
Short Free Response 4

Sample Exam Questions

For sample exam questions, refer to the AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2013 (.pdf/1.6MB). Exam questions can be found on the pages listed below.

Sample Multiple-Choice Exam Questions:
  • Pages 118 - 136
Sample Free-Response Exam Questions:
  • Pages 137 - 150

Free-Response Questions 2014

2014: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics
Sample Responses Q1
Sample Responses Q2
Sample Responses Q3
Sample Responses Q4
Sample Responses Q5
Sample Responses Q6
Sample Responses Q7
Score Distributions

Past AP Chemistry Exam Questions

The College Board provides free-response questions from past AP Chemistry Exams. Included with the questions are scoring guidelines, sample student responses, and commentary on those responses, as well as exam statistics and the Student Performance Q&A (Chief Reader's Report) for the May 2013 administrations and before.

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