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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 Overview


Exam questions are based on learning objectives, which combine science practices with specific content. Students learn to

  • Solve problems mathematically  including symbolically;
  • Design and describe experiments;
  • Perform data and error analysis;
  • Explain, reason, or justify answers; and
  • Interpret and develop conceptual models.

Students have a periodic table of the elements and a formula and constants chart to use on the entire exam. In addition, students may use a scientific calculator on the free-response section.

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

Format of Assessment

Section I: Multiple Choice: 60 Questions | 90 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Discrete items
  • Items in sets

Section II: Free Response: 7 Questions | 105 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Three long- and four short-answer questions. The seven questions ensure the assessment of the following skills: experimental design, quantitative/qualitative translation, analysis of authentic lab data and observations to identify patterns or explain phenomena, creating or analyzing atomic and molecular views to explain observations, and following a logical/analytical pathway to solve a problem.

Multiple-Choice Questions

For sample multiple-choice questions, refer to the AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description (.pdf/1.96MB).

Free-Response Questions

Free-Response Questions 2015 2014

2015: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions
Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

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. These questions do not reflect the redesigned AP Chemistry Exam administered for the first time in May 2014, but the question types are the same and the topics similar, making them a valuable resource for students and teachers. 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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