AP Chemistry

In 2018 I taught AP Chemistry to 10 homeschool high school students in my home.  None of them had previously taken a Chemistry course, and our pace was rigorous.  Seven of the students ultimately chose to take the exam, and I was proud of all of them for their hard work.  Though, many of the parents and students were very frustrated with the speed of our class.

We expected a minimum of six hours each week of homework.  The students were asked to self-score their preparation.  If their preparation was insufficient more than twice in eight weeks, they would not be allowed to continue in the class.

We met for two hours once a week for 30 weeks.  We could’ve used three times as much time together.  Most of our time together was spent on lab work.  We needed more time for our homework and lecture.  I used Canvas to coordinate our assignments, but had students turn in their homework on paper each week.


Chemistry the Central Science by Brown, Lemay, Bursten, Murphy, and Woodward. 12th edition.

  • I was so grateful for the solutions manual!
  • Many teachers choose to start with the chapters on the Periodic table rather than starting at the beginning.  We actually chose to start with chapter 1.  Since my students had not previously taken a Chemistry course, they were drowning.

Review Books:

  • Barron’s Get whatever edition is newest. I disliked their practice questions and the amount of subject matter that isn’t tested, yet I do like the cumulative review and their well done explanations with pictures. 
  • REA My daughter loved this review book! She read it through in March and made a whole bunch of things to hang up on my walls and mirror and door. This really helped her to have reminders of AP Chem stuff in places she usually looks. I recommend that you learn all the topics from somewhere else and then use this book only as review.  The author doesn’t go into in-depth explanations, instead, he outlines all you need to know. 


CK01A Home Scientist Kit
This lab kit is meant for only one or two students.  We supplemented the lab materials with extra test tubes, goggles, and materials from some of the families in our co-op.  There were plenty of chemicals to do the experiments.  We typically did the work in three teams of three or four students each.

Online Resources:

  • Bozeman Science I don’t think you should watch all of them, but do watch the videos for topics you are struggling on. I, for example, watched many of the kinetics and thermodynamics videos and found it really helped.
  • Crash Course This is by far the best video set for AP Chem. Watch them! I watched the entropy and enthalpy videos quite a lot and it really helped me.
  • Adrian Dingle Multiple Choice has good information, supported by topic.
  • Varsity tutors I found I really struggled with online practice tests so I did not use very many of these
  • Question of the day which I HIGHLY recommend doing throughout the year. (https://www.practicequiz.com/ap-chemistry-exam-prep/question-of-the-day or http://www.learnapchemistry.com/potd/problem.php)
  • Khan Academy I didn’t find super helpful but sometimes I would use this.
  • Albert.io If I had unlimited budget I totally would have purchased an account, since I liked the free sample questions. Even without that unlimited budget still check them out.  They cost $40 for access, which seems like a lot.
  • Plainfield AP Chem  Even though his videos don’t have lots of views, I felt they were very informative.  

Pleasure Reading:

Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
Elements by Theodore Gray

Study Strategies and Extra Tips From My Child:

  • Keep up with your homework!
  • Do stoichiometry in your sleep.
  • No need for flashcards, but do post notes of key concepts around the house: on your mirror, on your bed frame, in your closet.
  • Be familiar with your Periodic table and the equation sheet you are given.
  • Know how to do your experiments; do your labs!
  • Know how to do quick mental math but don’t stress about it.  Even though you can’t have a calculator on the multiple choice portion, it was OK.
  • Practice multiple choice and a lot of Free Response. I did a Free Response section once a week for the two months preceding the test.
  • Know your fundamentals: Lewis Structures, Bonding Properties and Periodic Trends. 
  • Focus on a couple areas and become super confident in them( i.e. Rate laws, Thermodynamics, Bonding…)
  • Do not underestimate the multiple choice, the have the same weight as your Free Response.
  • Most of all: Start reviewing early!


 I structured our pace based on example syllabi I found online.

Chapter 1: Matter and MeasurementSession I-1: Recrystallization
9/21Chapter 2: Atoms, Molecules, and Ions
9/28Chapter 3: Stoichiometry
10/5Chapter 4: Reactions in Aqueous SolutionsSession III-1: Observe a Composition ReactionSession I-3: Solvent ExtractionSession I-4: Salting Out
10/12ReviewSession I-2: Chromatography
10/19ReviewSession II-3: Colligative Properties of Solutions: Boiling Point
10/26Chapter 6: Electronic Structure of AtomsSession II-2: Conductance of Ionic and Molecular Solutes
11/2Chapter 7: Periodic Properties of the ElementsSession III-2: Observe a Decomposition Reaction and Session III-3: Observe a Single Replacement Reaction
11/9Chapter 8: Basic Concepts of Chemical BondingSession III-4: Observe Double Replacement Reactions
11/16Chapter 9: Molecular GeometrySession III-5: Stoichiometry of Double Displacement Reactions
11/30Chapter 5: ThermochemistrySession VIII-1: Observe the Pressure-Volume
12/7Chapter 10: GasesSession VIII-3: Determine Gas Mass Ratios by Effusion
12/14Chapter 11: Liquidsno lab
1/4Chapter 12: Solidsno lab
1/11Chapter 13: SolutionsSession IX-1: Determine Heat of Solution
1/18Reviewno lab
1/25Chapter 14: Kinetics (A)Session VI-2: Determining the Effect of a Catalyst on Reaction
2/1Chapter 14: Kinetics (B)Session VI-3: Determining a Reaction Order
2/8Chapter 15: EquilibriumSession VII-1: Observe Le Châtelier’s Principle in Action
2/15Chapter 16: Acid-Base EquilibriaSession VII-2: Determine a Solubility Product Constant
2/22Chapter 16: Acid-Base EquilibriaSession V-1: Determine the Effect of Concentration on pH
3/1Chapter 17:Additional Aqueous EquilibiraSession VII-3: Observe the Characteristics of a Buffer Solution
3/8Chapter 17:Additional Aqueous EquilibiraSession V-2: Determine the Molarity of Vinegar by Titration
3/15Chapter 19: Chemical ThermodynamicsSession IX-4: Determine the Enthalpy Change of a Reaction
3/22Chapter 20: Electrochemistry (A)Session X-1: Observe Electrolysis
4/5Chapter 20: Electrochemistry (B)Session X-2: Observe the Electrochemical Oxidation of Iron
4/12Chapter 24: Chemistry of LifeSession IV-1: Observe Oxidation States of Manganese
4/19ReviewSession XI-1: Photochemical Reaction of Iodine and Oxalate