Five things your AP chemistry teacher could do to maximize your AP score.

1. Finish the content that could be tested on the AP exam.

Right, sounds insane that anything else would happen, right? Who isn’t fulfilling that, absolutely fundamental, responsibility? Answer, a lot of AP Chem teachers aren’t. The reasons usually fall into one of two categories. Either incompetence which is sometimes born out of inexperience so may it be a little unfair to criticize, or the course being insufficiently catered to by the schools scheduling system.

2. Place less emphasis on lab work.

In terms of maximizing AP scores, lab work simply isn’t important. That’s not to say do no labs, but there has to be a sensible and balanced approach. A huge number of inexperienced AP chemistry teachers are placing way too much emphasis on lab work, causing themselves and their students huge stress, and all at the expense of maximizing scores.

3. Build in a period of review.

How many of you right now could honestly give a great answer to an AP question relating to material that you studied 4 months ago? The answer is not many of you, and you need time to revisit material. The review process is a crucial one as you lead up to the exam, as is a good review book.

4. Ignore educational fads.

No homework, SBG, inquiry, etc. all may have their place I suppose, but in an AP chemistry course there is simply not substitute for delivering great content in a traditional manner. AP chemistry is a serious, academic exercise and endeavor, and it benefits from a traditional, lecture style delivery.

5. Put you under time pressure in test situations.

The AP exam IS a timed exercise and not open-ended. Reacting to time pressure is a crucial part of the process, and learning test taking techniques alongside chemistry will help immensely.