UTC: Friday, January 20th, 2017

Online AP Chemistry Review Courses 2017

In the Spring of 2017 I will be offering the inaugural, Online AP Chemistry Review Courses for AP Chemistry STUDENTS. For many years I have offered the very popular Online AP Chemistry Summer Workshops for teachers, and now it’s time to boost AP scores from a student point of view. I will offer two, independent, six […]

Here’s the annual, November bonding rant!

Maybe I teach this topic really, really badly. I think what’s closer to the truth, is that it takes time for kids to get a good handle on the semantics and language of bonding terminology. Teaching AP Chemistry to sophomores that have no chemistry background, in one year, doesn’t afford us that luxury. I’ve written […]

Which R do I use?

Which R do I use? It’s a common question for chemistry students, and when it comes to the AP chemistry exam there is a choice of values for the ‘Universal’ Gas Constant. Currently appearing on an AP formula sheet near you, one can find the following; a. R = 8.314 J mol-1 K-1 b. R […]

No biologists, breaking bonds does NOT ‘release energy’

An age old problem that I’ve become a little weary of addressing, so let’s clear this up really quickly and really simply. No biologists, breaking bonds does NOT ‘release energy’, and here’s why. Bond breaking is an endothermic process (+ve), and bond making is an exothermic process (-ve). All chemical reactions involve both processes, and […]

Bonding answers AGAIN! Grrr…

I’ve just finished grading a test on bonding done by my AP students, and as usual, there are several issues relating to the phraseology and wording of their answers that need to be corrected. I’ve addressed these problems previously here (and you should read that post first), and I’ve also written similar posts in relation […]

Subscriber Updates (11-13-15)

A couple of minor tweaks to the references, and one typo fixed, in the UNIT 02 notes.  

Can formal charge **actually** be examined on the new AP exam?

Formal charge is something that I’ve written about in an AP context on more than one previous occasion, and you can read those posts here and here. This week, formal charge came up in conversation once more, and in the course of that discussion, something else caught me eye. Formal charge is definitely part of […]

More, potentially useless Wordles

I recently re-visited the Wordles that I first produced in June of 2013 for the original versions of my AP Chemistry notes for Big Ideas 1-6. You can read about them here. Before I update those Wordles again to reflect the newer versions of the notes more than 2 years down the road (which I […]

Effect of lone pairs in VSEPR now irrelevant to the AP exam??

I’m not sure, but there is evidence to suggest that just might be the case. There’s a nagging irony about the LO’s in the new AP Chemistry curriculum when compared to the hopelessly inadequate course descriptions of the legacy exam. It’s something that I’ve been talking about since the inception of the new course, and […]

Choosing between resonance and hybridization

A question came up on the College Board’s AP chemistry discussion group recently that I have seen many times before (including many variations of the same), and that often confuses students. It usually looks something like this; The fact that the nitrogen-to-oxygen bond lengths in the nitrite ion are all the same, can be attributed […]