__Some Tips for Success on the AP Exam!__

- Multiple Choice
- The AP Chemistry multiple choice portion is not written in an easy to hard question sequence. I recommend a 3-pass system for multiple choice tests. Start at the beginning. Read the question. If you can answer it immediately, seemingly without thinking, record the answer. If you cannot, go to next question. Repeat this process to the end of the MC questions. Start at the beginning again with those you skipped. If you cannot answer with 10-15 seconds of thought, skip. Proceed to end of section. Return to beginning and work through those you really have to think about. This method will get you all the “easy” points.
- If choice (a) seems to be the right one, don’t spend your time working out the rest of the choices. If you’re not sure, make a note to yourself to go back later and spend more time on the question.
- Remember that you get penalized if you answer a MC question wrong. Use process of elimination with multiple choice questions – if you can’t narrow it down to 2 or 3 choices, you’re probably better off skipping that question.
- With calculation problems on the multiple choice, use estimation:

Ex: (967) (33)/ (22325) » (970) (30)/ (22300) or (1000) (30)/(22000)

Let’s say your choices are (a) 0.25 (b) 0.92 (c) 1.45 (d) 2.65 (e) 3.45

You can eliminate (a) and (b) because the numerator is larger than the denominator. Numerator is approx. 30,000 and 22,000 will not go into 30,000 more than once. So, (c) HAS to be the answer!

- Free Response – Mathematical
- Do NOT do problems in sequence. Read all three problems and start with what you know best. Make sure you get the easy points.
- WRITE NEATLY & BE ORGANIZED! Readers have to read several thousand exams. You may deserve a “5” but earn a “4” because they can’t read or follow your solution to the problem. Make sure your final answer is obvious.
- If you can’t figure out an answer from one part of a question (part a, for example) that is used later in the problem (part c, for example), make up a number. Start the next problem with something like, “Assuming the answer to part a is..”. You will lose credit for part (a), but if you do the rest of the problem correctly with the wrong numbers, you’ll get full credit on the rest of the problem.
- Show ALL work! You may earn partial credit if you show your work.
- Significant figures have to be within +/- 1 sig fig (+/- 2 sig figs for pH). Most answers are reported in 2, 3, or 4 sig figs, so it’s usually safe to report answers with 3 sig figs.
- Even though you only have your calculators for the 1st 50 minutes of the Free Response section, you can return to Part A (the Calculations section) after the 50 minutes is up. I would save any non-calculation questions in Part A until last.

- Free Response – No Math
- Equations
- Read through ALL the net ionic questions first. Do the easy net ionics first, then go back and try the other ones. Don’t just go in order. If you can figure out the products (like in combustion of
__hydrocarbon__equations, where the products are ALWAYS CO_{2}and H_{2}O) you can earn at least 2 points! - Don’t waste your time writing phase symbols – you don’t have to, so don’t do it!

- Read through ALL the net ionic questions first. Do the easy net ionics first, then go back and try the other ones. Don’t just go in order. If you can figure out the products (like in combustion of

- Equations

- Don’t forget about charges in net ionics! Reactants are worth 1 point and have to be totally correct (including charges) to earn the 1 point. Products are worth 2 points and you usually earn 1 point if at least one of the products is correct.

- Verbal
- Do NOT do problems in sequence. Read all three problems and start with what you know best. Make sure you get the easy points.
- WRITE NEATLY! Readers have to read several thousand exams. You may deserve a “5” but earn a “4” because they can’t read your writing.

- Do not use abbreviations (examples: nrg, EA, EN, IE, etc) in your free response answers unless you define the abbreviation! Do not assume the readers will know what you mean if you say “The nrg increases.”

In general, remember the “KISS” rule of thumb. Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one.