Aditi Bhaskar

AP Chemistry is extremely fun and rewarding!!

Students react to AP Chemistry!

AP Chemistry, taught by Ms. Kilpatrick, is often advertised as one of the hardest AP Science courses to take. It’s an expansion on General Chemistry. You learn about everything from electrons to entropy to electrolysis – and a few terms that don’t start with “e” as well. 

There are a wide range of students taking AP Chemistry this year – from sophomores to seniors – including a few who haven’t taken General Chemistry before.

“Taking General Chemistry probably provides a helpful range of background knowledge but it’s doable (yet time intensive!) to keep up via self-studying,” says Sophomore Aasha Patel who’s coming into AP Chemistry without a General Chemistry background. However, she spends about 45 minutes a night on AP Chemistry homework while some seniors take one to three hours!

Senior Ellie Kim says time spent on homework “depends on individual choice to study for upcoming tests and quizzes, and assigned homework.” 

Ms. Kilpatrick, the AP Chemistry teacher, “administers quizzes every week,” says Senior Teddy Skyler. He adds that the structure of the class is “very solid. Chemistry is very technical and challenging but also interesting.” 

Wavelength lab! (Photo Credit: Ellie Kim)

There’s also a “lab every Tuesday,” says Aasha. “Everything is structured and so there aren’t many surprises.” In addition, “Ms. Kilpatrick is awesome and you have retake/revision opportunities on almost everything so it’s hard to not do well.”

Besides exams and assignments, Ellie says that the classroom itself is full of “people to aid and support you. There are minimal lectures, and the majority of the work is posted in the AP classroom along with practice exams, video courses, and other background material.”

Although Aasha is a sophomore taking AP Chemistry and at times she “feels like she’s behind,” she knows a few people in the class and mentioned that everyone is nice! Aasha says she likes “how although the class feels laid back, we are still progressing steadily through the course. At the rate we’re moving, I feel that I’ve learned a lot more than in any other classes this year. I’m especially looking forward to applying the material covered in Chemistry to ISEF projects.”

Ellie sees Chemistry as “essential to understanding our world. It can even involve many other careers such as food/flavor, hazardous waste, forensics, [and] geology.” Teddy says Chemistry “really makes you re-examine how the sciences relate to one another.”

There are Chemistry applications in all the other AP Science classes too: Biochem in AP Biology, electron masses and charges in AP Physics C: E/M, and more! While there are various reasons to take an AP Science class, AP Chemistry is special in many, many ways. If you’re interested, forecast for it next year!