If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the rigorous AP Chemistry curriculum, Varsity Tutors is a powerful resource you can use to find experienced AP Chem tutors who can help you work toward your academic goals. The Advanced Placement (AP) program allows high school students to take college-level classes before they graduate. There is also a comprehensive standardized test taken at the end of the school year that allows students to potentially earn college credits they can transfer to their future university, though each school has its own standards on what constitutes a passing grade. A "3" on the exam's 1-5 grading scale is usually considered passing, but some institutions require a 4 or better for full credit.
Naturally, it's important to put your best foot forward in this challenging course. Keep reading to learn more about how working with an AP Chemistry tutor may be able to help you.
How can AP Chemistry tutors help me develop a deeper understanding of academic concepts?
AP classes are notorious for cramming as much information as possible into a single school year, forcing classroom teachers to rush through everything just to cover it all. Worse, chemistry is a discipline where more advanced concepts build on previous topics. If you fail to grasp a certain topic, you also won't understand any of the concepts built off of it.
Your classroom might not be able to accommodate your individual needs, but an AP Chem tutor can. You are free to choose the focus of every study session, allowing you to backtrack to any previous concepts that you lack a complete understanding of before returning to current material. Your instructor will never leave a topic behind without your permission, allowing you to get all of the explanation you need to feel comfortable with a topic.
Furthermore, private AP Chemistry study sessions can proceed at your pace. If you're starting to get bored in class, your instructor can start introducing new material more quickly to keep you active engaged. If it ends up being too much, they can slow things down again until they discover the perfect pace for you.
Your AP Chemistry tutoring sessions can also be designed around your preferred learning style. If you're a visual learner, your instructor might provide infographics to help illustrate key chemical reactions. Meanwhile, a more auditory learner might get more out a lecture that uses oral repetition to emphasize the most important points. If you are a kinesthetic learner, your instructor can even guide you through an at-home experiment to help you understand an important concept.
Your sessions also take place in a one-on-one learning environment where you are your instructor's sole focus. All of your work receives prompt feedback, allowing you to correct any mistakes while the material remains fresh in your mind. Any questions you have can also be answered promptly, allowing you to seek further clarification before a misunderstanding spirals out of control.
Many students also work on their broader study skills during their private instruction. For example, your AP Chem class includes plenty of reading to try to build an understanding of chemical reactions and other topics. If you could stand to retain more of the info you read, your instructor can teach you active reading techniques such as note-taking to help you get more out of it. If anything doesn't make sense to you, you can also jot down any questions you have for your tutor or classroom teacher so that you remember to ask them when the opportunity arises.
AP Chemistry also stresses written communication skills, something you may not have needed to do too much of in a science class before. If you could more articulately express yourself in writing, your instructor may demonstrate how to outline your work before you start trying to compose it. Working from an outline can be a great way to remember all of the information you originally planned to include. It can also save you valuable time when you can look up what you wanted to say next instead of puzzling over it.
Finally, AP Chemistry involves a lot of complicated, Algebra II-level math. Your classroom teacher doesn't have the time to teach you quantitative concepts with so much science to get to, and your math class may not move quickly enough to keep up with the rigors of AP Chemistry. If you feel like your math skills could use a boost, you can complete practice problems during your AP Chemistry tutoring sessions to get the experience you need to feel comfortable working with complex equations.
How can AP Chemistry tutors help me prepare for the AP Exam at the end of the year?
The AP Chemistry Exam covers a diverse array of topics, including how chemical elements are the basic building blocks of matter, how matter can be understood through the arrangement of atoms, how each material's chemical and physical properties are the result of that material's atoms, ions, molecules, and the interactions between them; how the transfer of electrons or rearranging of atoms can affect a substance's physical and chemical properties, factors that may impact the speed of chemical reactions, the laws of thermodynamics, and how chemical attractions and even bonds can be broken.
Memorizing the information above is an important part of AP Chemistry, but not the only part. Students are also expected to know how to approach a problem scientifically, collect valid data from a properly designed experiment, and analyze that data in order to draw valid conclusions. You are also asked to construct models illustrating your findings and apply information across disciplines to reach broader conclusions.
The actual AP Exam lasts three hours and 15 minutes and is divided into two subsections, Section I and Section II. For Section I, you have an hour and a half to answer 60 multiple-choice questions about the topics above. You are not permitted to use a calculator on this section, requiring you to have a strong knowledge of how various formulas work. Thankfully, the multiple-choice format allows you to deduce the correct answer by eliminating answer choices that can't be correct and seeing what's left.
Section II consists of seven questions: three long free response and four shorter free-response items. You are provided with the formulas and a Periodic Table of Elements on this section, placing the emphasis on analysis more so than rote memorization. Test-takers have an hour and 45 minutes to complete all seven questions on this portion of the exam.
Many students choose to take practice exams under realistic test-taking conditions during AP Chemistry tutoring sessions to get a sense for what the time available to them will feel like on the actual assessment. If you find that you cannot reach the end of either section, your instructor may show you time management strategies to help you actually finish the test without opening yourself up to silly mistakes.
Understanding the structure of the test can also help alleviate any test anxiety you may be feeling. Doing well on an AP Exam can earn you college credit and potentially reduce your overall tuition bill, so feeling some pressure is normal. However, if you are in such a state of panic that you're having a hard time concentrating on the question in front of you, your AP Chemistry tutor may teach you meditation techniques to help you calm your nerves on exam day.
Most importantly, your performance on practice exams can help you and your tutor identify where you're progressing and any topics that could use more work. By concentrating on your unique areas of opportunity, you can get more out of every study session than you could by looking at all topics equally.
What makes Varsity Tutors such a powerful resource?
If you were to try to find your own instructor, you would need to identify candidates who understand that AP Chem is far more challenging than regular high school chemistry, ascertain whether each individual has the communication skills required to be an effective teacher, and make sure that your schedules are compatible. Who has time for all of that?
Instead, allow us to find you an instructor who meets all of your academic and scheduling needs in as little as 24 hours. The tutor who we refer you to will have access to our proprietary Live Learning Platform, an online classroom that leverages powerful features such as a virtual whiteboard and video chat functionality to bring face-to-face instruction anywhere with a stable internet connection. Your study sessions will be just as effective as meeting up in person, and you don't have to worry about sitting through traffic just to meet with your instructor. You are also in complete control over when each session takes place, mitigating the extent to which AP Chemistry dictates your life.
If you're ready to get started, please contact an educational consultant using the information on this page to learn more about how to sign up. Varsity Tutors specializes in helping students like you to connect with expert AP Chemistry tutors, so we look forward to hearing from you!