How important is it that a student take AP® courses? According to the College Board,
eighty-five percent of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP® experience favorably impacts admission decisions. In addition to giving students a competitive edge, there are a number of other benefits for students taking AP® classes.
How important is it that a student take AP® Chemistry? An AP Chemistry course provides students with a college-level foundation to support future advanced coursework in chemistry. Also, many colleges use chemistry to "weed" students out of their programs. Students who have taken AP Chemistry have a competitive edge over those students who have not had the benefit of AP Chemistry in high school. I no longer think of AP® as "Advanced Placement" but rather “Absolute Prerequisite” for students who are going into any rigorous college chemistry course, especially if they are planning for premed or any one of the 48 careers that require a foundation in chemistry. I get constant feedback from former students majoring in medicine, biochemistry, chemical engineering, veterinary medicine, etc. who say that AP Chemistry was instrumental in gaining acceptance to the college of their choice – most of which are top-tier schools. I've even had students report back to me that they used my chapter summaries and other course materials to study for her MCATs.
Has your course been audited and approved by the College Board? Yes. Our AP® Chemistry course is one of the few online courses audited and approved by the College Board and strictly adheres to the most recent curriculum requirements for AP® Chemistry. Approved providers of AP® courses receive a renewal letter each year authorizing them to affix the AP® designation on student transcripts. You can find our course description/syllabus and renewal letter for the
2021-2022 school year under "Course Documents". Authorized courses also appear on the College Board AP® Course Ledger which is used by admissions officers from higher education institutions to verify student course transcripts. You can find our listing on the Ledger by entering “ChemAdvantage” on the Quick Search line.
What are the eligibility requirements for your AP® Chemistry course? Students who wish to be successful in AP® Chemistry should have the following qualifications:
* First-year chemistry can be waived for students who are exceptionally strong in math.
Is your course asynchronous? Yes, within limits. The course has a fixed start date in late August and ends in early May when students take the AP exam. Students cannot begin the class earlier than the August start date, nor can we extend the course beyond the May exam date.
However, the course is asynchronous in that students do not need to be logged in at specific times. Work is assigned on Monday and is due the following Monday, allowing students to work at their own pace during the week. All of the materials including video lectures, demonstrations, and assignments are available 24/7. Because students can access the classroom website 24/7, time zones are not a problem. We have students across all time zones, and the assignment due dates are based on Central Time. Students appreciate the flexibility that the course provides in that it doesn't interfere with their other courses and extracurricular activities.
Does your AP® Chemistry course have live sessions? No. I can see how Zoom and other
live-session software would be useful in courses such as AP US History or AP English Literature where discussion and/or debate can be valuable. But, since chemistry is mostly problem-solving and memorization that require individual focus, I’ve found that it’s best for my students to work independently on their chemistry problem sets and then use my interactive discussion board to ask their specific questions. I've found that my discussion board is a much more efficient way for students to get personalized help quickly. A student who is having difficulty with a question can take a snapshot of their work and post it directly into the discussion thread for that topic. My TAs and I (and even other students) respond to the questions quickly. Even though I don't have live sessions, I do post short, highly focused videos for each week's topic. I've found that my video lectures and demonstrations work very well since students can replay them as needed.
May I take your course even though I am not a homeschooler? Yes. We do accept students in “brick and mortar” public, private, and international schools. If you are planning to have our course listed on your transcript, it is your responsibility to get permission from your school. Then, you just need to put us in contact with your school and we will take care of the rest. Because we have an online gradebook that is updated daily, we can easily match your school's grading policy. We also accept students who are taking the course outside of school to prepare for the AP Chemistry exam and who do not require a transcript.
Do you provide practice tests for the AP Chemistry exam or does the student have to purchase review books or use other outside resources? Students do not need any supplemental materials for my course. I recommend that they do not use outside resources as they are often out-of-date. All of my homework questions, quizzes, and tests are AP-level. Our year-end, 4-week review consists of a number of practice exams that I have created that look just like the real exam both in content and format. Students also take a number of AP Chemistry exams which have been released by the College Board only to teachers who have passed the audit. By the end of the year, students are fully prepared to do well on the AP exam.
Do you write letters of recommendation for your students? Yes, my commitment to students does not end with the AP Exam. I know from my many years of teaching experience that teacher recommendations can be very important to the admissions process, and I keep detailed records on my students so that when I write a recommendation, I can provide specific examples of the student’s accomplishments.
I am an international student and would not be be able to get a chemistry lab kit shipped to my location. Will I still be able to complete the lab component of the course? Yes. I recognize that Quality Science Labs cannot ship the lab kit to all locations and that some students may not be able to obtain the kit for other reasons. Therefore, I have created a video for each lab showing the complete lab and data collected thus allowing students to analyze the data, do their lab write-ups, and complete the online lab assignments. There is no fee for the virtual labs.
Do you offer a summer course for AP® Chemistry? No. AP® Chemistry is the equivalent of a first-year college chemistry course and, as such, could not be covered over a summer. Even the brightest students with a strong first-year chemistry background could not study AP® Chemistry during such a short period of time. It takes a full 10 months to cover the College Board AP® Chemistry curriculum and allow time for an intensive 4-week review during which students take actual AP® exams that have been released by the College Board only to teachers who have passed their audit. You can find my College Board-approved syllabus, renewal letter, and
36-week schedule for the 2021-2022 school year under "Course Documents".
Colleges today assume that students have already taken an AP® Chemistry course prior to admission. For that reason, first-year college chemistry courses move at a notoriously fast pace. Students who come into college chemistry without the benefit of AP® Chemistry tend to wash out very quickly. Therefore, I strongly recommend that students take AP® Chemistry prior to starting college. Not only will they be ready for college chemistry, they will have a competitive edge over those students who have not taken AP® Chemistry.
Why is it recommended that a student be at least age 14 and in 9th grade or above to take AP® Chemistry?
AP® Chemistry is the equivalent of first-year college chemistry. Taking the course too soon before enrollment in college can leave a “science gap” for students younger than 15. If there are extenuating circumstances that make it necessary for a younger student to take the course now, I strongly advise parents to see if they can schedule a chemistry-related follow-up course(s) after AP® Chemistry that will allow the student to continue their chemistry education before starting college. Some colleges open organic chemistry or biochemistry courses (summer or during the school year) to high school students who are ready for advanced study. These programs should be ones that have a regular lab component where a student would get a chance to work with lab equipment and instrumentation. The College Board will not allow credit on transcripts for students earlier than 9th grade.