Should You Take an AP Exam for Chemistry?

By Teresa Cooney

Q. “Anyone know if it's better to take the AP test or redo the course in university? I am pretty sure I can pass it, but is Chem 12 really important basics (I love chem, and get really high marks usually)?” (J. Malone)

A. Taking the AP exam for your Chemistry course would afford you the most options in your first year.

If you score a 4 or higher, you will be granted an equivalent Chemistry credit, but most universities (if not all) will allow you to forfeit the equivalent credit you would be granted.  In other words, if you take the Chemistry exam and are given credit for it by a university, you can still decide to take that Chemistry course anyway. Many universities in Ontario will only grant up to 3 equivalent credits for AP courses anyway, so you really need to do some research on the universities you'll be applying to and what their policies are with regard to AP courses. You may also discover the program that you're entering requires a different first year Chemistry course from the one you're granted.

When it comes time to choose your courses at university, you may be very happy to have that Chemistry equivalency because it may allow you to take an amazing elective which may only be timetabled during that chemistry class.

So to sum up, you've got nothing to lose by taking the AP exam (except the exam fee).

Teresa Cooney currently counsels high school students in Newmarket, Ontario.

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