Q: How important is it that a student take AP® courses?
A: 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.
Q: Has your course been audited and approved as an AP® course by the College Board?
A: Yes. Our AP® Chemistry course is one of the few online courses audited and approved by the College Board and it strictly adheres to the most recent College Board curriculum requirements. Authorized courses appear on the College Board AP® Course Ledger which is used by admissions officers from higher education institutions and officials at state departments of education to verify student course transcripts. You can find our listing on the Ledger by entering “ChemAdvantage” on the Quick Search line. Approved providers of AP® courses also receive a renewal letter each year authorizing them to affix the AP® designation on student transcripts
Q: What does the College Board recommend as prerequisite courses for AP® Chemistry?
A: First-year high school chemistry and Algebra II
The College Board provides this explanation. "Surveys of students who take the AP® Chemistry Exam indicate that the probability of achieving a grade of 3 or higher is significantly greater for students who successfully complete a first course in high school chemistry prior to undertaking the AP® course. Thus it is strongly recommended that credit in a first-year high school chemistry course be a prerequisite for enrollment in an AP® Chemistry class. In addition, the recommended mathematics prerequisite for an AP® Chemistry class is the successful completion of a second-year algebra course."
Q: What prerequisites do you require for AP® Chemistry?
A: Our AP® Chemistry course requires the following prerequisites:
* First-year high-school chemistry can be waived with teacher permission. Taking AP® Chemistry without a previous chemistry course is only recommended for students who are exceptionally strong in math and/or who have previously performed well in one or more rigorous AP® classes.
Q: Why is it recommended that a student be at least a 9th grader to take AP® Chemistry?
A: The College Board will not allow credit on transcripts for students earlier than 9th grade. Fortunately, homeschooler grade rankings are often fluid and this may not be a problem. Here is the link to the college board bulletin on this.
Q: Why is it recommended that a student be at least 14 years old to take AP® Chemistry?
A: 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 younger students. If there are extenuating circumstances which make it necessary for a younger student to take the course now, we 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.
Q: If I do well in AP® Chemistry, will I be able to earn credit for and/or place out of first-year college chemistry?
A: According to the College Board, thousands of four-year colleges grant credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP® Exam grades, because these grades represent a level of achievement equivalent to that of students who take the corresponding college course. You can check out a specific college's guidelines on accepting AP® scores for credit and placement by searching the College Board's AP® Credit Policy database.
Q: Does the College Board provide special accommodations for students with disabilities?
A: If you have a documented disability, you may be eligible for accommodations during the AP® Exam. You will find specific information at the College Board AP® website.
Q: Is it ok to skip the lab component of your course and still list it as an AP® Chemistry Course on my high school transcript or resume?
A: No. To be considered an authorized AP® Chemistry course, it is required that students have "hands-on" lab experience that meets College Board audit requirements.
Q: If two students in the same family are taking the course, is it ok for them to share a lab kit?
A: Yes. However, lab safety is very important. You will need an extra set of safety glasses.
Q: Where do I find information on registering for the AP® Exam?
A: You will find specific information at the College Board AP® website.
Q: Will I be able to communicate with other students in the class?
A: Yes, we have a highly interactive online discussion board open only to registered students.
Q: Do you provide letters of recommendation to prospective colleges for your students?
A: Yes. Our commitment to our students does not end with the AP® Exam. Colleges want and expect to see recommendation letters from teachers and others who have had experience working with students in an academic environment. When all else is equal between two applications, letters of recommendation that are thoughtfully written with specific examples demonstrating the student's ability, drive and character can play a pivotal role in a prospective college's decision regarding admission.
"According to data from the 2009 College Board’s College Admission and Enrollment Statistics, a majority of colleges and universities ranked counselor and teacher recommendations as one of the most important factors (after grade point average, secondary school record and test scores) in determining which academically qualified students they would choose for admission."
Q: If a student is struggling in class, what can he/she do to get help?
A: We are committed to our students and want them to succeed. Every student has difficulty with some assignments and even top students ask for help. A student who is stuggling to keep up with assignments should take the following steps.
Q: Is the AP® Chemistry course that we found on your ChemAdvantage website the same class that you offer through PA Homeschoolers?
A: Yes, they are one and the same. Once we have accepted a homeschooled student's application, we direct the student to register and pay for the course through PA Homeschoolers. This is advantageous for our homeschooled students in that PA Homeschoolers is a highly respected provider of many online AP® courses for homeschoolers (not just AP® Chemistry) and students often take more than one AP® class. For a small fee, PA Homeschoolers will provide a cumulative transcript listing all of the AP® courses that a student has taken. This transcript can be an important document in the student’s college application package.
Q: Transcripts usually just list courses with their final letter grade. What if I need a detailed grade report for AP® Chemistry in addition to the transcript?
A: If requested, we will be happy to provide detailed grade reports as further proof of your accomplishments. Your Semester 1 (mid-term) report will list all of your assignments (homework, tests, quizzes and labs) with their numeric score and the semester grade. At the end of the year, you will be able to request a comprehensive grade report that includes your work for Semester 1, Semester 2, Final Exam, and Final Course Grade.
Q: May I take your AP® Chemistry course if I am not a homeschooler?
A: Yes. We do accept applications from students in “brick and mortar” public, private, and international schools that do not offer AP® Chemistry. We'll need to know if you plan to have the course listed on your school transcript or if you are just planning to sit for the AP Exam. If you are planning to have the course listed on your transcript, it is your responsibility to get approval from your school.