Question of the Week: AP Chem 4 - What Next?

Friday, Sep 13, 2019

Question: I took AP Chemistry as a high school sophomore and received a 4 on the exam. I'm not really sure that I'm prepared to take CHM 202 or CHM 215 in the spring, but I also have a lot of interests and would rather not take a course where I already know a lot of the information. What do you recommend?

Answer: We'd recommend chatting with a faculty member in Chemistry to see if they can help you gauge the strength of your AP preparation. Generally, we recommend moving forward rather than repeating material that you've already received credit for, especially since, as you noted, there are so many interesting courses and disciplines to explore, prerequisites take up quite a bit of space, and we want you to make the most of your liberal arts curriculum. But, we also don't want you to struggle through chem in the spring to such a degree that in hindsight you wish you had taken CHM 201.

Consider sitting in on the first class, reading through the syllabus to see how much of it is familiar, chatting with HPA Peer Advisers or other older peers about their experience with the class, and discussing you preparation with the CHM 201 professor and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies. If you're fairly sure that you'll decide to use your AP credit, it doesn't hurt to also attend the course you'd take in place of CHM 201 -- you have the first two weeks of classes to decide what you want to do, but starting two weeks behind in that replacement class can be challenging. We're happy to talk this over in more detail with you if you'd like to come by!