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WRITING AP* NET IONIC EQUATIONS
AP equation sets are found in the free-response section of the AP test.
You are
given eight equations and you must choose to answer five of these.** The equations
are of mixed types.
The section is worth 15 points and is 15 % of the free response
grade.
Free response is 55% of the total AP test grade.
All AP equations "work".
In each case, a reaction will occur.
These equations
need to be written in net ionic form.
All spectator ions must be left out and all ions
must be written in ionic form.
All molecular substances and nonsoluble compounds
must be written together (not ionized!).
Weak electrolytes, such as acetic acid, are not
ionized.
Solids and pure liquids are written together, also.
A saturated solution is written in ionic form while a suspension is written together.
AP equations do not need to be balanced.
Don't waste your time on balancing!
Each equation is worth a total of 3 points.
One point is given for the correct
reactants and two points for all correct products.
If a reaction has three products, one
point is given for two correct products and two points for all correct products. Leaving
in the spectator ions will result in a one point deduction on the equation set (not 1 point
per problem).
The best way to prepare for the equation section of the AP test is to practice lots
of equations.
The equation sets are similar and some equations show up year after
year.
When you are reading an equation, first try to classify it by type.
If it says
anything about acidic or basic solution, it is redox. If you are totally stuck, look up the
compounds in the index of your book or other reference books and try to find
information that will help you with the equation.
All reactions do not fit neatly into the
five types of reactions that you learned in Chemistry I. Save the reactions that you
write and practice them again before the AP test in May.
Kristen Henry Jones 01/28/99
** There was a format change in 2007.
Now students are given 3 equations and only
3 equations, each worth 5 points.
They must write the net ionic equation (3 points total:
1 point for
set of
reactants and 2 points for products), balance the net ionic equation
( the 4
th
point), and answer a descriptive question about the reaction (the 5
th
and final
point). The methods presented in this document still hold true, but be sure and require
students to balance the equations by mass and charge even though they are not balanced
on the key!

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