Oklahoma Requirements for Passing High School Chemistry | General Chemistry 1

Is Chemistry Required in High School in Oklahoma?

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education and state law, high school students — whether pursuing a standard diploma or the College Pre/WorkReady program —  must receive 3 Science credits that meet the requirements as follows:

  • 1 credit – Biology I or Biology I taught in a contextual methodology; and 
  • 2 credits — In the area of life, physical, or earth science or technology which may include, but are not limited to the following chemistry-related courses: Chemistry I, Biology II, Chemistry II, Physical Science, Botany, Physiology, Applied Biology/Chemistry, Plant and Soil Science, and more.

Oklahoma High School Chemistry Standards



Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms. Clarification Statement: Examples could include trends in ionization energy, atomic radius, or electronegativity. Examples of properties that could be predicted from patterns could include reactivity of metals, types of bonds formed, numbers of bonds formed, and ion formation. 


Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties, and formation of compounds. Clarification Statement: Periodic trends (ionization energy, electronegativity, reactivity), patterns of valence electrons, and classifying reaction types should be utilized when constructing and revising explanations for the prediction of products (e.g. synthesis/combination, decomposition, combustion, single displacement, double displacement, oxidation/reduction, and/or acid/base).   


Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale level to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on understanding the relative strengths of forces between particles, not on naming specific intermolecular forces (such as dipole-dipole). Examples of particles could include ions, atoms, molecules, and networked materials (such as graphite). Examples of bulk properties of substances could include the melting point and boiling point, vapor pressure, and surface tension. The intent of the performance expectation is limited to evaluation of bulk-scale properties and not microscale properties. 


Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the idea that a chemical reaction is a system that involves an overall change in energy that is due to the absorption of energy when bonds are broken and the release of energy when new bonds are formed. Examples of models could include molecular-level drawings and diagrams of reactions, graphs showing the relative energies of reactants and products, and representations showing energy is conserved. 


Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the conditions of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on student reasoning that focuses on the number and energy of collisions between molecules (Collision Theory). Examples of reaction conditions that affect rate could include temperature, concentration, surface area/particle size, pressure, or the addition of a catalyst. 


Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce a change in the amounts of products at equilibrium.* Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the qualitative application of Le Châtelier’s Principle and on refining designs of chemical reaction systems, including descriptions of the connection between changes made at the macroscopic level and what happens at the molecular level. Designs may include ways to achieve the desired effect on a system at equilibrium by changing temperature, pressure, and/or adding or removing reactants or products. 


Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction. Clarification Statement: Mathematical representations could include balanced chemical equations that represent the laws of conservation of mass and constant composition (definite proportions) and mass-to-mass stoichiometry. The mole concept and stoichiometry are used to show proportional relationships between masses of reactants and products.


Develop models to illustrate the changes in composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decay. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on qualitative models, such as pictures or diagrams, and on the scale of energy released in nuclear processes relative to other kinds of transformations. Examples of nuclear processes could include the formation of elements through fusion in stars, generation of electricity in a nuclear power plant, or the use of radioisotopes in nuclear medicine.


Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure of designed materials determines how the material functions.* Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the attractive and repulsive forces that determine the functioning of the material. Examples could include why electrically conductive materials are often made of metal, flexible but durable materials are made up of long-chained molecules, and pharmaceuticals are designed to interact with specific receptors. Scientific and technical information should include molecular structures of specific designed materials and limit comparison to two substances of the same type. 


Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.* Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on both qualitative and quantitative evaluations of devices. Sources of energy could include those from chemical or nuclear reactions. Examples of devices could include lemon or potato clock, a voltaic cell (batteries), hand warmers, solar panels/solar ovens, and nuclear power generation through simulations.  Examples of constraints placed on a device could include the cost of materials, types of materials available, having to use renewable energy, an efficiency threshold, and time to build and/or operate the device.   


Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy between components in a closed system involves changes in energy dispersal and heat content and results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics). Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on analyzing data from student investigations and using mathematical thinking to describe the thermal energy changes both quantitatively and conceptually. Examples of investigations could include calorimetry (i.e., dissolving a substance in water, mixing two solutions, and combining two components) where students measure temperatures and calculate heat.  


Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using mathematical relationships to understand how various media change the speed of waves. Examples of different media that could be explored include electromagnetic radiation traveling in a vacuum or glass, sound waves traveling through air or water, or seismic waves traveling through Earth. 


Develop an argument for how scientific evidence supports the explanation that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by the wave model or the particle model, and in some situations one model is more useful than the other. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how the experimental evidence supports the claim and how a theory is generally modified in light of new evidence. Examples of a phenomenon could include resonance, interference, diffraction, and the photoelectric effect.


Does Oklahoma Award Credit for Passing the AP Chemistry Exam?

The Oklahoma Department of  Education incentivizes students to take AP courses to receive grants and credit toward college courses. To determine if a score qualifies for college credit, it is best to reach out to the school directly.