AP Physics 1 Exam Information
Why Should I Take the AP Physics Exam? • For college credit • All AP Exams are scored on a scale of 1 – 5. • Most colleges and universities will award you some sort of credit for scoring a 4 or a 5. Some will accept a score of 3. • The test fee is around $89. College courses cost $$$, so there is a good economic reason to take the test. • For your transcript • Even if you don’t score high enough for credit, the fact that you enrolled in an AP course tells admissions committees that you are a high achiever and are serious about your education.
How do I know if my college/university will accept AP credit? • Look it up on the College Board’s website (they administrate the exam):http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/apcreditpolicy/index.jsp • Better yet, contact the registrar’s office or the physics department chair at the college directly. • How can I get more information about the exam? • Go to the College Board’s official website, AP Central: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com
Assessment Overview • Students are expected to: • Solve problems mathematically – including symbolically • Design and describe experiments and analyzed data and sources of error • Explain, reason, or justify answers with emphasis on deeper, conceptual understanding • Interpret and develop conceptual models
The AP Physics 1 Exam is 3 hours. The test is comprised of two parts. • Section I: Multiple Choice • 50 questions; 90 minutes; 50% of score • Discrete items and items in sets • Multimark items (two options are correct) • Section II: Free Response • 5 Questions; 90 minutes; 50% of score • Experimental Design (1 question) • Quantitative/Qualitative Translation (1 question) • Short Answer (3 questions, one requiring a paragraph-length argument)
What about calculators and formula sheets? • The focus of this test is not numbers and equations. • You may use a calculator and an equation sheet, but these will not be very helpful, because far more explanations and verbal responses are required than calculations and numerical answers. • The equation sheet and table of information will be provided with the exam. You may not bring your own.
How is my grade determined? • Each section counts for 50% of the exam. From your composite score, you will be awarded a grade on the 5 point scale. • Historically, it has taken 60-65% of the available points on the exam to earn a 5, and 50% for a 4! • The exam is designed to differentiate between levels of students, and their depth of knowledge.
Helpful Hints • Ignore your grade. Focus on physics! • Don’t bang your head against a brick wall. • Never spend more than 10 minutes staring at a problem without getting somewhere. • Work with other people (but no copying). • Ask questions when you don’t understand something. • And…. • Never forget, “physics is phun!”