Ok so the exam is less than a month away, but don’t freak out! We’ve gathered some tips from former AP Physics students that will help put you at ease for the upcoming AP Physics 1 and Physics 2 exams. From mechanical waves to thermodynamics, these former students know what they’re talking about.
TIP #1: "I personally thought the multiple choice questions on the May SAT II were more difficult than the ones on the AP test which surprised me (but it may have just been that month's test). Overall, I think the class doesn't live up to the reputation that may people give it as a brutal, year long journey through hell, and the mathematical side of the subject is fairly simple (basically manipulating formulas) while the conceptual side is tougher but the degree of toughness depends on how good your teacher is." - conservativearts
TIP #2: "I bought myself a Princeton Review AP Physics B preparation book and went through all of the 17 chapters. Now that this test is no longer being administered, I recommend you get a Princeton Review AP Physics 1 preparation book. I felt that this prep book over-prepared me for both the multiple choice and free response sections because most of the questions for both sections were extremely difficult. However, this is not something to be overwhelmed by. The AP exam does not ask questions as difficult as those but knowing how to answer those questions will literally make some of the sections on the exam a breeze. At the end of the book are two practice exams and even though I skipped doing them, I suggest you do them and go over all of your mistakes." - PhysicsLover16
TIP #3: "Princeton Review is the king of Review textbooks (in my very skewed opinion). Barron's is too un-succinct, often providing unnecessary information (the Calculus BC book, for example, has a section on power series involving imaginary numbers, which is just lol-worthy). 5-steps-to-a-5, in my opinion, is literally a review book. Meaning, if you realize you don't know a topic very well at all, it won't teach it to you. I think Princeton Review provides the best combination of "cutting to the chase" while still retaining self-studyability." - kyuutoryuu
TIP #4: "The questions in the barron's book are MUCH easier than actual AP questions. Most of the questions in that book only require you to use basic formulas (V=IR, net force=ma, 1/2mv^2=mgh) to solve the problems while actual AP problems require a lot more reasoning." - HeyyeYayYaay
TIP #5: "The exam really requires you to reason through the test and use your intelligence. Some of my friends getting near perfects on MC have literally no work shown for some of the tp questions, while I'm trying to derive formulas and do calculations. For the FRQ, you should be able to connect qualitative reasoning with the quantitative calculations. The latter of which is much easier than the former for me at least. Expect to get some points taken off for FRQ, because the grading rubric is really specific. All I can say is review labs that you've done throughout the year, and try to understand the concepts subjectively rather than objectively. I think that those that are good at SAT/ACT will do really well on this exam, if that's helpful." - ILDoctor
TIP #6: "Although I had a phenomenal physics teacher, I did a sufficient amount of self-studying which I truly believe helped significantly. First, I read through my physics textbook religiously. The textbook that my teacher used was Giancoli Physics 6th Edition. This is an excellent textbook. After each chapter my teacher covered, I read the chapter in the textbook by myself and solved most of the problems at the end of the chapter. Doing this helped me not only understand the concepts, but also applying it to solve problems. With that being said, I highly recommend using this textbook as one way to prepare for the exam. Another textbook that you can use is the Cutnell & Johnson Physics textbook. It even comes with DVDs for additional information. This is also a great textbook." - PhysicsLover16