AP Physics?

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: July 2004 Archive: AP Physics?
By Scorp (Scorp) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 05:40 pm: Edit

Say I was taking AP Physics next year, and I don't know calculus should I take AP Physics B or C? I'd rather take B because it's full year. What's easier B or C? Which text book (not prep-book) should I use? Which prep book? Any advice or resources?


By Chidimma (Chidimma) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit

what's the difference between Physics B and C?

By Scorp (Scorp) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit

That's basically the essence of my question.

By Chidimma (Chidimma) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 05:52 pm: Edit

haha. I feel dumb.

By Bruintobe (Bruintobe) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 06:00 pm: Edit

Physics C involves calculus and is geared more towards engineers whereas Physics B does not require you knowing calculus and I think is more broad based (for most people, easier). That being said, you should definitely take Physics B.

By Scorp (Scorp) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 06:02 pm: Edit

Ok good, which books should I use for Physics B?

By Gmf05 (Gmf05) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 06:27 pm: Edit

If you mean textbook - [I think it's by] Johnson & Kutnell. Or something like that. It's simply called Physics and is the Sixth Edition I believe. If you look on half.com you can find it. It has snowboarders on the cover. It's a good book.

IMO, Don't bother with any prep books. The material isn't very hard. I only learned the actual material from our [really awful] teacher and very seldom read the book. From [slight]personal experience, the book explains well. I did do the homework; that's really the most important thing. I still pulled a pretty easy 5.

If you use that textbook and old tests then you're set. (If you're self-studying find a teacher for the old tests.)

By Justice (Justice) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 06:44 pm: Edit

C is full-year too.

Just so you know, very few colleges in the country still accept Physics B for credit. Intro. to Physics is meant to be taught with calculus (since modern physics itself was a corollary of Newtonian mathematics), and so Physics B goes nowhere near the sort of things that you would learn in a college physics class.

By Im_Blue (Im_Blue) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 06:51 pm: Edit

Physics C makes extensive use of calculus and corresponds to the college physics classes usually taken by math, science (except biology), and engineering majors. The AP class can cover a full year (mechanics and electricity & magnetism) or a half year (usually mechanics). Physics B is the more general physics class usually taken by premeds and students who need to fulfill a general science class. It only requires algebra and trig.

By Joshjmgs (Joshjmgs) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 08:46 pm: Edit

Physics B is basically a more difficult honors physics course, while Physics C is broken up into two parts, Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism, which both go into great depth in its own particular field. The Electricity and Magnetism course is extremely difficult, as is the exam. Beware, if you do not have an awesome teacher for Physics C, or you are nervous about the exam, or are not fluent in either calculus or physics, I highly suggest you take Physics B, which is no cakewalk, but is significantly easier than its counterpart. However, if you are motivated and feel like working your "bum" off for the eight credit exam, by all means, you should try the C.

I have spoken to my physics teacher about the difference between the two, and she, with our and the science department chairman's consent, created the AP Physics C in lieu of an AP Physics B, because, she thought, we could handle the stress, and, with my class's background in calculus, we can delve into the C's material without hinderance.

By Babynomoretime (Babynomoretime) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 01:22 pm: Edit

I'm also taking AP Physics this year, the only difference is that it's a self-studied subject. My school only offer AP Physics B, but I really want to try Physics C because I'm taking Cal BC at the same time. I'm just affraid that is it too much to taking Cal BC, AP Bio, AP Chem and AP Physics C at the same time?

By Hopkinslax (Hopkinslax) on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 12:04 am: Edit

Take Physics B before C... that's what I did and I am doing

By Physicskid123 (Physicskid123) on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 03:42 pm: Edit

I went straight into AP Physics C without any calculus or physics background at all. I pulled a 5 on mechanics, 4 on E&M (not taught in class, self studied for less than a week literally) and an 800 on the SAT II. I think you should go with C since the AP exam is more generally accepted than B, and if you are strong in sciences/math you will ace it.

By Hdotchar (Hdotchar) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 08:44 pm: Edit

you dont have to already know calculus in order to take physics C. as long as you're 'concurrently' taking an calculus class you can take the physics C exam. the calculus involved is not very difficult either. in fact the only 'thing' you do not really learn in Calc BC that is used in Physics C is the use of the line integral used for Gauss's law and a few other ideas in electricity in magnetism. but actually algebra, trig/precalc stuff is still the core of phys C because the calculus involved is extremely easy. the course itself is rather difficult, but dont let anyone fool you into thinking its the calculus that makes it difficult.

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