Taking up the Challenge of AP Physics I
How to Prepare for One of the Most Difficult AP Exams

Known as one of the most difficult advanced placement tests, AP Physics 1 can be incredibly challenging for most without adept preparation. As the starter AP Physics course and usually the prerequisite for taking AP Physics 2 and AP Physics C (EM and Mechanics), it seems as if most students will have to take it if planning on going on the physics route. Especially if you’re planning on going into STEM, chances are that you will probably have to take this class. With that being said, let’s review the basic material and helpful resources in learning how to prepare for AP Physics 1.


The Basics of AP Physics 1

  1. Kinematics

  2. Dynamics

  3. Circular Motion and Gravitation

  4. Energy

  5. Momentum

  6. Simple Harmonic Motion

  7. Torque and Rotational Motion

AP Physics 1 Curve and Score Distributions

While the curve for every year and the score distributions will change, it is difficult to estimate them each time. With that being said, usually students need to get around a 70% in order to obtain a 5 on the AP. Although this seems easy, just looking at the score distributions below will give a better idea on just how tough this test is, especially compared to other APs. 


Score Distributions (from Collegeboard):

2020

5

4

3

2

1

AP Physics 1

8.8%

17.9%

24.8%

26.5%

21.9%


What should you do to prepare?

Tenured college professor and 7EDU instructor, Dr. Yan, has helped many students achieve high test scores through her mentoring at 7EDU. She suggests the following tips for students preparing to take the AP Physics I exam:

  • Review the exam topics. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of each topic covered in the AP Physics 1 exam.  

  • Identify your weaknesses and practice to improve. Regularly assess your understanding of the concepts and identify areas where you need improvement. Focus on those areas and practice solving problems related to them.

  • Take mock tests before the real exam. Completing practice tests under the same conditions as the real exam can help you evaluate your understanding of the knowledge and hone your test-taking skills.


For more information about our AP prep and free trial classes taught by highly qualified instructors, visit our AP Courses web page.

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Taking up the Challenge of AP Physics I
7EDU Impact Academy 7 February, 2023
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