AP Exam Information

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):
• Better yet, contact the registrar’s office or the physics
department chair at the college directly.
How can I get more information about the
• Go to the College Board’s official website, AP Central:
Assessment Overview
Students are expected to:
• Solve problems mathematically – including
• 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
• The focus of this test is not numbers and
• 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
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
• And….
Never forget, “physics is phun!”