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Important Updates

Draft Revised Curriculum Framework Available
Teachers are invited to preview the revised curriculum framework for Physics 1 and Physics 2. It’s been developed to create a more unified approach across all four AP Physics courses and to more accurately reflect the current expectations of introductory college courses.  We'll provide further information in Fall 2022 on the timing and launch of the revised framework.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use My Reports to highlight progress and additional areas for support.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Course Overview

AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through classroom study, in-class activity, and hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory work as they explore concepts like systems, fields, force interactions, change, conservation, and waves.

Laboratory Requirement and Lab Notebooks

Laboratory experience must be part of the education of AP Physics students and should be included in all AP Physics courses. Colleges may require students to present their laboratory materials from AP science courses before granting college credit for laboratory, so students are encouraged to retain their laboratory notebooks, reports, and other materials.

Course Content

Based on the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students must know, be able to do, and understand, with a focus on six big ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of physics. The framework also encourages instruction that prepares students to make connections across domains through a broader way of thinking about the physical world.

The AP Physics 1 framework is organized into seven commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.

 Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
 Unit 1: Kinematics  12%–18%
 Unit 2: Dynamics  16%–20%
 Unit 3: Circular Motion and Gravitation  6%–8%
 Unit 4: Energy  20%–28%
 Unit 5: Momentum  12%–18%
 Unit 6: Simple Harmonic Motion  4%–6%
 Unit 7: Torque and Rotational Motion  12%–18%

Science Practices

The AP Physics 1 framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills, called science practices, that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like physicists.

 Science Practice
 Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
 Exam Weighting (Free-Response Section)
 1. Modeling  Use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems  28%–32%  22%–36%
 2. Mathematical Routines  Use mathematics appropriately  16%–20%  17%–29%
 3. Scientific Questioning  Engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course  N/A  N/A
 4. Experimental Methods  Plan and implement data-collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question  2%–4%  8%–16%
 6. Data Analysis  Perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence  10%–12%  6%–14%
 7. Argumentation  Work with scientific explanations and theories  24–28%  17–29%
 8. Making Connections  Connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains  10–16%  2–9%

AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education site features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.

Meet the Development Committee for AP Physics 1.