New Course and Exam Description (CED)
In response to teacher feedback, the 2017 AP Physics 1 Course and Exam Description (.pdf/6.7MB) is now a standalone document that is clearer and easier-to-use.The 2017 edition no longer combines AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2. While the scope, sequence, and course content for AP Physics 1 has not changed, the content outline in this edition is now arranged by topic and presented in a tabular format to more clearly show the relationships between big ideas, enduring understandings, learning objectives, and essential knowledge statements. For more information, see page 1.
AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits.
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.
Essential Course Resources
AP Physics 1 and 2 Lab Manual ResourcesThe Lab Manual Resources page provides information about the laboratory requirement and a link to the AP Physics 1 and 2 Inquiry-Based Lab Investigations teacher manual.
AP Physics 1 Course Overview
The two-page Course Overview provides a succinct description of the course and exam.
AP Physics 1 Frequently Asked QuestionsFind answers to common questions about the course, exam, and AP Course Audit.
Inquiry Instruction in the AP Science ClassroomReview the Inquiry Instruction in the AP Science Classroom teaching resource.
AP Physics Science PracticesReview the Science Practices teaching resource.
CB Standards for Science Success
The CB Standards for Science Success outlines the prior knowledge and skills necessary for students to be successful in an AP Science course.
Planning for AP Physics 1 and 2Although this page was created back in 2014 when schools were getting ready to launch AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2, the prerequisite and sequencing information is still useful.
Course Planning and Pacing Guides
Written by AP teachers, these versatile guides demonstrate a variety of ways to plan and pace the AP Physics 1 curriculum across one academic year. Each author presents a host of ideas for activities, resources, and assessments.
AP Physics 1 Course Planning and Pacing Guide (Bundy)
Becky Bundy, Madison County High School, GA—This course is taught at a public rural high school. The teacher uses a flipped-classroom approach to empower students to take ownership of their own learning. Most in-class time is used for inquiry-based lab investigations and peer-group problem solving.
AP Physics 1 Course Planning and Pacing Guide (Burke)
Kelly Burke, Woodstock High School, GA—This course is taught at a public suburban high school where the teacher allows students to work in groups with an emphasis on learning by doing. The course includes extended, inquiry-based, and research activities for continued learning outside of the classroom.
AP Physics 1 Course Planning and Pacing Guide (Gende)
Dolores Gende, Parish Episcopal School, TX—This course is taught at an independent high school where the teacher uses inquiry-based instructional strategies that focus on experimentation and collaborative learning. All laboratory investigations are designed by the students.
AP Physics 1 Course Planning and Pacing Guide (Hood)
Julie A. Hood, MAST Academy, FL—This course is taught at a public magnet school where the teacher uses inquiry-based instruction with a student-centered classroom. The teacher utilizes peer tutoring techniques.
College Board Store
Find AP Physics 1 publications, released exams, and more in the College Board Store.
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 Ed 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 current Development Committee for AP Physics 1.