The Course

AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based

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AP Physics Revisions for 2024-25

We’re revising the 4 AP Physics courses for the 2024-25 school year. 

Course Overview

AP Physics 2 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, waves, and probability.

Course and Exam Description

Course Resources

Course Content

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 seven big ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. 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 2 course 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: Fluids


Unit 2: Thermodynamics


Unit 3: Electric Force, Field, and Potential


Unit 4: Electric Circuits


Unit 5: Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction


Unit 6: Geometric and Physical Optics


Unit 7: Quantum, Atomic, and Nuclear Physics


Science Practices

The AP Physics 2 course 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 PracticeDescriptionExam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)Exam Weighting (Free-Response Section)
1. ModelingUse representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.28%–30%11%–23%
2. Mathematical RoutinesUse mathematics appropriately.16%–18%18%–30%
3. Scientific QuestioningEngage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course.N/AN/A
4. Experimental MethodsPlan and implement data-collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question.2%–4%6%–14%
5. Data AnalysisPerform data analysis and evaluation of evidence.10%–12%6%–16%
6. ArgumentationWork with scientific explanations and theories.26%–28%22%–41%
7. Making ConnectionsConnect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains.12%–16%2%–11%

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.

AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role in developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education section 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 AP Physics 2 Development Committee

The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.