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Important Updates

AP Physics 2 Updates and New Resources for 2019-20

 

To help more students prepare for—and succeed on—the AP Physics 2 Exam, we’ve clarified the course’s focus starting with the 2019-20 school year and are introducing new resources for your classroom. We’ve also moved exam registration to the fall, a best practice that improves students’ chances of earning college credit and placement.

Download the new course and exam description (CED)

New AP Resources
AP Classroom is now available. Designed with AP educators, it helps you provide students daily practice and personalized feedback throughout the year. Sign in to access AP unit guides with aligned resources, topic questions, personal progress checks, the progress dashboard, and your question bank.

Sign In to AP Classroom

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.

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 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 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.

 Unit
 Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)
 Unit 1: Fluids  10%–12%
 Unit 2: Thermodynamics  12%–18%
 Unit 3: Electric Force, Field, and Potential  18%–22%
 Unit 4: Electric Circuits  10%–14%
 Unit 5: Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction  10%–12%
 Unit 6: Geometric and Physical Optics  12%–14%
 Unit 7: Quantum, Atomic, and Nuclear Physics  10%–12%

Science Practices

The updated AP Physics 2 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
 Description
 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%–30%  11%–23%
 2. Mathematical Routines  Use mathematics appropriately.  16%–18%  18%–30%
 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%  6%–14%
 5. Data Analysis  Perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence.  10%–12%  6%–16%
 6. Argumentation  Work with scientific explanations and theories.  26%–28%  22%–41%
 7. Making Connections  Connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains.  12%–16%  2%–11%

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 2.