New Course and Exam Description (CED)
In response to teacher feedback, the 2017 AP Physics 2 Course and Exam Description (.pdf/3.9MB) 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 2 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.
The AP Physics 2 course 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 fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics.
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 2 Course Overview
The two-page Course Overview provides a succinct description of the course and exam.
AP Physics 2 Frequently Asked QuestionssFind 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 2 curriculum across one academic year. Each author presents a host of ideas for activities, resources, and assessments.
AP Physics 2 Course Planning and Pacing Guide (Bertrand)
Peggy Bertrand, Oak Ridge High School, TN — This course is taught at a rural public high school where the teacher emphasizes an inquiry and activity-based approach and uses some form of formative assessment daily.
AP Physics 2 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 and emphasizes the scientific argumentation process.
AP Physics 2 Course Planning and Pacing Guide (Hernandez)
Jesus Hernandez, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, NY — This course is taught at a public city school where the teacher emphasizes problem-solving skills with a student-centered classroom. Inquiry-based laboratory investigations develop critical thinking skills.
AP Physics 2 Course Planning and Pacing Guide (Argano-Rush)
Lance Argano-Rush, Viewpoint School, CA — This course is taught at an independent school. The course connects fundamental physics principles to students' everyday life experiences.
College Board Store
Find AP Physics 2 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 2.