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AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in one of the physical sciences or engineering. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through classroom study and activities as well as hands-on laboratory work as they explore concepts like change, force interactions, fields, and conservation.
Laboratory Requirement and Lab Notebooks
Laboratory experience must be part of the education of AP Physics C 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 Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Course at a Glance
Excerpted from the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Course and Exam Description, the Course at a Glance document outlines the topics and skills covered in the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism course, along with suggestions for sequencing.
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Course and Exam Description
This is the core document for this course. Unit guides clearly lay out the course content and skills and recommend sequencing and pacing for them throughout the year. The CED was updated in the summer of 2020 to include scoring guidelines for the example questions.
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism CED Scoring Guidelines
This document details how each of the sample free-response questions in the course and exam description (CED) would be scored. This information is now in the online CED but was not included in the binders teachers received in 2019.
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 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 C: Electricity and Magnetism framework is organized into five 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: Electrostatics||26%–34%|
|Unit 2: Conductors, Capacitors, Dielectrics||14%–17%|
|Unit 3: Electric Circuits||17%–23%|
|Unit 4: Magnetic Fields||17%–23%|
|Unit 5: Electromagnetism||14%–20%|
The AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism 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.
|Skill||Description||Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)||Exam Weighting (Free-Response Section)|
|1. Visual Representations||Analyze and/or use representations of physical situations, excluding graphs.||14–23%||4–9%|
|2. Question and Method||Determine scientific questions and methods.||3–6%||6–11%|
|3. Representing Data and Phenomena||Create visual representations or models of physical situations.||Not assessed in the multiple-choice section||13–20%|
|4. Data Analysis||Analyze quantitative data represented in graphs.||14–17%||8–13%|
|5. Theoretical Relationships||Determine the effects on a quantity when another quantity or the physical situation changes.||25–32%||20–24%|
|6. Mathematical Routines||Solve problems of physical situations using mathematical relationships.||14–20%||20–24%|
|7. Argumentation||Develop an explanation or scientific argument.||14–20%||11–18%|
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 C.