The Course

AP Physics C: Mechanics

Sign In to AP Classroom

AP Physics Revisions for 2024-25

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

Course Overview

AP Physics C: Mechanics 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.

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 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: Mechanics course framework is organized into seven commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you’ll have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.


Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)

Unit 1: Kinematics


Unit 2: Newton’s Laws of Motion


Unit 3: Work, Energy, and Power


Unit 4: Systems of Particles and Linear Momentum


Unit 5: Rotation


Unit 6: Oscillations


Unit 7: Gravitation


Science Practices

The AP Physics C: Mechanics 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.

SkillDescriptionExam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)Exam Weighting (Free-Response Section)
1. Visual RepresentationsAnalyze and/or use representations of physical situations, excluding graphs.14–17%4–7%
2. Question and MethodDetermine scientific questions and methods.3–6%6–11%
3. Representing Data and PhenomenaCreate visual representations or models of physical situations.Not assessed in the multiple-choice section13–20%
4. Data AnalysisAnalyze quantitative data represented in graphs.14–17%8–13%
5. Theoretical RelationshipsDetermine the effects on a quantity when another quantity or the physical situation changes.25–34%20–24%
6. Mathematical RoutinesSolve problems of physical situations using mathematical relationships.14–20%20–24%
7. ArgumentationDevelop an explanation or scientific argument.14–20%11–18%

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 C Development Committees

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.