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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
AP Physics C: Mechanics Exams will be offered on paper in early May and late May, and as a digital exam in early June. Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam will be full length and measure the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description (CED), giving students the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

The paper exams will follow the typical multiple-choice and free-response format given in the CED. The digital exam will take the same amount of time, but will consist of double the number of multiple-choice questions as the paper exam, and no free-response questions.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Physics C: Mechanics only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock personal progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use the progress dashboard to highlight progress and additional areas for support. As the exam approaches, assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank and encourage students to take advantage of AP Daily: Live Review sessions April 19–29.

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Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information, download the AP Physics C: Mechanics Course and Exam Description (CED).

Encourage your students to visit the AP Physics C: Mechanics student page for exam information.

Exam Dates

  • Event
    • MON, MAY 3, 2021, 12 PM LOCAL

    AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam—Administration 1

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • MON, MAY 24, 2021, 12 PM LOCAL

    AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam—Administration 2

    Paper, In School
    •  
  • Event
    • WED, JUN 9, 2021, 4 PM EDT

    AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam—Administration 3

    Digital, In School and At Home
    •  

Exam Format

The AP Physics C: Mechanics Exam has consistent question types, weighting, and scoring guidelines every year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Note on 2021 exams: There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Physics C: Mechanics only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

The digital AP Physics C: Mechanics exam will include twice as many multiple-choice questions as the paper exam, and will not include free-response questions. 

Educators and students will be able to practice multiple-choice questions within the 2021 digital exam app, available in early April. 

Early May and Late May Exams (Paper) Early June Exam (Digital)

Section I: Multiple Choice

35 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
 

  • Questions are either discrete questions or question sets, in which students may be provided with a stimulus or a set of data and a series of related questions.

Section I: Multiple Choice

35 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
 

  • Questions are either discrete questions or question sets, in which students may be provided with a stimulus or a set of data and a series of related questions.

Section II: Free Response

3 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
 

  • One of the 3 free-response questions will include an experimental or lab-based component.
  • Questions will assess all 7 of the science practices: visual representations, question and method, representing data and phenomena, data analysis, theoretical relationships, mathematical routines, and argumentation.

Section II: Multiple Choice

35 Questions | 45 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
 

  • Questions are either discrete questions or question sets, in which students may be provided with a stimulus or a set of data and a series of related questions.

AP Calculator Policy

A four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator is allowed on both sections of the exam.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 (Last Year’s) Free-Response Questions

Last year’s free-response questions are available in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and do not require secure assessment using the LockDown Browser.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.