The Course

AP Physics C: Mechanics

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AP Physics Revisions for 2024-25

We revised the 4 AP Physics courses and exams 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, in-class activity, and hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory work as they explore concepts like change, force interactions, fields, and conservation.

Course and Exam Description

Course Resources


AP Physics Revisions for 2024-25

Learn more about revisions to the 4 AP Physics courses and exams for the 2024-25 school year.

Course Content

The course framework included in the course and exam description (CED) clearly details the course requirements necessary for student success. 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: Force and Translational Dynamics


Unit 3: Work, Energy, and Power


Unit 4: Linear Momentum


Unit 5: Torque and Rotational Dynamics


Unit 6: Energy and Momentum of Rotating Systems


Unit 7: Oscillations


Science Practices

The AP Physics C: Mechanics course framework 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.

PracticeSkillExam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)Exam Weighting (Free-Response Section)
1. Creating Representations1.A. Create diagrams, tables, charts, or schematics to represent physical situations. N/A20%–35%
1.B. Create quantitative graphs with appropriate scales and units, including plotting data.N/A
1.C. Create qualitative sketches of graphs that represent features of a model or the behavior of a physical system.N/A
2. Mathematical Routines2.A. Derive a symbolic expression from known quantities by selecting and following a logical mathematical pathway.25%–30%40%–45%
2.B. Calculate or estimate an unknown quantity with units from known quantities, by selecting and following a logical computational pathway.20%–25%
2.C. Compare physical quantities between two or more scenarios or at different times and locations in a single scenario.10%–15%
2.D. Predict new values or factors of change of physical quantities using functional dependence between variables.10%–15%
3. Scientific Questioning and Argumentation3.A. Create experimental procedures that are appropriate for a given scientific question.N/A30%–35%
3.B. Apply an appropriate law, definition, theoretical relationship, or model to make a claim.15%–25%
3.C. Justify or support a claim using evidence from experimental data, physical representations, or physical principles or laws. 5%–10%

Laboratory Requirement and Lab Notebooks

Laboratory experience must be part of the education of AP Physics students and must 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.

Course Development

Every AP course is designed in consultation with college faculty and experienced high school teachers. To stay aligned with best practices in college-level learning, AP courses and exams emphasize research-based curricula that meet higher education expectations.

College faculty and experienced high school teachers guide the development of the AP course framework, which defines what students must know and be able to do to earn a qualifying score on the AP Exam and (by extension) college credit or placement.

As part of the course development process for AP Physics C, we gathered course research by examining college syllabi, analyzing textbooks and pedagogical research, and conducting content advisory sessions with college faculty. Based on this research, an advisory board and writing team collaborated on the course frameworks.

Meet the Development Committees for AP Physics C

AP 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.


AP Physics C Development Committees

Meet the high school and college educators who develop the AP Physics C courses and exams.