Changes inherent in P1 and P2

P1 - Largely Mechanics (includes waves and electric charge, force, simple circuits)

  • Rotation
  • center of mass (likely will be largely conceptual)
  • inertial/gravitational mass
  • systems (not new, but increased emphasis)
  • Electric charge (no polarization)
  • Electric force
  • Simple circuits (only one parallel branch, no capacitors)
  • 1-d Waves (incl. standing waves)
  • Increased emphasis on constructing wave diagrams, incl. wave-front diagrams.

P2 - 2nd Semester topics (E&M and beyond) plus:

  • Fluids (I usually teach them with mechanics)
  • Thermo (could be thought of as an extension of mechanics)
  • Increased emphasis on electromagnetic waves
  • Increased emphasis on modern physics (looks like)  - Wave-particle duality, wave functions (conceptual only) are new emphases
  • Polarization

Style Changes in the AP Exams


  • calculator allowed
  • equation table allowed
  • only four choices
  • zero recall
  • increased conceptual complexity, no more single concept problems
  • multimark "2 or more choices are correct"
  • increased emphasis on uncertainty


  • One short answer with a paragraph-length explanation
  • One qualitative-quantitative translation question
  • Still one experimental design, but may be trickier than in the past
  • increased emphasis on uncertainty

Science Practices - expect increased emphasis on:

  • Lab skills 25% lab time (before it was 20%)
  • expectation that students can
    • design an experiment
    • refine a scientific question
    • evaluate a data set in light of a scientific question
    • investigate claims
    • and more
  • multiple representations
  • uncertainty - relative uncertainty, standard deviation . . .
  • scientific reasoning
  • scientific questioning
  • data analysis

Change in AP Physics C

(from the Course Description for 2014-2015)

"Students will be allowed to use a calculator on the entire AP Physics C: Mechanics and Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism exams — including both the multiple-choice and free-response sections. . . Tables containing equations commonly used in physics will be provided for students to use during the entire AP Physics C: Mechanics and Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism exams."

all above my opinion, contact me with comments, criticisms, additions, deletions, etc. - Marc