Not too easy. Not too difficult.
Course Overview:
For any and all students wishing to pursue a college education in engineering, this course is a phenomenal opportunity to pursue. The AP physics courses are broken up into three different levels, each of which allows exposure to the different levels of physics. The first level AP Physics 1, deals mostly with the mechanics aspect of physics and will greatly help anyone pursuing engineering, especially mechanical and civil engineering
Course highlights:
AP physics 1 is much like its honors counterpart, it deals with mechanisms and forces. While the math can be a but tricky, it is do able with a strong sense of commitment and dedication.
Hours per week:
3-5 hours
Advice for students:
Ask questions when necessary, don't fall behind because of a lack of understanding. Physics can be easily explained to someone who is willing to learn the material.
This class was tough.
Course Overview:
This course, albeit very difficult, helped me in a myriad of ways. Although many students did not like my teacher's style of teaching, it was refreshing for me. Not all teachers and professors in life will be clear cut with explaining ideas. It forced me to develop some discipline and independence in self studying. Those two qualities are very important to have in life. This course also honed my math and critical thinking skills. The material I learned in this class was nothing like anything I had ever seen before, and I mean that very literally. I never knew physics could be so interesting and complex. I personally loved physics and this class made me love it even more, despite the course's rigor. Of course, not everyone loves physics. But I would seriously recommend this course to anyone who wants to hone his or her skills in critical thinking, logical deduction, and mathematical reasoning.
Course highlights:
This course is a new course, derived from AP Physics B, which has now been discontinued. The former class has been split up into AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2. In AP Physics 1, I learned about Newtonian mechanics, work, energy, power, mechanical waves (including sound), and simple circuits. The course requires students to use algebra to solve problems pertaining to these fields. In the end of the year, I was prepared for the AP Physics 1 Exam, administered on May 3, 2016. The class more specifically involved algebra to derive literal (only variable) equations while evaluating them with given variable values. The other big part of this course was the conceptual material. Concepts pertaining to the aforementioned topics were expected to be known. Throughout the year, many experiments were conducted to demonstrate mechanical and sometimes electrical phenomena while explaining the core concepts of physics. Lab reports were required to be written after the experiments to demonstrate our understanding of the experiment and of the physics concept a whole. Homework was given daily and I would also receive WebAssigns (online tests and quizzes) occasionally.
Hours per week:
12+ hours
Advice for students:
How much a student needs to study for a course in general highly depends on two things - the teacher's ability to teach well and the rigor of the course content itself. The course content in general involves a heavy understanding of Algebra, Trigonometry, and Algebra II. Knowing how to solve simple problems in those subjects isn't enough. Instead, students have to apply these subjects into the field of Physics, which difficult in itself. This is a challenging course, even for advanced math students. I was taking Calculus BC (the college level equivalent of Calculus II) when taking this course and I even had trouble with it. Make sure you know the core math concepts well. This includes trigonometry, balancing equations, solving literal equations, evaluating expressions, using scientific notation, and analyzing graphs. After that, they have to be applied and used in a diverse range of situations. I recommend reviewing the math briefly before taking the course. Then practicing with as many problems as possible. View solution guides (if provided) to see how the problems were solved and learn from them. In physics, there are many ways to solve a problem. Spend time with each problem and see if there are other ways of solving it. Remember, on the AP exam you have a time crunch... you don't have that time crunch in real life. Devote a decent amount of time to homework and studying. There are also a lot of concepts in this class. These aren't just memorization concepts; these are applied concepts. They are annoying because unlike math and simple concepts, there isn't a specific way to understand them and they can't be memorized. The math portion was easy in the course compared to the conceptual portions of this course. I personally recommend trying to see where concepts can apply and they connect. Examine surroundings and see where physics is demonstrated. In class, pay attention to the teacher when he or she is explaining the concept. Seek help after school or online (videos, notes, and other books) if the concept is hard to grasp. In regard to applying it, as aforementioned with the math portion of the course, spend time with each conceptual problem. Try to justify why an answer makes sense and use the solution guide to help (if provided). As always, keep practicing and devote time to the class. The hard work will pay off soon! The teacher is a very essential part of this class. Since this class is heavy on understanding new, abstruse concepts, having a good teacher helps. However, if the teacher isn't easily understood, self studying is always an optimal way to go. I used online resources such as Course Hero, YouTube, and MIT's open course-ware to help me study for this class. I used those material to supplement the materials I already had. Any textbook, video, lecture, or note sheet can help in this class. Find as many as you can for the topic studied in this class and utilize all of them (or at least as many as you can) to help study.