Register to reply

Should I take AP physics?

by Sko
Tags: physics
Share this thread:
Dec12-03, 09:57 PM
P: n/a
I'm in standard physics junior year of high school. I really like physics but am wondering if I'll be able to handle AP without pre-calculus (which I'm taking next year also).
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on
How did evolution optimize circadian clocks?
New webcast series brings cutting-edge physics talks to the world
High Flux Isotope Reactor named Nuclear Historic Landmark
Dec13-03, 03:03 AM
P: n/a
You would need a knowledge of calculus.

I wouldn't recommend AP Physics if you are not taking Calculus AB next year.
Dec13-03, 10:13 PM
P: n/a
Indeed Laura is correct. I took AP Physics while also taking Pre-Calculus (Trig/Analytic Geo.) and struggled with it. Good luck if you do, you'll need it!

Dec14-03, 12:24 AM
P: 124
Should I take AP physics?

You could always work up to an acceptacle level in calc over the summer.
Loren Booda
Dec14-03, 12:27 AM
Loren Booda's Avatar
P: 3,408
I went from regular physics and calculus as a high school senior to intensive freshman physics at Yale. I don't regret it, but had I to choose again, I would take the BS, not the MS, 4-year track.

I would like to have had AP physics as an option in high school. Taking AP physics without calculus is like taking calculus tests with only a knowledge of advanced algebra, though.
Dec14-03, 12:31 AM
P: 72
It depends what physics - B or C? I took AP Physics B at my school concurrently with pre-calc AND calc (was a fun year :D).. it wasn't hard at all. If you're good with algebra, you can handle AP Physics B easily. Just don't take C, that uses lots of calculus
Dec14-03, 09:23 PM
P: 8
i'm doin AP physics and pre calc at the same time and i have the highest grade in the class it gives ya an advantage cause the trig is still fresh in your head
Dec15-03, 08:20 PM
P: n/a
AP PHYSICS SC469 Grade 12
Advanced Placement Physics is a college level, introductory physics course. Topics covered include mechanics, kinetic theory and thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism optics and wave theory and modern physics. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of concepts by solving problems and completing laboratory assignments. You should be prepared to arrange your school and personal schedule to provide additional laboratory time, not to exceed two hours per week, in addition to the five class periods scheduled. A final qualifying examination is required and the fee of $75 must be paid by all students enrolled in this course at the beginning of the school year. Receiving a certain score on exam may earn the student college credit.
PREREQUISITES-Biology I; Chemistry; Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra II Credit 1
Enrollment in Pre-Calculus Honors or Calculus
Teacher recommendation required.
Memo of Understanding
Got that off the website, and it sounds like you don't need pre-cal b4 you go in, just have to be in it at the same time. It doesn't say whether it's A,B,C?? Well thanks for the comments but I'll probably just end up trusting the advice of other physics students/guidance councilor.
Dec15-03, 10:09 PM
P: 640
really depends on your teacher.

Good teacher would use trig alot, + calc

bad teacher would probably teach you basic algebra in ap physics.(he himself may be wrong)
Dec16-03, 12:48 AM
P: 7
my physics teacher taught us virtually no calculus. if you weren't in BC calc, you were screwed.
Chi Meson
Dec16-03, 08:11 PM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Chi Meson's Avatar
P: 1,772
Originally posted by Sko
Got that off the website, and it sounds like you don't need pre-cal b4 you go in, just have to be in it at the same time. It doesn't say whether it's A,B,C?? Well thanks for the comments but I'll probably just end up trusting the advice of other physics students/guidance councilor.
THe description is that of Physics B.
Physics C does not cover optics or thermodynamics; "C" only covers mechanics and electromagnetism (although it goes much more deeply into each).
Dec18-03, 06:00 PM
P: 166
I don't think you need to have pre-calc concurrent with AP Physics. I am taking AP Physics without pre-calc, and am doing fine (in fact, better than even the guys who know calc). I would strongly advise you learn trig before hand though.
Dec19-03, 07:25 PM
P: n/a
Yeah, I'm in "advanced" algebra and trig this year.
Dec20-03, 02:42 PM
P: 263
Exactly what is applied physics?
Dec22-03, 09:02 PM
P: 65 answer that question, i think applied physics is just physics applied in practical purposes/technologies.

About AP physics, I would highly recommend taking the course. Last year as a sophmore, I took AP physics B while taking pre-calculus and managed to get a 5 (out of 5). At that time, I hadn't even taking calculus yet. Still, studying physics over the summer before I took the course significantly helped my performance in the class/AP test, so i would reccomend knowing some stuff about physics before taking the class for anyone desiring to take it. That's just my opinion though.
Dec23-03, 01:38 PM
P: 3
yea, definitely take it. i am taking the class without calculus because its the only one offered at my school even though i am taking calculus BC. always take the hardest classes you can. top of the line schools look not just at your grades, but whether or not you always took the most challenging courses available to you. my physics and calculus exams were the hardest exams i've ever taken by far. three hours wasn't long enough for every sing person in both classes. i'm dreading getting those grades back.

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Physics department faculty advisor said Modern Physics will be hardest course Academic Guidance 7
Question About Physics Homework (High School Physics) Introductory Physics Homework 9
Statistical Physics, Economics & Demographics (was: why [...] physics [...] in finance and biology?) General Physics 4
How did you guys become a science advisor in physics forums/ quantum physics? Forum Feedback & Announcements 44