AP Physics B or C E&M

  • Thread starter kitenyos
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  • #1
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I am currently a junior in high school taking physics A. I find it very easy and natural and have an A for 1st semester and a 97 on the midterm. I want to take AP physics but i am not sure which one. In college i am most likely going into construction so I will need a lot of math and physics experience. This year I am in pre-calc A and have an A-. I will take AP calc AB next year so AP Physics C will be possible. Which one should I take? How difficult is physics C E&M when you are taking AP calc at the same time?
 

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  • #2
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I'm pretty sure you need AP calc BC for AP physics c. AP physics C is calculus based physics while AP physics B is trig based, but I bet you can get by with AP calc AB for AP physics C.

It's really up to you if you're up for a challenge!
 
  • #3
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I've taken both. Physics B is a mashup of all the topics of physics and rushes over them without giving any depth. The formulas are rarely derived because you need calculus for them. If you want a survey of physics this course is for you. Some colleges take it for credit in trig physics some don't.

Physics C Mech & E&M only really needs calculus AB but some schools may require BC and some may not. These courses are more like the typical Intro. Physics I & II in college and goes into depth with only mechanics and E&M. The course isn't "Here's a formula let's solve problems with it", it's "Here's how to derive the formula, what it means, and how you should apply it". This course develops more intuition in the subject than physics B.

Both courses came with labs. The exam was much harder on Physics C from what I remember.
 
  • #4
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I am currently a junior in high school taking physics A. I find it very easy and natural and have an A for 1st semester and a 97 on the midterm. I want to take AP physics but i am not sure which one. In college i am most likely going into construction so I will need a lot of math and physics experience. This year I am in pre-calc A and have an A-. I will take AP calc AB next year so AP Physics C will be possible. Which one should I take? How difficult is physics C E&M when you are taking AP calc at the same time?

If you want the challenge, go for it. I took AP Physics C without taking B and did well (though I had already taken Calc BC). Though you have not learned it in a classroom, you can still learn how to do integrals on your own. Plus, for C, you do not need to know how to do difficult integrations; it is mainly polynomials and trig functions. Physics C will give you a big leg up going into college. Even if you do not get credit the experience will give you an advantage over your peers. I didn't get credit (4 on both exams, needed a 5) and found that the second time through I am getting a much deeper understanding. This comes in handy because you want to have a solid foundation of knowlede before you learn more advanced topics.
 
  • #5
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I would take Physics C. Most colleges wont count physics b because its not calculus based. If your not going into math, science or engineering do physics B.
 
  • #6
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Physics C will give you a big leg up going into college. Even if you do not get credit the experience will give you an advantage over your peers.

This is true. Phys C, AB, and both economics AP's allow me to basically graduate and get a B.S. in 3 years.
 
  • #7
I took AP Physics B junior year and AP Physics C senior year. AP Physics C is A LOT harder than AP Physics B. You MUST have taken AP Calc AB junior year in order to take AP Physics C senior year because Physics C requires Calculus in order to do it. Physics B however only requires precalculus/trig skills. So, if you don't already know AP Calc AB, then don't take AP Physics C. Physics B is basically translated as algebera based physics, while Physics C is calculus based.

I have to say though if you're taking AP Physics B or C, then make sure you sign up with www.myAPtrade.com[/URL] because it has test questions, homework solutions, and amazing unit notes. I didn't have it junior year, but I made sure I got it for senior year and it was SOOO helpful! It only costed like 25 bucks, but it was deff worth it because I got access to ALL their review material for ALL the AP classes. Trust me, it's deff worth getting. i wish I knew about it junior year.
 
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  • #8
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You MUST have taken AP Calc AB junior year in order to take AP Physics C senior year because Physics C requires Calculus in order to do it. Physics B however only requires precalculus/trig skills. So, if you don't already know AP Calc AB, then don't take AP Physics C.

I took AB and Physics C at the same time. It worked out fine because all you need to know are simple polynomial integration and differentiation.
 

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