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Ap Physics C and Ap Comp Sci

  1. Aug 7, 2012 #1
    I'm an incoming junior in high-school and I am planning on self-studying for the AP Physics C/E&M and AP Computer Science exams since my school doesn't offer these courses. I am buying the Barrons review books but what other study materials do I need?

    I am also taking Physics B course in school but I don't know whether to take both the AP Physics C and E&M tests or AP Physics B and just C: E&M. I want to study mechanical or aerospace engineering in college, which would look better.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2012 #2


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    For APCSA, you're probably fine with just the review book and an IDE to do practice code in. The one they used at my class was called jGRASP, but pick whatever you like. There isn't a lot of material in APCSA, since it's really supposed to be a semester course in CS; my class finished in January and spent the next four months reviewing. Do as many practice tests as you can, because computers aren't allowed on the test, so you'll need to train your mind a bit to be able to figure out code when it's just on paper; like math, there are questions where minor things like missing a word or misinterpreting the way part of the code works can get you a totally wrong answer. But it really isn't a hard test, so don't sweat things too much.

    For Physics C, try to eventually take both parts; more schools accept C Mechanics than B, and even the schools that do accept B, most of them will give an Algebra-based Physics credit, whilst an engineering school would more likely (if not definitely) require a Calc-based Physics credit to get out of their intro physics classes. Get a copy of a typical calculus-based physics book like Halliday, Resnick and Walker's Fundamentals of Physics (Edition shouldn't really matter. Just get whatever's cheapest.), and work through the problems.

    You might also want to consider delaying taking Physics C until senior year, as there is reasonable overlap between Physics B and C that it might be advantageous to just focus on the B exam this year, know that material thoroughly, and then move onto Physics C. Or you could do one part this year and the other the next.
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