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AP Test advice?

  1. Feb 24, 2014 #1
    I need help deciding which AP Physics test to take.
    Currently, I am a junior taking AP Physics BC, which my teacher claims is between AP Physics B and C. It looks like all we will learn this year is mechanics, maybe touch on electricity. Our teacher isn’t giving us any AP test questions or practice, but I think he is covering the material well, explaining the concepts and equations thoroughly.
    My teacher says good engineering colleges will only notice me if I take the AP Physics C test. He says his course doesn’t cover much of the C test and I won’t have enough time to study for it.
    I bought a AP Barron’s Physics C book (barely opened, so I can still return it).
    I’m planning to major in engineering (probably mechanical) in college.
    How much more material does Physics C cover than Physics B? Would the Physics C book also be helpful for studying Physics B?
    I understand the concepts taught in class well and so far I am maintaining a high A. Which test should I take? Do good colleges really only care about 5s on the C test?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2014 #2
    One more general question:
    Is it better to get a 4 on the C test or a 5 on the B test?
  4. Feb 24, 2014 #3
    Also, if I take the C test, I would just take mechanics.
  5. Apr 1, 2014 #4

    From my experience, many schools will not even accept credit from the physics B test for engineering majors. physics B has broader, lower-level coverage than physics C, with the biggest difference being the use of some calculus in physics C.

    As a mechanical engineering student in a top-ten undergraduate program, I advocate avoiding the physics B test, as it likely won't count for anything. That said, you should be pretty confident before attempting the physics C test. My school requires a 5. Most list the requirements online. Look into the schools you are considering to see what you would need.

    I hope this helps. If you need more clarification, feel free to ask.
  6. Apr 1, 2014 #5

    Ben Niehoff

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I got a 5 on both Physics C tests and my undergrad school didn't care.

    I was in a similar situation to yours where the teacher didn't really care about the AP tests and didn't attempt to cover the material on them. I think I self-studied from Barron's as well. Give it your best shot, but don't expect it to count for anything, necessarily.
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