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Should I take AP physics?

  1. Dec 12, 2003 #1


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    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).
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2003 #2
    You would need a knowledge of calculus.

    I wouldn't recommend AP Physics if you are not taking Calculus AB next year.
  4. Dec 13, 2003 #3
    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!
  5. Dec 14, 2003 #4
    You could always work up to an acceptacle level in calc over the summer.
  6. Dec 14, 2003 #5
    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.
  7. Dec 14, 2003 #6
    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
  8. Dec 14, 2003 #7
    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
  9. Dec 15, 2003 #8


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    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.
  10. Dec 15, 2003 #9
    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)
  11. Dec 16, 2003 #10
    my physics teacher taught us virtually no calculus. if you weren't in BC calc, you were screwed.
  12. Dec 16, 2003 #11

    Chi Meson

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    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).
  13. Dec 18, 2003 #12
    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.
  14. Dec 19, 2003 #13


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    Yeah, I'm in "advanced" algebra and trig this year.
  15. Dec 20, 2003 #14
    Exactly what is applied physics?
  16. Dec 22, 2003 #15
    hmnm...to 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.
  17. Dec 23, 2003 #16
    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.
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