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Studying Studying for AP Physics in college?

  1. Dec 12, 2007 #1
    I am going into my second semester of college and it will be the second semester that I have been unable to register for General Physics (first semester of calculus based physics). I have the math prerequisites but am at a community college that has only one or two sections available; this becomes a problem because the college is split into three separate campuses 20 miles apart so scheduling is tricky.

    The four-year colleges I am considering transferring to in the fall (Ohio State and University of Akron) award credit for this course for scores of 4 or higher on the AP Physics C test, my questions:

    A) Can I do this? I understand that kids who study independently are eligible for the tests, but I have graduated from high school altogether so I am not sure if I still am eligible.
    B) What textbook? I hear Halliday's book is recommended a lot and there are many copies available on the ohiolink.edu library system including the solutions manuals so price wouldn't be much of a concern except that others may request it.
    C) Should I? AP tests are not free and I am otherwise taking a full load of classes so this is all assuming that time permits me to study on my own enough to achieve a "4" between now and May.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2007 #2
    I don't know about the AP tests, to be honest with you. But I would highly recommend looking into finding a Physics course at another college in your area and transferring the credits back to your school. I know that at my community college, if a class is not offered at the time a student needs it, he/she can take it at a few different colleges that we have agreements with.

    And the best part is that even if we take it at one of the local Universities, we only have to pay Community college prices since it was not offered at the necessary time.

    Just something that you may want to look into.
  4. Dec 12, 2007 #3

    Ben Niehoff

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    Gold Member

    There are two people you should contact:

    1. The admissions folks at those colleges you are considering. Explain your predicament (being unable to register for the necessary physics class due to space constraints), and ask them what they would recommend doing, considering that you would like to pursue a degree that requires these courses. They might have helpful advice. They certainly won't tell you, "No, sorry, you just can't go to college", so don't worry.

    2. The people who administer the AP exams. You should ask them about your situation and whether you are allowed to take the exams even though you are not in high school anymore.

    Note that the colleges themselves might have exams you can take, and those might be a better indicator of your skill than the AP exam, anyway.

    As far as preparing for the exam, it's certainly possible to succeed with self-study, but it will take dedication. My own high school physics class was dismally poor; we did nothing but random stupid projects so that the teacher wouldn't have to teach anything (not to mention that most of the students didn't care anyway). So, I taught myself all of the physics that would appear on the AP Physics C, and ended up scoring a 5.

    Ironically enough, my undergrad school (Purdue) didn't even accept the AP Physics. :P
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