What is the best textbook to study off for the AP Physics C exam?

In summary, the junior high school student is planning to take the AP Physics C exam in the next school year. They have not been exposed to any physics classes, but they plan to self-study for the exam. They suggest reading a textbook on classical mechanics and electricity and magnetism, and also getting help from a Princeton review book on classical mechanics and electrodynamics.
  • #1
I am a junior in high school who hasn't been exposed to any Physics class. I plan to take the exam the next school year since the exam is said to be very difficult. I really want to get a 5! Like I said, I will be self-studying for this exam as much as I need too, but I first need to read over some textbooks that discuss both classical mechanics (exam 1 of the AP Physics C exam) and electricity and magnetism (exam 2 of the AP Physics C exam). By the way, I am doing this for fun, and to hopefully receive college credit for later on when I go to college. My school does not offer AP Physics courses. They only offer Physics honors which seems really easy since one only needs Algebra and a bit of trigonometry to pass the course. Nevertheless, please help me in this situation; I would truly appreciate it.
 
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  • #2
Before you even begin make sure you have a firm grasp on calculus. Classical mechanics is fairly striaghtforward at the high school level, but E&M has concepts from vector calculus. Be sure you know at least single variable calculus and vectors before you start.

The textbook I used for my first year physics courses is:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0470469080/?tag=pfamazon01-20

It is significantly cheaper to buy a used paperback version. It goes over all of Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism along with other topics if you're interested. The problems are good, with a fair range of difficulty, the examples however can be really interesting problems, and are great practice for testing your fundamentals. Good luck in your studying.
 
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  • #3
Most of those first year college/ AP phys C books like Halliday Resnick (mentioned above), Serway etc are similar to each other and not very good, but they do the job. I suggest getting a used copy that is around 5 - 10 years old; they are nearly the same as the latest but are much cheaper. Read it, work the examples, do the odd problems.

If you are only concerned with the exam (as opposed to learning physics), Barrons or Princeton review will do the trick. (though a real textbook can come in handy)

If you have some extra time and want to truly understand the physics, I highly recommend "Electricity and Magnetism" 3rd ed by Purcell and Morin for E&M, and Kleppner for mechanics. Do a search on them, you'll see what I mean
 

1. What are the top recommended textbooks for studying for the AP Physics C exam?

There are several textbooks that are commonly recommended for studying for the AP Physics C exam. Some popular options include "University Physics" by Young and Freedman, "Fundamentals of Physics" by Halliday and Resnick, and "Physics for Scientists and Engineers" by Serway and Jewett.

2. Are there any textbooks specifically designed for the AP Physics C exam?

Yes, there are textbooks that are specifically designed for the AP Physics C exam, such as "AP Physics C: Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism" by Knight. These textbooks typically provide comprehensive coverage of the topics tested on the exam and include practice questions and exams.

3. How do I choose the best textbook for my studying needs?

When choosing a textbook for studying for the AP Physics C exam, it is important to consider your own learning style and preferences. Some textbooks may have a more conceptual approach, while others may have a more mathematical focus. It can also be helpful to read reviews and compare the contents of different textbooks to determine which one aligns best with your needs.

4. Can I use older editions of textbooks for studying for the AP Physics C exam?

While it is possible to use older editions of textbooks for studying for the AP Physics C exam, it is recommended to use the most recent edition. The exam is updated regularly, and using an older edition may not cover all of the necessary topics or may include outdated information.

5. Are there any online resources that can supplement my textbook for studying for the AP Physics C exam?

Yes, there are many online resources that can supplement your textbook for studying for the AP Physics C exam. Some popular options include Khan Academy, The Physics Classroom, and AP Physics C review books. These resources can provide additional practice problems, explanations, and tips for studying for the exam.

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