AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based
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Learn about the foundational principles of physics as you explore Newtonian mechanics; work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits. You’ll do hands-on laboratory work to investigate phenomena.
Note: Save your lab notebooks and reports; colleges may ask to see them before granting you credit.
Interpreting and describing representations and models
Using mathematics to solve science problems
Formulating a scientific question or hypothesis
Designing an experiment to answer a scientific question or to test a hypothesis
Analyzing data and evaluating evidence
Working with scientific explanations and theories
Making connections
A first-semester introductory college course in algebra-based physics
You should have completed a geometry course and be concurrently taking Algebra II or an equivalent course.
Wed, May 5, 2021,
12 PM Local
This is the regularly scheduled date for the AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based Exam.
The course content outlined below is organized into commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. Your teacher may choose to organize the course content differently based on local priorities and preferences.
You’ll be introduced to the study of motion.
Topics may include:
10%–16% of exam score
You’ll revisit the concepts you worked with in Unit 1 to explore force, which is the interaction of an object with another object.
Topics may include:
12%–18% of exam score
You’ll build on your understanding of motion and force as you study more complex models of motion, such as the circular path of a satellite orbiting a planet.
Topics may include:
4%–6% of exam score
You’ll learn the definitions of and relationships between energy, work, and power.
Topics may include:
16%–24% of exam score
You’ll explore the relationship between force, time, and momentum and learn to use the law of conservation of momentum to analyze physical situations.
Topics may include:
10%–16% of exam score
You’ll use the tools, techniques, and models you’ve learned in previous units to analyze a new type of motion: simple harmonic motion.
Topics may include:
2%–4% of exam score
You’ll explore the motion of an object rotating around an axis and you’ll study torque, the measure of a force that can cause rotational motion.
Topics may include:
10%–16% of exam score
You’ll begin your exploration of electricity by learning about the electric force and the properties and interactions of electric charges.
Topics may include:
4%–6% of exam score
You’ll continue your study of electricity by examining electric circuits and the interactions between current, resistance, and voltage.
Topics may include:
6%–8% of exam score
You’ll get introduced to the properties and behavior of waves that travel through a medium such as air or water.
Topics may include:
12%–16% of exam score
Find colleges that grant credit and/or placement for AP Exam scores in this and other AP courses.
AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based can lead to a wide range of careers and college majors