AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based

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About the Exam

Important Update

2021 AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based Exams will be offered on paper in early May and late May, and as a digital exam in early June. Both the paper and digital versions of the AP Physics 2 Exam will be full length and measure the full range of skills and knowledge specified in the course and exam description (CED), giving you the opportunity to qualify for college credit and placement.

The paper exams will follow the typical multiple-choice and free-response format given in the CED. The digital exam will take the same amount of time, but will contain more multiple-choice questions, and fewer free-response questions. On the digital exam, you will answer free-response questions with a keyboard, rather than by hand. The digital exam app will include any symbols you would need to use to type responses—rather, these skills may be assessed by asking to provide explanations about given diagrams or other stimuli . No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

You will be able to practice answering a representative sample of multiple-choice and free-response questions within the 2021 digital exam app, available in early April. The best practice for the digital version of the 2021 AP Physics 2 Exam remains the existing multiple-choice and free-response questions.

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Physics 2 only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

Learn more about 2021 testing.

The AP Physics 2 Exam will test your understanding of the scientific concepts covered in the course units, including your ability to use algebra when solving problems related to quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics.

You can use a four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator throughout the exam, and you will be provided with tables of commonly used physics equations and formulas.

Exam Duration
3hrs

Exam Dates

  • Fri, May 7, 2021,
    12 PM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based Exam

    This is the Administration 1 date for the AP Physics 2 Exam.

  • Tue, May 25, 2021,
    12 PM Local

    Paper, In School

    AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based Exam

    This is the Administration 2 date for the AP Physics 2 Exam.

  • Thu, Jun 10, 2021,
    4 PM EDT

    Digital, In School and At Home

    AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based Exam

    This is the Administration 3 date for the AP Physics 2 Exam.

Exam Components

Note on 2021 Exams

There are differences between the paper and digital versions of some 2021 AP Exams, and those variations differ by course. The information below applies to AP Physics 2 only. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats.

The AP Physics 2 digital exam will include:

  • More multiple-choice questions than the paper exam
  • Fewer free-response questions than the paper exam

Free-response questions will consist of familiar tasks that could appear on a traditional AP Exam, but they will be answerable with a regular computer keyboard and won’t require drawing or graphing. The digital exam app will include any symbols you would need to type your responses. All responses must be typed directly into the exam app. No handwritten or photographed work will be accepted.

You will be able to practice multiple-choice and free-response questions within the 2021 digital exam app, available in early April.

Early May and Late May Exams (Paper) Early June Exam (Digital)

Section 1: Multiple Choice
50 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

 

This section contains multiple-choice questions that include:

  • Individual, single questions
  • Questions in sets that refer to the same diagram or data presentation
  • Multi-select questions (2 options are correct)

 

Questions may test your ability to:

  • Interpret and describe representations and models
  • Use mathematics to solve science problems
  • Design an experiment to answer a scientific question or test a hypothesis
  • Analyze data and evaluate evidence
  • Work with scientific explanations and theories
  • Make connections

Section 1: Multiple Choice
50 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

 

  • Questions are either discrete questions or question sets, in which students are provided with a stimulus or a set of data and a series of related questions.
  • The section includes 5 individual multi-select questions (2 options are correct)

Section 2: Free Response
4 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

 

For the free-response section, credit for answers depends on the quality of the solutions and explanations shown, so be sure to show your work.

 

This section includes these types of questions:

  • Experimental Design (1 question): pertains to designing and describing an investigation, analysis of lab data, and observations to identify patterns or explain phenomena
  • Qualitative/Quantitative Translation (1 question): requires you to express a justification or reasoning quantitatively (using numbers, equations, diagrams, etc.) and qualitatively (in words)
  • Short Answer (2 questions, 1 requiring a paragraph-length argument)

 

Questions may test your ability to:

  • Interpret and describe representations and models
  • Use mathematics to solve science problems
  • Design an experiment to answer a scientific question or test a hypothesis
  • Analyze data and evaluate evidence
  • Work with scientific explanations and theories
  • Make connections

Section 2: Multiple Choice and Free Response
50% of exam score

 

This section includes 25 multiple choice questions and two free-response questions. Free-response questions will be written so that you can type all your answers into the digital exam app. The app will include any symbols you’ll need. You cannot hand-write your answers.

 

Multiple Choice:
25 Questions | 45 minutes

 

Free Response:
2 Questions | 45 Minutes

This section contains 2 free-response questions of the following types:

  • Qualitative/Quantitative Translation (1 question): requires you to express a justification or reasoning quantitatively (using numbers, equations, diagrams, etc.) and qualitatively (in words)
  • Short Answer: Paragraph Argument (1 question)

 

Questions may test your ability to:

  • Interpret and describe representations and models
  • Use mathematics to solve science problems
  • Design an experiment to answer a scientific question or test a hypothesis
  • Analyze data and evaluate evidence
  • Work with scientific explanations and theories
  • Make connections

Exam Preparation

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