•  Advanced Placement Information

    Guided by National Research Council and National Science Foundation recommendations, the AP Program spent several years collaborating with master AP teachers and eminent educators from universities and colleges to evaluate and revise the AP Physics B course. This collaboration led to a decision to replace AP Physics B with two new courses, AP Physics 1: Algebra-based and AP Physics 2: Algebra-based. The new courses were endorsed enthusiastically by higher education officials and will benefit all members of the AP community. AP will begin offering the eagerly awaited courses in the 2014–15 academic year, and it will discontinue the AP Physics B program following the 2013–14 academic year.

    Revisions at a Glance

    • AP has implemented key recommendations by replacing AP Physics B with two new courses: AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2.
      An in-depth study by the National Research Council (NRC) concluded that AP Physics B is a very broad course that “encourages cursory treatment of important topics in physics” rather than cultivating a deeper understanding of key foundational principles. The NRC further concluded that students should study Newtonian mechanics, including rotational dynamics and angular momentum, topics not covered in AP Physics B.

      The NRC also emphasized the need for inquiry-based instruction and in-depth exploration of topics. To achieve these important goals, and to provide the much-needed time for teachers to accomplish them, the NRC recommended spreading the course material over two years. After confirming this recommendation through college curriculum studies, higher education validations, reviews of state standards, and AP teacher timing trials, the AP Program is replacing AP Physics B with two separate full-year courses.

      The AP Program will begin offering AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 in fall 2014, followed by the exams in May 2015.
    • Students have the time needed to explore and deepen understanding.
      Splitting the AP Physics B course into two separate, full-year courses allows students to achieve in-depth understanding; they will have more time for hands-on explorations of physics content and inquiry labs. The full year also allows time for inclusion of physics content specified by state standards.

      The New Courses
      Each course is designed to be taught over a full academic year.

      • AP Physics 1: Algebra-based is the equivalent to a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits.
      • AP Physics 2: Algebra-based is the equivalent to a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; optics; atomic and nuclear physics.
     *Statement by the College Board 2013
    AP Central