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AP Physics B vs C

classof09classof09 Posts: 944Registered User Member
edited May 2009 in High School Life
Although I'm only in honors physics right now, my class is particularly advanced and I do have a strong foothold in both physics and calculus. As evident by the title, I'm deciding which exam would be more appropriate. I'm pretty confident that I would be able to do well on both the B and C-M tests, but I'm worried about the EM test. Would anyone like to offer any advice? How intense is the test? I've heard that it involves multivariable calculus, is that true?
Post edited by classof09 on

Replies to: AP Physics B vs C

  • cranlandcranland Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    I'm taking BC calc and AP Physics right now. To being with, Physics C-M will definitely be ok if you know how to integrate and differentiate stuff in 1 variable. My class just started E&M a few weeks ago, so maybe I'm not the best person to answer this, but so far everything has been manageable. There's stuff in both the Mechanics and E&M section that's derived using multivariable (or at least stuff that isn't covered in the BC curriculum), but you don't need to know how to do that for the exam (example: moments of inertia are derived using stuff that isn't covered in BC, but just memorize the moments of inertia for some standard shapes and you'll be fine).
  • classof09classof09 Posts: 944Registered User Member
    Bump, any other opinions?
  • fizix2fizix2 Posts: 3,570Registered User Senior Member
    AP Physics C => mechanics and E&M, no multivariable calculus.
    AP Physics B => mechanics, E&M, and a whole bunch of other stuff too (waves, thermo, fluids, light, atomic/nuclear physics...)
  • classof09classof09 Posts: 944Registered User Member
    Is Physics C EM rediculously difficult though? Do you think it's self-studyable?
  • westsidewolf1989westsidewolf1989 Posts: 1,251Registered User Senior Member
    EM is very hard, but the average score is a 3.5 or so. Mechanics comes much easier to me than E&M.
  • lulumobilelulumobile Posts: 408Registered User Member
    how hard is B? im not one of those indian science geniuses...just a NORMAL person...repeat i am NORMAL, not a walking computer robot. is it possible to make a 4???????
  • UnleashedFuryUnleashedFury Posts: 1,784Registered User Member
    ^ if you start now, probably not.

    otherwise, it's definitely possible. (even for a normal person. if you try, you'll be fine, you don't have to be a genius)
  • lulumobilelulumobile Posts: 408Registered User Member
    haha i'm taking it next year...
  • ActuarialDJActuarialDJ Posts: 421Registered User Member
    I am taking both M and E&M
    my class is unique to the district, which is one of the biggest school districts in the nation... so kinda amazing to me lol
    anyways, we are covering both areas and my teacher has basically distinguished B from C by how and what is covered (kinda obvious)
    B is a lot of stuff with not as much depth
    while C is not that broad but the aspect you gain is priceless IMO
    what is really cool is that we have six ppl in the class who have never taken calc... they are presently in their first/AB year
    and they are taking the (negative) partial derivative of potential difference to find the electric field
  • RamblinmanRamblinman Posts: 613Registered User Member
    I am actually taking Multivariable Calculus with my AP Physics C class. The only thing is, if we don't learn how to do things in MV my physics Class doesn't teach it in MV.

    For example while learning Flux in MV we didn't go over Inverse Square Vector Fields and now in Physics we are trying to do it with symmetry and not surface integrals.

    So I feel extremely confident in Mechanics, but I really need a place that has AP Physics C in Multivariable Calculus format, the test is less than a week away.

    I am studying for this AP Physics C test self study. Most of it is not that hard, only I can't learn new things in terms of old stuff. I can find total charge using the charge density and a triple integral, but for the life of me I can't remember how to do anything with a single integral anymore.

    Does anyone have a good guide of AP Physics C that uses Multivariable Calculus for things like Gauss's Law?

    Thank you.
  • abercrombieindyabercrombieindy Posts: 403Registered User Junior Member
    i'm supposedly taking B next year. I don't know how this will turn out considering I'm studying like every second for the AP chem exam and I'm not very confident.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    Ramblinman, you don't need multivariable calc for E&M on C. I was able to get a 5 without much problem while taking Calc BC at the same time.

    Anyway, if you're interested in going into an engineering or technical field odds are colleges you're applying to won't accept Physics B for credit. The way my high school worked if you were taking AP you didn't take any other physics first, and for the people not doing AP Calc they'd teach the calculus you needed to know along the way, and everyone seemed to do pretty well. In my Newtonian Mechanics class I imagine the average was around a 4 and in E&M most of us got 5s (we went from ~50 in Newtonian to 7 students in E&M :().
  • proletariat2proletariat2 Posts: 3,519Registered User Senior Member
    You really don't need beyond Calc AB for Physics C. Really. I'm self-studying it right now (taking Honors Physics) and while it's a little annoying and a lot of work, it's also kind of fun. I think I can pull at least a 5 on one and a 4 on the other.

    So yeah, it's doable.
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