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Which AP and SAT Subject Tests should I plan on taking?

AgrasinAgrasin - Posts: 146 Junior Member
edited November 2012 in AP Tests Preparation
I want to go to college for physics. What do good colleges require in terms of AP and SAT?

Correct me if I'm wrong: Physics majors should plan on taking:

AP: Physics B &C, Calc AB &BC, Chem, Stat.
And btw it appears there are now THREE ap physics tests. What on earth?

SAT: Physics, Chem, Math 2.

Anything else? thx
Post edited by Agrasin on

Replies to: Which AP and SAT Subject Tests should I plan on taking?

  • joshuabovejoshuabove Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    I would probably take some advanced humanities classes (AP Euro/US, AP English, etc) to balance out your schedule, but you mostly have everything covered in terms of your physics major.

    Also, my Physics C teacher was explaining the new AP curriculum to us and it doesn't seem too great. Physics 1 is a yearlong course involving mechanics and circuits (IDK why they randomly stuck circuits in there) and Physics 2 is a yearlong course covering everything else in AP Physics B (the hard stuff like electrostatics&magnetism as well as thermodynamics, optics, fluid dynamics, and modern physics). She also said the course was going to be more conceptual....which is a HUGE bummer. Of course, this isn't officially confirmed or anything since I just heard it from my teacher. I don't know why CollegeBoard thinks this is better than the current AP Physics B curriculum though.....Well anyways, good luck in all your endeavors!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,569 Senior Member
    Agrasin wrote:
    AP: Physics B &C, Calc AB &BC, Chem, Stat.
    And btw it appears there are now THREE ap physics tests. What on earth?

    Calculus BC includes AB, so no need to take both if you get a 5 on BC.

    Physics B is a non-calculus physics course that will not be accepted for physics majors; you should consider it to be like an honors high school physics course. The two physics C exams correspond to two parts of the calculus-based introductory physics sequence for physics and engineering majors, although they do not necessarily line up exactly with the courses at each college. The E&M part is less likely to be accepted, since some college E&M courses make use of multivariable calculus and/or differential equations.

    However, physics major schedules are structured to be doable in eight semesters even if you have no useful AP credit.
  • AgrasinAgrasin - Posts: 146 Junior Member
    Thank you joshuabove and ucbalumnus. I will have to find out more about the new physics curriculum. It seems that Physics B is now split into E&M and Mechanics? Is this equivalent to single-semester college courses? I am asking because my school has no AP sciences, so the only way I can do those two APs is through a local college.

    Ucbalumnus, I wish I could skip the useless APs, but I believe that the applicants to top-tier colleges will all have these APs done. I want to have the same advantage as them. Do be equal to the average Ivy League applicant, I need to take all those AP tests + subject tests, right? (the ones mentioned at top)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,569 Senior Member
    Physics C (the one with calculus) is the one that is split into two tests, mechanics and E&M. These roughly correspond to one semester courses, although some more selective universities may add more topics like waves and thermodynamics to the first two physics courses, which means that the two physics C tests may not have full coverage of their courses (and if they teach E&M with multivariable calculus, they may not accept physics C E&M anyway).

    If you go to a local college to take college physics, then you can take the physics courses meant for physics and engineering majors (not the ones for biology majors or non-majors) to get the best chance of transferability. However, such courses often assume a high school physics (or physics B) background; if you do not have that, you may have to work harder in such a course.

    For which tests to take, check the colleges you are interested in to see if they want to see any specific ones.
This discussion has been closed.