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Should I take the AP Physics 1 Exam?

sciencegirl2024sciencegirl2024 36 replies8 threads Junior Member
Hi all,

I am currently taking AP Physics 1, but not really. My transcript shows that I am taking this class, but my teacher is not taking it seriously and has even told me that we won't reach a good chunk of the curriculum by the exam date. (For reference, it is the end of January and we are just finishing the dynamics unit.)

I am trying to decide whether it is a good idea to put in the time to self-study, or if this is even possible. I am planning to major in engineering so physics is a major-related course for me.

I am already planning to take AP Physics C: Mechanics next year and take the exam, so I will get AP physics exam credit that way. Would it look bad to not take the AP exam for Phys 1 if I took the course?

However, Phys 1 seems to be the "easiest" of the 4 AP Physics courses, and I feel that I might be able to self-study? I have never self-studied for an AP before, since most of the other teachers at my school prepare students well for the exams. I would like to be sure I could get at least a 4 (all other AP scores so far have been 5s, except one 4).

I need to decide whether to register for the exam by Jan. 31st as this is when my school's exam registration is due.

I appreciate any input you have and would be happy to answer any additional questions about the situation!
3 replies
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Replies to: Should I take the AP Physics 1 Exam?

  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 threads Senior Member
    Yes, register for the exam and self-study. You will get better grades this year and next and likely a better score on the Physics C test.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83898 replies744 threads Senior Member
    But note that AP physics 1 credit may not be all that valuable.

    * No subject credit for engineering or physics majors, who take calculus-based physics.
    * May be a liability for pre-meds, because some medical schools want pre-meds to take physics in college, but other medical schools will see repeating AP credit with a college course as grade-grubbing.
    * May be accepted for subject credit for non-pre-med biology and architecture majors, depending on the college.
    * May be accepted for science breadth for non-science majors, depending on the college.
    * Credit may be lost if student also has AP physics C or takes a college physics course.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 5101 replies61 threads Senior Member
    Look at the score distribution. I wouldn't sit the test unless you are serious about it.
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