I am a junior who is choosing classes for senior year. Our school offered AP Physics 1 or AP Physics 1 and 2 combined. However, I got notified that our school is now no longer offering 1 and 2 combined, and is switching to offering them separately. Everyone takes a regular or honors physics class freshman year, so I do have a background in physics, although who knows how much I remember, since it's been 2 years since taking honors physics. I want to go into engineering or some sort of science.
Just from reading the descriptions, AP Physics 1 seems more interesting to me. However, would physics 2 look better to colleges? I don't know if 1 and 2 would really be viewed differently, since they just seem to cover different topics instead of one being more highly ranked another. Also, I would probably be taking an AP Physics C Exam no matter which class I take, which further reinforces the notion that these two classes might be equal after all.
Here are the course descriptions I got in the email from the school that notified me of the change:
AP Physics 1:
Covers all of the topics studied in 9th grade physics (mechanics) at a deeper level that is commensurate with the AP curriculum. In addition, some new topics, such as momentum, rotational topics, and circuits, will be studied. It is expected that students will take the AP Physics 1 exam or the AP Physics C Mechanics exam in May.
AP Physics 2:
Will cover topics that are not addressed in 9th grade, such as fluids, heat, AC and DC circuits, magnetism, light, optical instruments, diffraction, quantum physics, atomic physics, nuclear physics, and relativity. The course will also include opportunities to briefly explore physics concepts from AP Physics 1 that are needed for success in AP Physics 2. It is expected that students will take the AP Physics 2 exam or the AP Physics C Electricity & Magnetism exam in May. Students wishing to take the AP Physics 1 exam or the AP Physics C Mechanics exam will be given materials to prepare for these opportunities outside of classtime.