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Preparing for AP Physics C (no physics background)

seraphinfallsseraphinfalls Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited November 2011 in Sciences
My school has two weighted physics courses: Accelerated Physics (mechanics) and AP Physics C. Most people take Accel Physics their junior year, then take AP Physics C senior year along with Calculus AB or BC. I would have taken Accel Physics, but I took AP Chem instead. I'm currently enrolled in "Pre-Calculus with Limits" for Math and will be taking Calculus BC next year.

Here's the thing: people tell me AP Physics C is hard as hell if you don't take physics accel before it. So to ease the difficulty, I plan on self-studying a bit during winter, spring, and summer break using this website: The Physics Classroom Topics
Once I grasp the concepts, I'll contact the teachers for more resources.
So of the links, what do I need to know to cover the mechanics of AP Physics? What Calculus concepts would be helpful to know before hand? Any links to sites or books (nothing too thick) would be helpful. And has anyone else taken AP Physics C without a physics background?
Post edited by seraphinfalls on

Replies to: Preparing for AP Physics C (no physics background)

  • seraphinfallsseraphinfalls Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Oh, and the Physics C class covers both mechanics and E&M.
  • seraphinfallsseraphinfalls Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Should I buy the Princeton Review book ahead of time?
  • NewSchoolerNewSchooler Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I'm in a similar situation as you, I'm in AP bio right now and in pre-calc, will be taking AP calc next year and AP physics, I'm not self studying though, I plan on taking accelerated physics or physics (which ever is offered in the summer) then AP physics during the year. If your town or a nearby town has a credited physics class over the summer I'd recommend that so you're prepared for AP and you'll have all the info fresh because you would have just learned the foundation!
  • energizeenergize Registered User Posts: 964 Member
    You won't need thermal physics or anything after current electricity for Physics C. Only the E of E&M is covered here, so you might want to find another resource for magnetism.

    I recommend Princeton Review and AP Advantage (which is out of print, but you can get it used). You can get books before your class if you want to be more prepared. This collection of materials may also be useful.

    From calculus, you pretty much only need to know 1) how to take a derivative, 2) how to evaluate an integral (can be tricky), 3) how to solve a differential equation. Don't bother buying a book for those, because you can learn from Khan Academy or some other online resource.

    (I self-studied AP Physics B with no background, then C the next year, getting 5 on B and Mech, 4 on E&M. Take those qualifications as you will.)
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