5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics 1 Algebra-Based 2020
Book Preface
How is this book different from all other AP Physics prep books?
The quality of the prep book starts with the author. Greg Jacobs has taught all versions of AP (and non-AP) physics since 1996. His hundreds of students over the years have a greater than 99 percent pass rate; more than 70 percent earn 5s. Greg has graded the exams, he has written questions that have appeared on exams, and he has taught teachers how to teach to the exams. The leading blog about physics teaching is his—“Jacobs Physics.” (Take a look at it.) Greg knows what he’s talking about, and the proof is in the results and feedback from his students.
AP Physics 1 emphasizes conceptual understanding over algebraic manipulation, and so does this book. So many people presume that physics is about finding the right numbers to plug into the right equation. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Successful physics students can explain why they chose a specific equation. They can explain what values for each variable are reasonable, and why. They can explain the physical meaning of any mathematical manipulation—how would this problem look in the laboratory? What equipment would be used to measure these values? The AP Physics 1 Exam mostly asks questions that are not about number crunching. Greg has been teaching “beyond the numbers” for years, and he brings his expertise in explaining complex concepts in simple language.
Your textbook is impenetrable, even to senior physics majors. This prep book is readable. Be honest—when you read your textbook, you really just try the problems at the end of the chapter, then look back for a template of how to do those problems. Well, this book’s content review is structured around this very method. Greg poses example equations and talks you through them. On the way, he shows you the relevant facts and equations, as well as how you are supposed to know they are relevant. He explains not just the answer, but the thought process behind the answer. You do not have to be already good at physics to understand the text.
This book’s practice tests and practice questions are authentic. One of the primary tenets of Greg’s physics teaching is that in-class tests should look exactly like the real AP exams. The College Board has published a curriculum guide that provides express guidance as to the style and content of the exam questions. Greg’s practice tests are derived directly from what the curriculum guide says. He has vast experience phrasing questions in the style seen on College Board exams.
Every practice question includes not just an answer, but also a thorough explanation of how to get that answer. The back of your textbook may provide answers like “2 m/s” or “increase.” Huh? Skim through and look at the solutions to the practice exam, and to the end-of-chapter questions. They’re complete. This book’s solutions explain everything, even sometimes the common mistakes that you might have made by accident. Exam readers expect thoroughness on the free-response problems—you should expect the same from your prep book.
It is not possible to prepare well for AP Physics merely by using recycled material from previous AP or honors physics courses. Even after five years of AP Physics 1, the majority of teachers—and every AP prep book bar this one—keep using the same problems and presentations, just tweaking the covered topics to match the new exam. And all those folks have a comeuppance on exam day. The AP Physics 1 Exam asks for explanations, not calculations; it does not give pity points for writing relevant equations. And in four years there has been only one—ONE!!!—problem requiring numerical work on the free-response section. AP Physics 1 demands a revolutionarily different approach to learning physics. Your parents’ generation might kvetch about cell phones and the Internet, but if they’re still doing business by landline and U.S. mail, well, they’re lucky to be doing business at all. Ditto for your teacher who moans about the good old days of AP Physics B.
CONTENTS
Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Introduction: The Five-Step Program
STEP 1 Get to Know the Exam and Set Up Your Study Program
1 Frequently Asked Questions About the AP Physics 1 Exam
FAQs: The AP Physics Program
FAQs: The AP Physics 1 Exam
2 Understanding the Exam: The AP Physics 1 Revolution
What Happened to the AP Physics Test?
What Is AP Physics 1? Eleven Things You Should Know About the Course and Exam
3 How to Use Your Time
Personalizing Your Study Plan
Plan A: You Have a Full School Year to Prepare
Plan B: You Have One Semester to Prepare
Plan C: You Have Six Weeks to Prepare
STEP 2 Determine Your Test Readiness
4 Facts to Know for the AP Physics 1 Exam
I. Forces and Motion
II. Conservation Laws
III. (a) Electricity
III. (b) Waves
5 Types of Questions on the AP Physics 1 Exam
Question Types
Solutions for the AP Physics 1 Question Types Assessment
STEP 3 Develop Strategies for Success
6 Strategies to Get the Most Out of Your AP Physics Course
Seven Simple Strategies to Get the Most Out of Your AP Physics Course
7 Strategies to Approach the Questions on the Exam
Tools You Can Use and Strategies for Using Them
Strategies for Questions That Involve a Ranking Task
Strategies for Questions That Involve Graphs
8 Strategies to Approach the Questions: Free-Response Section
Structure of the Free-Response Section
How to Approach the Laboratory Question
The Qualitative-Quantitative Translation (QQT)
What Do the Exam Readers Look For?
Final Advice About the Free-Response Questions
9 Strategies to Approach the Questions: Multiple-Choice Section
Multiple-Choice Questions
Multiple-Correct: A New Question Type
Preparing for the Multiple-Choice Section of the Test
Final Strategies for the Multiple-Choice Section
STEP 4 Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High
10 How Things Move
Introduction to Motion in a Straight Line
Graphical Analysis of Motion
Algebraic Analysis of Motion
Practice Problems
Solutions to Practice Problems
Rapid Review
11 Forces and Newton’s Laws
Describing Forces: Free-Body Diagrams
Determining the Net Force
Newton’s Third Law
Forces at Angles
Practice Problems
Solutions to Practice Problems
Rapid Review
12 Collisions: Impulse and Momentum
The Impulse-Momentum Theorem
Conservation of Momentum
Motion of the Center of Mass
Practice Problems
Solutions to Practice Problems
Rapid Review
13 Work and Energy
Energy
Work
The Work-Energy Theorem
Power
Practice Problems
Solutions to Practice Problems
Rapid Review
14 Rotation
Circular Motion
Torque
Rotational Kinematics
Rotational Inertia
Newton’s Second Law for Rotation
Angular Momentum
Rotational Kinetic Energy
Practice Problems
Solutions to Practice Problems
Rapid Review
15 Gravitation
Determining the Gravitational Field
Determining Gravitational Force
Force of Two Planets on One Another—Order of Magnitude Estimates
Gravitational Potential Energy
Gravitational and Inertial Mass
Fundamental Forces: Gravity Versus Electricity
Practice Problems
Solutions to Practice Problems
Rapid Review
16 Electricity: Coulomb’s Law and Circuits
Electric Charge
Circuits
Practice Problems
Solutions to Practice Problems
Rapid Review
17 Waves and Simple Harmonic Motion
Simple Harmonic Motion
Waves
Practice Problems
Solutions to Practice Problems
Rapid Review
18 Extra Drills on Difficult but Frequently Tested Topics
How to Use This Chapter
Springs and Graphs
Tension
Inclined Planes
Motion Graphs
Simple Circuits
STEP 5 Build Your Test-Taking Confidence
AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 1
AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 1: Section I (Multiple Choice)
AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 1: Section II (Free Response)
Solutions: AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 1, Section I (Multiple Choice)
Solutions: AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 1, Section II (Free Response)
Scoring the Practice Exam
AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 2
AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 2: Section I (Multiple Choice)
AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 2: Section II (Free Response)
Solutions: AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 2, Section I (Multiple Choice)
Solutions: AP Physics 1 Practice Exam 2, Section II (Free Response)
Scoring the Practice Exam
Appendixes
Table of Information
Recommended Websites
The Pantheon of Pizza
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