5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics C 2019
I know that preparing for the Advanced Placement (AP) Physics exam can seem like a daunting task. There’s a lot of material to learn, and some of it can be rather challenging. But I also know that preparing for the AP exam is much easier—and much more enjoyable—if you do it with a friendly guide. So let me introduce myself; my name is Greg, and I’ll be your friendly guide for this journey.
Why This Book?
To understand what makes this book unique, you should first know a little bit about who I am. I have taught all versions of AP Physics over the past two decades, helping more than 90% of my Physics C students garner 5s on the exam. I am also an AP Physics table leader—which means I set the rubrics for the AP exams and supervise their scoring.
I know, from my own experiences and from talking with countless other students and teachers, what you don’t need in a review book. You don’t need to be overwhelmed with unimportant, technical details; you don’t need to read confusing explanations of arcane topics; you don’t need to be bored with a dull text.
Instead, what I think you do need—and what this book provides—are the following:
• A text that’s written in clear, simple language.
• A thorough review of every topic you need to know for the AP exam.
• Lots of problem-solving tips and strategies.
• An introduction to the student-tested Five-Step Program to Mastering the AP Physics Exam.
Organization of the Book: The Five-Step Program
You will be taking a lengthy, comprehensive exam this May. You want to be well prepared enough that the exam takes on the feel of a command performance, not a trial by fire. Following the Five-Step program is the best way to structure your preparation.
Step 1: Set Up Your Study Program
Physics does not lend itself well to cramming. Success on the AP exam is invariably the result of diligent practice over the course of months, not the result of an all-nighter on the eve of exam day. Step 1 gives you the background and structure you need before you even start exam preparation.
Step 2: Determine Your Test Readiness
I have included a diagnostic test, of course, broken down by topic. But more important to your preparation are the fundamentals quizzes in Chapter 4. These quizzes, a unique feature of the 5 Steps to a 5 program, are different from test-style problems.
A problem on the AP exam usually requires considerable problem solving or critical thinking skills. Rare is the AP question that asks about straightforward facts that you can memorize—you’ll get maybe two of those on the entire 70-question multiple-choice test. Rather than asking you to spit out facts, the AP exam asks you to use the facts you know to reason deeply about a physical situation. But if you don’t know the fundamental facts, you certainly won’t be able to reason deeply about anything!
Thus, a good place to start your test preparation is by quizzing yourself. Find out what fundamental facts you know, and which you need to know. The 5 Steps fundamentals quizzes will diagnose your areas of strength and weakness. Once you can answer every question on a fundamentals quiz quickly and accurately, you are ready for deeper questions that will challenge you on the AP exam.
Step 3: Develop Strategies for Success
Yes, yes, I know you’ve been listening to general test-taking advice for most of your life. Yet, I have physics-specific advice for you. An AP physics test requires a dramatically different approach than does a state standards test or an SAT.
I start you with the secret weapon in attacking an AP test: memorizing equations. I explain why you should memorize, then I suggest some ways to make the learning process smoother. Next, I move on to discuss the major types of questions you’ll see on the AP exam, and how to approach each with confidence.
Finally, I present you with drills on some of the most common physics situations tested on the AP exams. These exercises will allow you to conquer any fear or uncertainty you may have about your skills.
Step 4: Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High
This is a comprehensive review of all the topics on the AP exam. Now, you’ve probably been in an AP Physics class all year; you’ve likely read1 your textbook. This review is meant to be just that—review, in a readable format, and focused exclusively on the AP exam.
These review chapters are appropriate both for quick skimming, to remind yourself of salient points, and for in-depth study, working through each practice problem. I do not go into nearly as much detail as a standard textbook; but the advantage of this lack of detail is that you can focus only on those issues germane to the AP Physics exams.
Step 5: Build Your Test-Taking Confidence
Here is your full-length practice test. Unlike other practice tests you may take, this one comes with thorough explanations. One of the most important elements in learning physics is making, and then learning from, mistakes. I don’t just tell you what you got wrong; I explain why your answer is wrong, and how to do the problem correctly. It’s okay to make a mistake here, because if you do, you won’t make that same mistake again on that Monday in mid-May.
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|August 18, 2019|
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