Cracking the AP Physics 1 Exam, 2020 Edition
HOW TO BEGIN
1. Take a Test
Before you can decide how to use this book, you need to take a practice test. Doing so will give you insight into your strengths and weaknesses, and the test will also help you make an effective study plan. If you’re feeling test-phobic, remind yourself that a practice test is a tool for diagnosing yourself—it’s not how well you do that matters but how you use information gleaned from your performance to guide your preparation.
So, before you read further, take AP Physics 1 Practice Test 1 starting at this page of this book. Be sure to do so in one sitting, following the instructions that appear before the test.
2. Check Your Answers
Using the answer key on this page, count the number of multiple-choice questions you got right and how many you missed. Don’t worry about the explanations for now, and don’t worry about why you missed questions. We’ll get to that soon.
3. Reflect on the Test
After you take your first test, respond to the following questions:
How much time did you spend on the multiple-choice questions?
How much time did you spend on each free-response question?
How many multiple-choice questions did you miss?
Do you feel you had the conceptual understanding to address the subject matter of the free-response questions?
4. Read Part III of this Book and Make your Study Plan
As discussed in the Guide section, Part III will provide information on how the test is structured and scored. It will also set out areas of content that are tested.
As you read Part III, re-evaluate your answers to the questions in section 3. At the end of Part III, you will revisit and refine the answers. You will then be able to make a study plan, based on your needs and the time available, that will allow you to use this book most effectively.
5. Engage with Parts IV and V as Needed
Notice the word engage. You’ll get more out of this book if you use it intentionally than if you read it passively, hoping for an improved score through osmosis.
Strategy chapters will help you think about your approach to the question types on this exam. Part IV opens with a reminder to think about how you approach questions now and then closes with a reflection section asking you to think about how/whether you will change your approach in the future.
Part V is designed to provide a review of the content tested on the AP Physics 1 Exam, including the level of detail you need to know and how the content is tested. You will have the opportunity to assess your mastery of the content of each chapter through test-appropriate questions and a reflection section.
6. Take Practice Test 2 and Assess Your Performance
Once you feel you have developed the strategies you need and gained the knowledge you lacked, you should take Practice Test 2, which begins on this page. You should do so in one sitting, following the instructions at the beginning of the test.
When you are done, check your answers to the multiple-choice sections. Approach a teacher to read your essays and provide feedback.
Once you have taken the test, reflect on those areas you still need to improve upon, and revisit the respective chapters. Through this reflective and engaging approach, you will continue to improve.
7. Keep Working
After you have revisited certain chapters, continue the process of testing, reflection, and engaging with the next practice test in this book. Consider what additional work you need to do and how you will change your strategic approach to adapt to different parts of the test.
As we will discuss in Part III, there are other resources available to you, including a wealth of information on AP Students, the official homepage for all things AP. You should continue to explore areas that can stand to improve right up to the day of the test.
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Part I: Using This Book to Improve Your AP Score
Preview: Your Knowledge, Your Expectations
Your Guide to Using This Book
How to Begin
Part II: Practice Test 1
Practice Test 1
Practice Test 1: Answers and Explanations
Part III: About the AP Physics 1 Exam
The Structure of the AP Physics 1 Exam
A Quick Word About Equations
How AP Exams Are Used
Designing Your Study Plan
Part IV: Test-Taking Strategies for the AP Physics 1 Exam
1 How to Approach Multiple-Choice Questions
2 How to Approach Free-Response Questions
Part V: Content Review for the AP Physics 1 Exam
Vector Operations Using Components
Magnitude of a Vector
Direction of a Vector
Chapter 3 Review Questions
Looking at Distance-Versus-Time Graphs
Speed and Velocity
Uniformly Accelerated Motion and the Big Five
Additional Kinematic Graphical Aspects
Chapter 4 Review Questions
5 Newton’s Laws
Introduction to Forces
Newton’s First Law
Newton’s Second Law
Newton’s Third Law
Newton’s Laws: A Summary
An Overall Strategy
Chapter 5 Review Questions
6 Work, Energy, and Power
Energy: An Overview
Work at an Angle
Work Done by a Variable Force
The Work–Energy Theorem
Conservation of Mechanical Energy
Conservation of Energy with Nonconservative Forces
Chapter 6 Review Questions
7 Linear Momentum
Introduction to Momentum
What Is Momentum?
Conservation of Linear Momentum
Chapter 7 Review Questions
8 Uniform Circular Motion, Newton’s Law of Gravitation, and Rotational Motion
Uniform Circular Motion
Newton’s Law of Gravitation
Center of Mass
Chapter 8 Review Questions
Simple Harmonic Motion
The Spring-Block Oscillator: Vertical Motion
Chapter 9 Review Questions
Transverse Traveling Waves
Wave Speed on a Stretched String
Superposition of Waves
Resonance for Sound Waves
The Doppler Effect
Chapter 10 Review Questions
11 Electric Forces and Fields
The Electric Field
Chapter 11 Review Questions
12 Direct Current Circuits
Chapter 12 Review Questions
Key Terms and Concepts for AP Physics 1
13 Answers and Explanations to the Chapter Review Questions
Part VI: Additional Practice Tests
Practice Test 2
Practice Test 2: Answers and Explanations
Practice Test 3
Practice Test 3: Answers and Explanations
Practice Test 4
Practice Test 4: Answers and Explanations
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