Six Steps for Success on the AP Physics B Exam

AP Physics.  The title alone is enough to make students groan, cringe, and tremble in fear, yet some students manage to beat this terrible test every year.  How do they do it?  Here are our top tips for crushing the AP Physics B exam.

1) Take the test when you’re in top “Physics Form.”  A select few students manage to learn the material well enough to remember it for years.  But for most of us, there’s only one peak time that will maximize the chances for success.  So, if you take AP Physics your senior year, take the test at the end of that school year, when the material is fresh in your mind.  If you care about your grades (hint: you do!) you’ll already be studying a ton for your final exam.

2) Draw Pictures.  The good news about Physics B is that nearly every topic can (and should!) be represented visually.  Drawing the problem (especially for visual learners) can only help you as you gather and make sense of the information presented.  Still stuck on stick figures?  Good!  We don’t want you wasting your time with masterpieces.  The AP exam graders won’t take away points based on artistic ability – even if your Picasso-like creation gives them a chuckle.

3) Study in groups.  As much fun as it may be to stare at a problem for 20 minutes and still have no idea where to begin, you’ll get a lot more done if you study with peers (as long as you stay focused!).  Your peers may prove invaluable if you’re struggling, and if they are struggling, helping them will help you solidify the concepts in your mind.  Remember – you don’t truly understand a concept until you can explain it effectively.

4) Review your math.  You can’t pass an AP Physics test without a firm grasp of Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry (no Calculus necessary for AP Physics B, though).  Don’t know Trig yet?  Make an effort to learn the basics, and you’ll reap the benefits throughout the school year.  The triangle is like Physics’ annoying little brother – it butts in on nearly every topic, and we all wish it would just go home and play with the squares and rectangles.  Unfortunately, the triangle has the persistence of… an annoying little brother.  Review your math.

5) Search for online videos.  Is kinematics just not clicking?  Is relativity being taught in terms only Einstein could understand?  The internet has tons of videos on these topics, with both audio and visuals coupled with the equations themselves, so just about any learner can engage with the material.  Pause, re-watch, compare what’s on the screen to your notes – these videos can do a lot for you.  Of course, some of us need a real human being to talk to.  If that’s the case…

6)  Check out our AP Test Prep options  Revolution guarantees a passing score if you prepare with AP Private Tutoring. Best of luck to you!

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