Tag Archives: preparing for physics

How to Prepare to Take AP Physics 1

I really like the new changes to the AP physics course. The new course, AP Physics 1 is more about understanding rather than just plugging and chugging.
It helps to start by building up your conceptual understanding muscles.
To do this, I’d recommend you watch some youtube videos by Veritasium. All of his videos are good, but his ones on physics misconceptions are really great.
For this class I’d recommend you at least watch these:
Can you perceive acceleration?
When is a bungee jumper’s acceleration max?
Three incorrect laws of motion
Khan academy and the effectiveness of science videos (just so you can think about your own learning process and what your preconceived ideas are)
What is gravity?
What forces are acting on you?
Is there gravity in space?
Which hits the ground first?
Misconceptions about falling objects
Best film on newton’s third law, ever.
After that, get a head start on solving some physics problems. For this, try using the site The Physics Classroom.
Start at the top of the list of their topics, and work your way through, making sure you try the practice problems.
Also, I have some free books on Amazon that I think would be really helpful for you, because they’re focused on conceptual understanding and problem solving. For this class, work through these to start:
Electric Circuits, Rotation, and Momentum would also be good because they’re covered in this class, but you won’t get to them until later (and they’re not free).
If you want to practice AP test questions, this book is a good one, written by a physics teacher (not me :).
Good luck!

What to do to prepare for taking physics: 1. Introduction

Over the next week I’ll be writing some posts about good things to practice and know before you start taking a physics class. This includes making sure your math is solid, and getting a head start on the basics before school starts. Each day I’ll post a short practice assignment. You can post answers here in the comments, or email them to me with questions.

Here’s what I’ll be covering:

1. Introduction (ie. this post 🙂 )

2. Are your math skills ready for physics?

3. What are significant digits and why are they significant?

4. Why does everybody think physics is hard? (An introduction to problem solving.)

5. SI Units and the Metric System

6. When should you start studying for the AP test, and what can you do at the beginning of the year to make that easier?

7. A head start on 1-dimensional kinematics (usually the first thing you learn).

In each of these, I’ll be giving links to resources (using them will be part of the homework) so that when school starts you’ll already have a ton of places to go to get extra information (plus you can always ask me questions here or on my facebook page.)