The AP Physics course is divided into three branches. And that’s the AP Physics 1, 2, and the AP Physics C.
Most students confess that the C section is the most strenuous and therefore requires rigorous review.
It could probably be because it features a mix of magnetism and electrical topics, which can be a bit complex and very detailed.
But that shouldn’t be enough reason to scare you. With the right amount of review resources, you can manage a score of 3-5, and if you push your capabilities further, a clean 5 wouldn’t be difficult to attain.
In fact, you should count yourself lucky as we have compiled a list of the best 5 AP Physics C review books you should incorporate in your studies for the best results.
But before we get into that, I want to talk to you about a different preparation method. We know that using hardcopy books might not be a convenient way for some students.
So, we partnered with Princeton Review that will offer you live online tutoring in all AP subjects (including AP Physics C) with a guarantee that if you do not get a score of 5 in the exam, they will refund you your money. It does not get better than that.
Table of Contents
The Best AP Physics C Review Books
|Princeton Cracking the AP Physics||Barron’s AP Physics||The AP Physics C Companion||5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics C||
Notes on AP Physics C
|No. of Full-Length Practice Tests||2||2||Not indicated||3||Not indicated|
|No. of Problem Questions||Numerous, number not indicated||Multiple, number not indicated||350+||100+||Not indicated|
|No. of Pages||656||656||250||352||38|
|Format||Paperback, Online access||Paperback, online access||Paperback, eTextbook||Paperback, online access||Paperback|
The AP Physics C Exam Format
In 2020, the AP Physics C exam will contain two sections.
Section One contains 35 multiple choice questions, which should be taken within 45 minutes, and it caters to 50% of the exam score.
In this section, the questions are either in sets or discrete.
The Second Section contains 3 free-response questions, to be taken within 45 minutes, and they cater to the remaining 50% of the exam score.
Out of the three free-response questions, one will include an experimental or lab-based content.
The other questions will weigh students on all 7 science practices. From math, theoretical relationships, question, and method, among others.
The topics coverage per percentage is as follows;
Oscillations and Gravitation 18%
- Kinematics 18%
- Work, energy, and Power 14%
- Circular Motion and Rotation 18%
- Systems or Particles, Linear Momentum 12%
- Newton’s law of motion 20%
How Do I Prepare for AP Physics C?
Invest in Decent Resources
First, you need a couple of resources to help you understand all the crucial concepts you need to attain a high score in the exam.
For example, you can pair any of the best books stated in this article with an online resource such as Khan Academy.
Your focus should be to gain proper math understanding, even if physics derives equations from earlier equations.
So, a textbook with comprehensive coverage of calculus will be a perfect pick.
This, together with a good percentage of the physical equation, will help you interpret various mathematical errors.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Ever heard the common phrase that practice makes perfect? Well, now is the time to use it.
Remember, the secret of performing well in the multi-choice section is having a basic knowledge of all the topics in the exam.
And since you will have to answer 35 questions in 45 minutes, you will have to be quick and smart.
There’s no better way to get ready for this other than practicing using full-length practice tests and various problem questions.
The prep books you get normally come with both print and online tests, exhaust them. Some even come with AP exam questions from the previous years.
You can also search online for free practice questions and then time yourself to see if your time-management skills are on point.
Continue practicing until you can comfortably answer all the questions within 45 minutes or less.
Flashcards are valuable resources, especially when it comes to mastering formulas. This way, you can customize them to suit your needs and keep reviewing even on-the-go.
The free;-response section will also do with some flashcards to help you master vocabularies. But in this case, you will have to understand how to apply them within the context of the exam.
So, here, general knowledge is important and not just cramming everything.
If you can’t manage to purchase flashcards, you can always use a small notebook to jot down your brief notes.
Some online sites offer eFlashcards that you can access via smartphone/tablet or laptop. Maximize on them.
Be Part of a Study Group
Sometimes you need the company of like-minded individuals to encourage each other in studies.
So, if you happen to know any students who have successfully handled the AP Physics C exam, you can request them to help you out with your studies.
You can also form a study group with current students and meet once or twice a week to discuss various topics.
You should, however, ensure the study group sessions don’t interfere with your individual study plan. Remember, they should always be supplementary.
Use a Private Tutor
If things become too thick and you find yourself going through the easy stuff over and over again, while sidelining the difficult topics, then you should consider getting a private tutor to help you out.
A tutor will help you pace yourself. And knowing you’re accountable to someone else apart from yourself will push you into working smart.
And no, private tutors don’t have to be expensive, there are always some ex-students looking out for some extra cash, so take advantage of that if you are operating on a tight budget.
FAQs About Best AP Physics C Review Books
Is AP Physics C Mechanics Hard?
Given that most of the AP Physics C mechanics multiple-questions section doesn’t require calculus knowledge, it should be easy if you’re good in math.
But then, we must agree that hardness is a subjective term, and that means there will always be students who will find physics and calculus easy, while others will find it difficult.
What you should focus on is reviewing as much content as possible, taking practice questions, and equipping yourself with test-taking tips. If you do it correctly, you will gain the confidence to face the exam and end-up scoring high.
What Do You Need to Get A 5 On AP Physics C?
The first thing you need is yourself. You should present your best version and make-up your mind that you really want to score a 5.
Once you do that, invest in quality prep materials, including one or two AP Physics review books we have listed in this article. You can supplement them with flashcards and online videos, and you will be good to go.
Next, have a realistic study schedule in place and keep adjusting it to suit your weekly needs.
Set time aside to study and be consistent. It’s better to study for 1 hour every day for 6 days a week than 4 hours a single day each week.
This is because consistency breeds familiarity and that’s what you need to master even the hardest concepts.
You can also have a study partner.
If you do everything right and with patience and persistence, a 5 won’t be difficult to attain.
Does Physics C Require Calculus?
Yes. The two AP Physics C courses are calculus-based.
So, you should have taken calculus before joining the course or at least be enrolled in one even as you attend the AP Physics C course.
It’s a requirement, so no other way around it.
Whenever you’re preparing for a standardized exam such as AP Physics C, you should always invest in the correct review resources.
And while at it, remember that what works for others might not necessarily work for you.
So, take the time to evaluate yourself and identify your needs. Once you do, you can proceed to pick a perfect resource.
And for this, consider your learning pace. Some materials are too detailed to cover over a short period exhaustively.
Don’t forget to follow our buying guide advice and utilize every second you have for extensive preparedness.
Also, check our article about the best biology review books in case that interests you.