Big Changes on the Way for AP Physics

As part of the Advanced Placement course and exam redesign , AP will offer two new physics courses beginning in fall 2014. These courses, AP Physics 1 and Physics 2 , will replace the current AP Physics B course; as a result, AP Physics B will retire in fall 2014. This two-course physics model better reflects the introductory algebra-based college course sequence at most colleges.

The new AP Physics 1 and Physics 2 courses and exams:

Read more about the topics covered in the AP Physics 1 and 2 courses.

As with all AP courses, the AP Physics 1 and 2 curriculum and exam development was overseen by a committee comprised of college faculty members and AP teachers from across the country. The committee reviewed introductory-level Physics syllabi from colleges and universities across the country. This curriculum review helped the committee define which elements of introductory algebra-physics Physics were elemental and important to keep in the design of the revised curriculum. The final curriculum was also reviewed and validated by a separate panel of more than 50 physics faculty from a variety of institutions.

What do the redesigned courses and exams mean for colleges?

The first score reports for Physics 1 and 2 will be available in July 2015. Colleges can prepare for these changes in three ways:

  1. Review the Physics 1 and 2 Curriculum Framework and determine alignment with your corresponding introductory college course(s).
  2. Create new credit and placement policies that reflect the coursesí alignment with your departmentís courses. The College Board recommends that colleges grant one semester of credit for a score of 3 or higher on Physics 1 and one semester of credit for a score of 3 or higher on Physics 2. Students need not take both exams in order to earn credit.
  3. Advise the College Board about your new Physics policy through an online form and publicize the policies on your website to inform prospective and admitted students.

Theodore Hodapp, Ph. D., Director of Education and Diversity
American Physical Society Email:
One Physics Ellipse Phone: 301-209-3263
College Park, MD 20740 FAX: 301-209-3653

Professor of Physics Email:
Hamline University, St. Paul, MN Phone: 651-523-2293