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The AP Physics 1 Exam

Important Updates

New Exam for Classroom Use

A secure 2016 AP Physics 1 Exam is now available on the AP Course Audit website. To access, sign in to your AP Course Audit account, and click on the Secure Documents link in the Resources section of your Course Status page.

Exam Day 2017

Tues, May 2, 12 noon

Exam Duration

3 hours

Exam Overview

Exam questions are based on learning objectives, which combine science practices with specific content. Students learn to:

  • Solve problems mathematically — including symbolically.
  • Design and describe experiments and analyze data and sources of error.
  • Explain, reason, or justify answers with emphasis on deeper, conceptual understanding.
  • Interpret and develop conceptual models.

The Paragraph-Length Response (.pdf/70.5KB) and The Analysis of Experimental Uncertainty (.pdf/72KB) documents provide clarifying information about expectations for student work in AP Physics 1 and 2.

Encourage your students to visit the AP Physics 1 student page for exam information and exam practice.

Access online score reports for your students.

Policies

A four function, scientific, or graphing calculator is allowed on both sections of the exam. Refer to our calculator policies for more information and for the list of approved graphing calculators.


Learn about late testing policies, and see all late testing dates.

Exam Format

Section I

Multiple Choice — 50 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Individual questions
  • Questions in sets
  • Multiple-select questions (two options are correct)

Section II

Free Response — 5 Questions | 1 Hour, 30 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score

  • Experimental Design (1 question)
  • Quantitative/Qualitative Translation (1 question)
  • Short Answer (3 questions, one requiring a paragraph-length argument)


Exam Questions and Scoring Information

Looking for sample multiple-choice and free-response questions? You can find them in:

The Course and Exam Description (.pdf/5.43MB), which has everything you need to know about the course and exam.


A full practice exam on AP Course Audit. Log in to your account and then click on the Secure Documents link within the Resources section of your Course Status page.


Sample Questions from the Physics 1 and 2 Exams (.pdf/1MB), which provides additional examples.


Free response questions from past AP Physics B exams, which are still available even though that course has been replaced by AP Physics 1 and 2.


The Student Performance Q&A. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

And for free-response questions from prior exams, along with scoring information, check out the tables below.

 



2016: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Sample Responses Q5

Score Distributions

2015: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples and Commentary Score Distributions

Free-Response Questions

Scoring Guidelines

Student Performance Q&A

Scoring Statistics

Sample Responses Q1

Sample Responses Q2

Sample Responses Q3

Sample Responses Q4

Sample Responses Q5

Score Distributions

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