Buy that special someone an AP Physics prep book: 5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics 1

Visit Burrito Girl's handmade ceramics shop, The Muddy Rabbit: Yarn bowls, tea sets, dinner ware...

14 April 2013

AP Physics 1 and 2: What questions do you have for consultants?

This coming weekend (April 19-21), I'll be attending a College Board Physics Consultant meeting / training session in Chicago.  The topic:  The new courses, AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2.

For the 2013 AP Summer Institutes, the College Board is asking us to spend about 1 day out of five discussing the new exams rather than AP Physics B.  In summer 2014, the algebra-based institutes will, of course, be exclusively AP Physics 1 and 2, because Physics B will no longer be offered after 2013-14.

You can find out most of what you need to know about AP Physics 1 and 2 at the official College Board physics redesign page.

The best place to look for understanding the new courses is starting on page 131 of the curriculum framework.    I can't stand the majority of this document -- it's as dense as the watergate tape transcripts, with unfortunately fewer swear words -- but you can ferret out the general format and thrust of the exam questions by reading the sample problems on page 131 and beyond.

What other questions do you have about these new exams?  I will have a chance this weekend to talk to people who know.  What do you want me to ask them?  What sort of information that's NOT on the webpage and NOT in the curriculum framework do you want to know about?  Please email me, or post a comment, before Saturday; I'll try to investigate and share what I can.



  1. Next school year, I will be teaching three sections of Honors Physics using the guidelines for AP Physics 1 so that the non-seniors in the classes have the option of taking the first AP Physics 1 exam in 2015. I know that the College Board intends to release a lot of stuff next summer for people who plan to start teaching the course officially. But are there any plans to release a lot more stuff (especially sample questions) this summer for schools that are getting a jump start and teaching it unofficially? I have the handful of questions from the Curriculum Framework, but it would be nice to get a lot more if possible. Thanks!

  2. This is an add-on to my last comment. Some of the new multiple choice questions are multi-correct questions, in which students have to select all of the correct answers to receive credit. Are these questions separate from the multiple choice questions that have one correct answer, or are they all mixed in together, leaving it up to the student to decide if there is one correct answer or more than one correct answer?

    Also, like most schools, we have Scantron readers for quick grading of multiple choice questions, but these can only read questions with one correct answer. For the new multi-correct questions, do you have any recommendations for equipment that are capable of grading multiple choice questions with multiple correct answers? Thank you!

  3. Drew, I can answer part of your question: The student will know the difference between a run-of-the-mill single answer multiple choice item, and one of the new "multiple-correct" items. However, my understanding is that a "multiple-correct" item might have just one correct answer, or more than one.

    You've asked a wonderful question about scantrons. I know that each test will have 50-55 items in a 90 minute multiple choice section. How those items will break down between regular and multiple-correct, I don't yet know, but I'll try to find out. Point is, I don't think there will be so many of these questions on an exam that grading them will be particularly burdensome; I suspect that a well-thought-out answer sheet can be quickly scanned for correctness.

    We at Woodberry are getting new scanning equipment next year. I might look into getting equipment that allows for "multiple-correct" items, because they are so darned useful.

  4. Ok, now I feel kinda dumb after my last question. I did some research on equipment that can grade multiple-correct questions, and I found out that the Scantron machine we've had all along is capable of doing this, as well as every other Scantron reader out there. I had no idea that they were already capable of scoring multiple-correct questions. I guess we don't need to upgrade after all. The link is below for anyone else that might not have known this.

  5. Hi,
    I am teaching AP Physics B course in India. Next year I plan to start teaching AP Physics 1 in the class. I already attended one in Loyola last year on the old course Physics B.
    Will it be helpful if I attend your summer institute this year? Can I get enough info on the new course so that I can start it in August 2013 or will you recommend me to take in the summer of 2014?
    Ravi lall

    1. Ravi, I've answered this question in a new post... see the May 1, 2013 post.