AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

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AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is an Advanced Placement science course about electricity and magnetism. It one of the AP Physics courses offered in some U.S. secondary schools.

Course content[edit]

It is supposed to be equivalent to an introductory college course in electricity and magnetism for physics or engineering majors.[1] The course modules are:[1]

  • Electrostatics
  • Conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics
  • Electric circuits
  • Magnetic fields
  • Electromagnetism.

Methods of calculus are used wherever appropriate in formulating physical principles and in applying them to physical problems. Therefore, students should have completed or be concurrently enrolled in a calculus class.[1]

This course may be combined with AP Physics C: Mechanics to make a unified Physics C course that prepares for both exams. In this scenario, Electricity and Magnetism is typically taught second, as it requires much of the knowledge gained in the Mechanics course.

AP test[edit]

The course culminates in an optional exam for which high-performing students may receive some credit towards their college coursework, depending on which college or university they attend.[2]

Registration[edit]

The AP examination for AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is separate from the AP examination for AP Physics C: Mechanics. Before 2006, test-takers paid only once and were given the choice of taking either one or two parts of the Physics C test.

Format[edit]

The exam is configured in two categories: a 35-question multiple choice section and a 3-question free response section.[1] Test takers are allowed to use an approved calculator during the entire exam.[3] The test is weighted such that each section is worth half of the final score.[1] This is one of the shortest AP exams, with total testing time of 90 minutes.[1]

The topics covered by the exam are as follows:[4]

Topic Percent
Electrostatics 30%
Conductors, insulators, capacitors, dielectrics 14%
Electric circuits 20%
Magnetic fields 20%
Electromagnetism 16%

Grade distribution[edit]

The grade distributions for the Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism scores since 2010 were:

Score 2010[5] 2011[6] 2012[7] 2013[8] 2014[9] 2015[10] 2016[11] 2017[12]
5 32.0% 32.0% 35.1% 31.7% 33.5% 28.5% 32% 28.1%
4 25.2% 24.5% 24.0% 24.1% 25.1% 24.9% 22.6% 25.1%
3 13.1% 14.1% 13.9% 13.7% 12.2% 13.7% 13.5% 15.6%
2 17.4% 17.7% 16.5% 19% 17.6% 19.8% 19.3% 18.2%
1 12.3% 11.7% 10.5% 11.6% 11.6% 13.1% 12.6% 13%
Mean 3.47 3.47 3.57 3.46 3.51 3.36 3.42
Number of Students 14,191 15,185 17,380 19,380 20,765


See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f AP® PHYSICS C: ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (PDF), College Board, December 2016, retrieved January 30, 2017 
  2. ^ "Credit & Placement". AP Students. The College Board. 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017. 
  3. ^ "AP Physics C: Mechanics – Calculator and Table Policies". AP Students. College Board. 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Topic Outline". College Board Tests. The College Board. 2013. Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ 2010 Physics C: E&M score distribution
  6. ^ 2011 Physics C: E&M score distribution
  7. ^ 2012 Physics C: E&M score distribution
  8. ^ 2013 Student Score Distributions
  9. ^ 2014 Student Score Distributions
  10. ^ 2015 AP Exam Score Distributions
  11. ^ Total Registration. "2016 AP Exam Score Distributions". www.totalregistration.net. Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  12. ^ Total Registration. "2017 AP Exam Score Distributions". www.totalregistration.net. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 

External links[edit]