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Your AP Physics 2 Resource Center

Overview of AP Physics 2

AP Physics 2 stands for Advanced Placement Physics 2. It is a college-level course offered by the College Board to high school students who wish to explore deeper into the world of physics. This course extends the topics of Physics 1, covering fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, and quantum physics. The course is rigorous and requires a foundational understanding of the concepts taught in Physics 1. It further challenges students with advanced problems and lab experiments to deepen their understanding of the physical world.

Course content

Unit 1: Fluids: Pressure and Forces

You’ll learn about the characteristics of fluids and how a fluid’s internal structure and interactions define these characteristics.

• Fluid systems
• Density
• Pressure and forces
• Fluids and free-body diagrams
• Buoyancy
• Conservation of energy in fluid flow
• Conservation of mass flow rate in fluids

• Thermodynamic systems
• Pressure, thermal equilibrium, and the Ideal Gas Law
• Thermodynamics and forces
• Heat and energy transfer
• Thermodynamics and collisions
• Probability, thermal equilibrium, and entropy

• Electric systems and charge
• Charge distribution: Friction, conduction, and induction
• Electric permittivity
• Electric forces and free-body diagrams
• Gravitational and electromagnetic forces
• Electric charges and fields
• Conservation of electric energy

• Definition and conservation of electric charge
• Resistivity and resistance
• Resistance and capacitance
• Kirchhoff’s loop rule
• Kirchhoff’s junction rule and the conservation of electric charge

• Magnetic systems
• Magnetic permeability and magnetic dipole moment
• Vector and scalar fields
• Monopole and dipole fields
• Magnetic fields and forces
• Forces review
• Magnetic flux

• Waves
• Electromagnetic waves
• Periodic waves
• Refraction, reflection, and absorption
• Images from lenses and mirrors
• Interference and diffraction

• Systems and fundamental forces
• Energy in modern physics (energy in radioactive decay and E=mc2)
• Mass–energy equivalence
• Properties of waves and particles
• Photoelectric effect
• Wave function and probability

Exam Date

AP Physics 2 Exam

Will be conducted on

AP Physics 2 Exam Guide

Struggling with your AP Physics 2 Exam prep? Having trouble understanding concepts like electric and magnetic fields or thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. AP Physics 2 Exam had a passing rate of 69.7% in 2022. The difficulty rating of the AP Physics 2 Exam by class alumnae is 6.5 out of 10, making it the sixth most challenging AP Exam. Don’t worry, as this AP Physics 2 Exam guide has everything you need to succeed in this AP exam. With practice questions, tips, and strategies to help you optimize your studying, you’ll be on your way to earning a top score in no time. So, let’s get started and prepare to crush the AP Physics 2 exam!

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AP Physics 2 Course

The College Board website offers a variety of extra resources to help AP Physics 2 students succeed on the exam. These resources include the AP Physics 2 Course at a Glance, the AP Physics 2 Course and Exam Description, the AP Physics 2 Scoring Guidelines, AP Physics 2 Equations Tables, and more. To help students prepare for the AP Physics 2 exam, we have provided links to these extra resources below.

AP Physics 2 Course at a Glance

Excerpted from the AP Physics 2 Course and Exam Description, the Course at a Glance document outlines the topics and science practices covered in the AP Physics 2 course, along with suggestions for sequencing.

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AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based Course and Exam Description

This is the core document for this course. Unit guides clearly lay out the course content and skills and recommend sequencing and pacing for them throughout the year. The CED was updated in the summer of 2020 to include scoring guidelines for the example questions.

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AP Physics 2 CED Scoring Guidelines

This document details how each of the sample free-response questions in the course and exam description (CED) would be scored. This information is now in the online CED but was not included in the binders teachers received in 2019.

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The Difference Between AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2

Learn the similarities and differences between these two courses and exams.

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AP Physics 2 Equation Tables

This document supplies equations commonly used in physics as well as constants, conversion factors, unit symbols, and more. This document or one like it will be provided to you on exam day for the AP Physics 2 Exam.

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