*Updated April 3, 2020
The College Board has modified the AP Physics 2 exam, and all other AP exams, in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19.
The AP Physics 2 exam for 2020 will be shorter, administered online, cover less material, and have a different format than previous tests.
Here are the key changes you need to know to do well in the upcoming AP Physics 2 exam.
Will I get AP credit for the modified AP Physics 2 exam?
Students who take the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam will be eligible for college credit, according to the College Board: “Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.”
As in previous years, a student must obtain a score of 3, 4 or 5 to be eligible for college credit.
How long is the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam?
The online 2020 AP Physics 2 exam will be just 45 minutes long, instead of the three hours it took in previous years.
What is the AP Physics 2 exam format for 2020?
The 2020 AP Physics 2 exam will be based entirely on free-response questions. There will be no multiple choice questions as there were in the past.
What device should I use to take the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam?
You can take the exam on any device you have access to, including a computer, tablet or a smartphone. You should make the determination of which device works best for you beforehand.
You are also allowed to submit a photo of your handwritten work.
What if I don’t have internet access?
If you need access to the internet or a working computer, contact the College Board here for help. The College Board is committed to making the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam work for all students: “We recognize that the digital divide could prevent some low-income and rural students from participating. Working with partners, we will invest so that these students have the tools and connectivity they need to review AP content online and take the exam.”
What will be tested on the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam?
You will be tested only on material from Units 1 through 5, so you should be prepared to answer questions on these topics:
- Unit 1: Fluids
- Unit 2: Thermodynamics
- Unit 3: Electric Force, Field, and Potential
- Unit 4: Electric Circuits
- Unit 5: Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction
What will not be tested on the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam?
You won’t be tested on material from Units 6 and 7.
- Unit 6: Geometric and Physical Optics
- Unit 7: Quantum, Atomic, and Nuclear Physics
Are exam question types and sample questions available for the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam?
The AP Physics 2 exam will consist of two questions, a Qualitative/Quantitative Translation (QQT) question and a paragraph argument short answer question. Check here for a description of the questions. |
You will have 25 minutes to read and respond to the first question and five minutes to upload your response. Then you will have 15 minutes for the second question plus another five minutes to upload your response.
What’s the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam date and time?
The College Board is offering two exam dates for each AP exam this year.
The AP Physics 2 exam is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13 at these times:
- Hawaii Time: 6 a.m.
- Alaska Time: 8 a.m.
- Pacific Time: 9 a.m.
- Mountain Time: 10 a.m.
- Central Time: 11 a.m.
- Eastern Time: 12 p.m.
The AP Physics 2 make-up exam will be held on Tuesday, June 2 at these times:
- Hawaii Time: 10 a.m.
- Alaska Time: 12 p.m.
- Pacific Time: 1 p.m.
- Mountain Time: 2 p.m.
- Central Time: 3 p.m.
- Eastern Time: 4 p.m.
Is the College Board offering any free AP Physics 2 exam review courses?
The College Board is committed to make free resources available to students through exam day.
What are my other options for preparing for the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam?
If you don’t have an AP Physics 2 review book already and can’t get it on time through Amazon, which has recently confirmed that even Amazon Prime deliveries of non-essential goods could be delayed a month, try eBay or other alternate sources.
And don’t worry if you have problems getting your book delivered early enough to help you with your prep. There are online resources that you can use to help you prepare for the 2020 AP Physics 2 exam.
In partnership with the College Board, Khan Academy provides an official AP Physics 2 course that comes with free instructional videos, articles, and practice exercises created by current and former AP teachers. In addition, Khan Academy offers free exam skills and strategies.
If you would like to get one-on-one instruction to help you prepare for the AP Physics 2 exam, the Princeton Review offers private tutoring, available both in-person or online, for a fee starting at $167 an hour. If you decide to go with this personalized option, expert tutors will work with you to “make a plan, set goals, and exceed them.” The Princeton Review guarantees that if you’re not 100% satisfied, you will be matched with another tutor and get your next lesson for free.
If you’re taking more than one AP exam in 2020, check here for details on other revised AP exams.
Susan Chu is a writer and editor who likes to write about trends in higher education.