How to Get a 5 on the AP Physics B Exam

Are you wondering how you can achieve a perfect 5 on the AP Physics B exam? That can be achieved with a few simple tips.


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    Get yourself a prep book. Students usually opt for Princeton Review, Barron, and Kaplan.
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    Dedicate at least 45 minutes a day studying. Studying can include reading your preparation book, watching Khan Academy videos, and more importantly, doing practice questions.
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    Do as many AP style physics practice problems as you can. Just reading about the material will not get you a 5. A competitive golf player doesn't improve by just reading the gold manual.
    • You must do many practice problems to be comfortable doing them quickly and accurately. Doing practice problems under time constraints is even better, as it helps you become faster, and is practice for the real test.
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    Go to the College Board AP Physics official webpage. There, you can find past free response questions along with answers and explanations. Be sure to answer all of the questions.
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    Do an online search for AP Physics B multiple choice questions. If you are lucky, you will be able to find past multiple choice questions to do.
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    Take full length practice tests. Set aside 90 minutes for the multiple choice portion, and 90 more minutes for the free response. (This is a total of 3 hours.)
    • When you are done, see which questions you got wrong to identify your weaknesses. If you have gotten a couple questions on fluid mechanics wrong, for instance, spend some time studying that topic and make sure you are familiar with it.


  • The AP Physics B multiple choice portion of the test does not allow a calculator. Make sure you can perform basic algebra and trigonometry calculations. Know common values of sine and cosine, especially for 30, 45, 60, and 90 degree angles.
  • Always draw a force diagram (also known as free body diagram). It can get you a couple of points on the FP section and it really does help you visualize the problem.
  • Memorizing equations is not necessary since there is an equation sheet. However, you should still be familiar with the basic equations so you won't waste time looking for them on the equation sheet.


  • Never attempt to cheat on the exam. If you are caught cheating on any AP exam, all of your results will be discarded, and everybody else in your group who worked very hard for the exams may lose their results too.
  • The AP Physics B course will be redesigned in the 2014-2015 year, so there may be changes to the format of the test.
  • When you get a question wrong, don't just look at the answer key for the right answer and move on. Instead, you look at the correct answer and attempt the problem again to make sure you can get the right answer. You have to dive into the problem in order to understand it and avoid making the same mistake again.

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Categories: Tests and Exams