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Cracking the AP Physics 1 Exam, 2020 Edition


Author: The Princeton Review

Publisher: Princeton Review

Genres: ,

Publish Date: August 6, 2019

ISBN-10: 525568301

Pages: 416

File Type: EPub

Language: English

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Book Preface


1. Take a Test

Before you can decide how to use this book, you need to take a practice test. Doing so will give you insight into your strengths and weaknesses, and the test will also help you make an effective study plan. If you’re feeling test-phobic, remind yourself that a practice test is a tool for diagnosing yourself—it’s not how well you do that matters but how you use information gleaned from your performance to guide your preparation.

So, before you read further, take AP Physics 1 Practice Test 1 starting at this page of this book. Be sure to do so in one sitting, following the instructions that appear before the test.

2. Check Your Answers

Using the answer key on this page, count the number of multiple-choice questions you got right and how many you missed. Don’t worry about the explanations for now, and don’t worry about why you missed questions. We’ll get to that soon.

Diagnostic Answer Key

The answer key for Practice Test 1 provides the chapter number(s) in which each question topic or concept is covered. Use this diagnostic answer key to identify the content chapters of this book in which you missed the most questions, as that may present you with a good place to begin your review.

3. Reflect on the Test

After you take your first test, respond to the following questions:

  • How much time did you spend on the multiple-choice questions?

  • How much time did you spend on each free-response question?

  • How many multiple-choice questions did you miss?

  • Do you feel you had the conceptual understanding to address the subject matter of the free-response questions?

4. Read Part III of this Book and Make your Study Plan

As discussed in the Guide section, Part III will provide information on how the test is structured and scored. It will also set out areas of content that are tested.

As you read Part III, re-evaluate your answers to the questions in section 3. At the end of Part III, you will revisit and refine the answers. You will then be able to make a study plan, based on your needs and the time available, that will allow you to use this book most effectively.

5. Engage with Parts IV and V as Needed

Notice the word engage. You’ll get more out of this book if you use it intentionally than if you read it passively, hoping for an improved score through osmosis.

Strategy chapters will help you think about your approach to the question types on this exam. Part IV opens with a reminder to think about how you approach questions now and then closes with a reflection section asking you to think about how/whether you will change your approach in the future.

Part V is designed to provide a review of the content tested on the AP Physics 1 Exam, including the level of detail you need to know and how the content is tested. You will have the opportunity to assess your mastery of the content of each chapter through test-appropriate questions and a reflection section.

6. Take Practice Test 2 and Assess Your Performance

Once you feel you have developed the strategies you need and gained the knowledge you lacked, you should take Practice Test 2, which begins on this page. You should do so in one sitting, following the instructions at the beginning of the test.

When you are done, check your answers to the multiple-choice sections. Approach a teacher to read your essays and provide feedback.

Once you have taken the test, reflect on those areas you still need to improve upon, and revisit the respective chapters. Through this reflective and engaging approach, you will continue to improve.

7. Keep Working

After you have revisited certain chapters, continue the process of testing, reflection, and engaging with the next practice test in this book. Consider what additional work you need to do and how you will change your strategic approach to adapt to different parts of the test.

As we will discuss in Part III, there are other resources available to you, including a wealth of information on AP Students, the official homepage for all things AP. You should continue to explore areas that can stand to improve right up to the day of the test.



Title Page



Get More (Free) Content

Part I: Using This Book to Improve Your AP Score

 Preview: Your Knowledge, Your Expectations

 Your Guide to Using This Book

 How to Begin

Part II: Practice Test 1

 Practice Test 1

 Practice Test 1: Answers and Explanations

Part III: About the AP Physics 1 Exam

 The Structure of the AP Physics 1 Exam

 A Quick Word About Equations

 How AP Exams Are Used

 Other Resources

 Designing Your Study Plan

Part IV: Test-Taking Strategies for the AP Physics 1 Exam

1 How to Approach Multiple-Choice Questions

2 How to Approach Free-Response Questions

Part V: Content Review for the AP Physics 1 Exam

3 Vectors


 Scalar Multiplication

 Vector Subtraction

 Two-Dimensional Vectors

 Vector Operations Using Components

 Magnitude of a Vector

 Direction of a Vector

 Chapter 3 Review Questions


4 Kinematics



 Looking at Distance-Versus-Time Graphs

 Speed and Velocity


 Uniformly Accelerated Motion and the Big Five

 Additional Kinematic Graphical Aspects

 Qualitative Graphing

 Free Fall

 Projectile Motion

 Chapter 4 Review Questions


5 Newton’s Laws

 Introduction to Forces

 Newton’s First Law

 Newton’s Second Law

 Newton’s Third Law

 Newton’s Laws: A Summary


 Normal Force

 An Overall Strategy



 Inclined Planes

 Chapter 5 Review Questions


6 Work, Energy, and Power

 Energy: An Overview


 Work at an Angle

 Work Done by a Variable Force

 Kinetic Energy

 The Work–Energy Theorem

 Potential Energy

 Conservation of Mechanical Energy

 Conservation of Energy with Nonconservative Forces


 Chapter 6 Review Questions


7 Linear Momentum

 Introduction to Momentum

 What Is Momentum?


 Conservation of Linear Momentum


 Chapter 7 Review Questions


8 Uniform Circular Motion, Newton’s Law of Gravitation, and Rotational Motion

 Uniform Circular Motion

 Newton’s Law of Gravitation


 Rotational Motion

 Center of Mass



 Rotational Inertia

 Angular Momentum

 Chapter 8 Review Questions


9 Oscillations

 Simple Harmonic Motion

 The Spring-Block Oscillator: Vertical Motion


 Chapter 9 Review Questions


10 Waves

 Transverse Traveling Waves

 Wave Speed on a Stretched String

 Superposition of Waves

 Standing Waves

 Sound Waves

 Resonance for Sound Waves

 The Doppler Effect

 Chapter 10 Review Questions


11 Electric Forces and Fields

 Electric Charge

 Coulomb’s Law

 The Electric Field

 Chapter 11 Review Questions


12 Direct Current Circuits

 Electric Current



 Electric Circuits

 Circuit Analysis

 Chapter 12 Review Questions


 Key Terms and Concepts for AP Physics 1

13 Answers and Explanations to the Chapter Review Questions

Part VI: Additional Practice Tests

 Practice Test 2

 Practice Test 2: Answers and Explanations

 Practice Test 3

 Practice Test 3: Answers and Explanations

 Practice Test 4

 Practice Test 4: Answers and Explanations

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