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8 General Suggestions for the Free Response Questions of any AP Physics Exam

By Flipping Physics, 05/08/2014
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After 11 years of teaching AP Physics, going through countless old exams and grading an equally innumerable number of student solutions to Free Response Questions, here are my suggestions to help future students out.
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Content Times:
0:21 #1) Pre-Read All Free Response Questions
0:56 #2) Write Legibly
1:47 #3) Organize Your Solutions and Label All Parts
2:32 #4) SHOW ALL YOUR WORK!!
4:06 #5) Do Not Break Forces in Free Body Diagrams into Components
4:41 #6) Answer Every Part of Every Problem
5:48 #7) Dimension Your Answers
6:11 #8) Leave Algebra Heavy Solutions for Later

Next Video:
[url="http://www.flippingphysics.com/review-of-all-ap-physics-c-topics---mechanics-video-1-of-2.html"]Review of all AP Physics C Mechanics Topics[/url] - Video 1 of 2

All of my in-class [url="http://www.FlippingPhysics.com/calculus.html"]AP Physics C lectures[/url] with Lecture Notes are at:

[url="http://www.flippingphysics.com/give.html"]1¢/minute[/url]

I know "equally innumerable number" perhaps seems illogical, however, it get's my point across, so deal with it. :)

AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

General Suggestion #9: Read Carefully.

I made the video you are currently watching and then I proceeded to make video solutions to the 3 Free Response Questions of the 1998 AP Physics C Mechanics Exam and I learned a valuable lesson. I should have given 9 suggestions. I should have added a 9th suggestion: "Read Carefully."

I find it quite funny that I didn't read carefully enough because (1) for years it is something I berated my students about and (2) it is something I did not do on the third free response question. You see, I didn't answer part (a) completely. I missed the small word "magnitude". I simply drew the forces in the Free Body Diagrams, however, I didn't explicitly solve for the Magnitudes of the Forces. All the magnitudes of the forces are in my solutions because I had to find each one to solve the rest of the problem; however, I didn't quite answer part (a) correctly.

I don't know how the AP graders would grade my solution because all the physics is there, just not in the right places; however, I do feel they would not have given my solution full credit. So, please learn from my mistake and read the questions carefully. Don't have to eat humble pie, like me.

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