AP* Subjects Overview
This page gives a short overview of the importance of physics and of the AP Subjects SMM Academy will offer either singly or in one of its packages. The brief overview is intended to assist students in choosing the AP subjects that match their intended career path or course of study in college.*** Not all courses are offered each year.
Physics is probably the most fundamental subject of the natural sciences. At the high school grades 10-12 levels, we believe that it should be taught first when the sciences are taught in a modular fashion. The sequence in this case should be physics → chemistry→ biology and then the other applied sciences such as environmental and earth sciences. At SMM Academy we use a different approach where we carry the sciences and mathematics together over two years; A student does not complete one then move to the other, but rather learns them in an integrated fashion.
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 1 is an algebra based physics course similar to several college introductory physics I courses. It is usually taken by non-engineering and non-science majors in colleges. At the AP level, we recognize it as the first advanced high school physics course and it should be taken by all college bound students especially those who desire to pursue careers in the medical sciences, natural sciences, engineering and information technology. This is a link to College Board site for AP-Physics 1 and it contains several resources such as past exam questions and syllabi.
AP Physics 2
This is the second part of the algebra based physics course similar to several college physics 2 courses. College bound students who are pursuing studies in the medical sciences and information technology should take this course in the second year. Some engineering and natural sciences students may opt to take this second course in physics if they are also planning to take the SAT II exam in physics and/or to take a calculus based physics when they matriculate in college. This is a link to the College Board's site for AP-Physics 2.
AP Physics C
AP Physics C is the calculus based physics and it is normally taken by students who wish to major in engineering or physical sciences in college. It consists of two sections; mechanics, and electricity and magnetism. The college board offers AP exams for these two sections separately. AP Physics C goes into more depth than physics 1 or 2 but some topics such as optics, and atomic and nuclear physics and are not included. Students need basic integral and differential calculus knowledge to effectively handle the free response and some of the multiple choice exam questions. Although prospective science and engineering college majors are encouraged to take AP Physics C, they should only do so if they obtain a grade 5 or 4 in AP Physics 1. If they get a lower grade, they should probably consider taking AP-Physics 2 before tackling AP Physics C. The links to the College Board's sites are; Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism.
This AP course does not have the math rigor that is involved in AP Physics C, but the laboratory component is extremely important to a full understanding of the subject. It contains several sections which are also found in physics 1 and/or 2 such as heat and thermodynamics, Gases, atomic physics and early quantum mechanics, radioactivity and nuclear science. However, while the basic science is similar the emphases are somewhat different. Home schooled students are especially advised to make proper arrangements to cover the 22 essentials labs suggested for this course of study. Several of the concepts studied in physics will be also applicable to AP chemistry.
AP Calculus AB
Some form of calculus is required for most natural and social sciences, engineering, computer science, and medical science college majors. Quite often, it is not called calculus, but comes in other names such as business mathematics, mathematics and statistics etc. For example economics majors probably do as much calculus as some physics majors. In general, AP Calculus AB consists of the topics in derivatives, integrals, limits, approximation, and applications and modeling. For more information you may use the following link
AP Calculus BC
This AP course covers topics in differential and integral calculus, including concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, the fundamental theorem of calculus, and series. It represents the highest form of calculus taught in most K-12 schools. In several colleges, it is similar to a Calculus 2 course. Students should have completed all of the lower level math courses and AP Calculus AB before taking AP Calculus BC. For more information you may use the following link
AP Biology is an introductory-college level biology course. In this course, students are expected to explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes — energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. While at SMM academy we concentrate on the more challenging physical science courses, biology is a popular life science in which students can use the chemistry and physics learned earlier to help in the understanding of its systems and phenomena. Biology can also be viewed as a comprehensive life science from which students can later go to specialize in areas such as anatomy, physiology, botany, zoology, ecology, and genetics among others. It often required for college bound medical science students. For more information you may use the following link.
AP Statistics in a non-calculus-based introductory college course in statistics. Students taking this course should have completed and mastered algebra 2. The course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. There are four themes in the AP Statistics course: exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. Practically all advanced undergraduate students will be exposed to statistics in some way. It is expected that social and medical science students will probably utilize it most and are likely take at least one statistics course in college. For more information you may use the following link.
***The information here is not complete and prospective students should do their own research and consult with qualified counseling professionals to ensure that choices made are consistent with their intended goals. SMM Academy accepts no responsibility or liability for any loss resulting from the use of information contained in this webpage.