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Cracking AP Physics FRQs

Hey guys, I'm having a bit of trouble with the Free Response Questions on my AP Physics practice tests. Does anyone have any strategies for tackling these or could share their experiences? Really hoping to improve before the big day.

10 days ago

Sure, I'd be glad to share some handy tips that might be beneficial for you.

Firstly, it's important to remember that the FRQ section is all about showing your work and how you arrived at your final answer. The readers are not only interested in your final answer but also how you structure your response, your understanding of the concept, and your ability to work through a problem. It's far better to have an incorrect final answer with a well-explained process than a correct final answer without any explanation.

Next, remember to fully utilize the given information. Oftentimes, the problem will seek to misdirect you or throw you off with extra information. Try to pick out the relevant details and constants that are needed for your calculations.

When you are reading the question, underline or circle the keywords. This will help you identify exactly what the question is asking for. It can be useful to write an outline of what you plan to find and how you plan to find it.

Also, remember the importance of units. If you're not clear on the units you're working with, you could end up with wrong answers. Moreover, don't skip any steps—even if they may seem 'obvious'. You get points for each correct statement, so show every single step.

One valuable strategy is to practice under timed conditions. This will help you get a feel for the speed at which you'll need to work during the actual exam. AP Expectations dictate completion of each FRQ in 25 minutes—so time management is key.

Another tip is to review old AP FRQs. This can help you familiarize yourself with the type of questions that keep on appearing and the common pitfalls that students often fall into. Plus, the questions are typically released with a scoring rubric so you can see how the points are distributed. You can use these to check your answers and see where you might have lost points.

Lastly, don’t waste too much time on a single question. If it’s taking too long or you’re stuck, move on and come back to it later if there's time. The points on the FRQs are distributed equally, so one question isn’t worth more than another.

I hope these strategies prove to be helpful to you. Good luck with your preparation!

10 days ago

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