AP Physics 1 only covers half the physics topics in 1 year and is billed by the College Board as a introductory (1st) course in physics. It also uses algebra/trig, but schools were unclear about what amount of algebra and trig that meant; our school offered it to students taking geometry after algebra 1 (i.e. no trig yet).

The scores for the 2015 AP Physics 1 test were the lowest ever scores for any AP test. (4% scored 5, 37% “passed”). I do not think that emulating a test with such a low pass rate is ideal. The test was more “conceptual”, which teachers and others interpreted as “easier” but the test makers interpreted as requiring deeper understanding of how to use formulas in novel situations and better explanations of how an answer was arrived at. More of the students taking the test were in years prior to senior year.

http://www.totalregistration.net/AP-Exam-Registration-Service/2015-AP-Exam-Score-Distributions.php

]]>I think it is simply the huge jump in interest in STEM majors. I see the change in our high school. Seniors who used to plan on business or economics majors are now seriously looking at engineering programs in particular.

]]>I buy the argument, Bonnie. I can see why AP Physics would be more valued than AP CS in general. That doesn’t explain the huge jump, though.

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