How to get a 5 on AP Physics Exam

For those of you studying for the AP physics exam I made a video (located at the bottom of the page) with some good pointers and tips to help you with the study process and optimize your performance on exam day. If you are too busy studying to watch the entire video then check out the quick tips below!


  • Consistent practice — 45 minutes a day during the weeks leading up to the exam. A great resource is the app Physics X
  • Do full length exams — full length exams are important to build endurance for the 3 hour exam. You can find old exams on the college board website.

Day of Exam

  • Good rest the night before
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Stay calm — easier said than done, but staying calm during exams is crucial for top performance. Techniques I use are deep breathing, stretching and going to my happy place 🙂

Multiple Choice

  • Answer EVERY question — there is NO penalty for wrong answers on the AP physics tests so make sure you answer every question even if you have no idea.
  • Work fast — there are about 50 MC questions on the exam and only 90 minutes so working fast is necessary. Consistent practice is necessary to boost speed.
  • Use calculator — you can now use a scientific or graphic calculator on the entire multiple choice so don’t forget to bring one!
  • Use tables — The formula sheets they give you have tables with information that can be useful for solving certain problems so make sure you take a look at that ahead of time.

Free Response 

  • Skim through problems at the beginning
  • Do easiest problems first — after skimming the problems, start with the ones you feel most confident about.
  • Answer every part of every question — once again, there is no penalty for guessing so make sure to take a guess even if you are not sure
  • Show all work
  • Write legibly — if they can’t read your writing then you won’t get any points. The easier you make it for the grader the more partial credit you are likely to get!


Good luck studying!!



If you are also studying for the SAT Physics subject test (If so, then I empathize with your pain) check out this post on how to get an 800 on SAT Physics subject test!