AP Physics 1 Score Calculator – 2024

January 19, 2024

ap physics 1 score calculator

Tick, tock, tick, tock…exam season is right around the corner. Before you let anxiety get the best of you, here’s a wealth of invaluable information and some tips and tricks to set you up for success. Let’s get started. There are a wide variety of AP subjects that students will take courses in and later, test in, and the AP Physics 1 test is one of the many, and one of the more difficult. In order to do well on the AP Physics 1 exam, or any exam for that matter, students need to establish a consistent study schedule. That can be challenging for students nearing test season. Time management and dedication are key to performing well. While there are other tips, tricks, and helpful hints we will offer here, the AP Physics 1 Score Calculator is a secret weapon to help students maximize their chances of success.

AP Physics 1 Score Calculator

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The AP Physics 1 Score Calculator increases the odds of a higher exam score.  

Students benefit from tools to give them an edge on their AP exams because it isn’t just about passing the exams, it’s also about aiming for that coveted high score. The AP Physics 1 Score Calculator is a vital tool to a student’s success. The AP Physics 1 Score Calculator simulates how a student might score on the exam. Additionally, it will alert them to areas where more preparation and study might be needed. This tool, along with solid study and preparation habits —many listed below, will be the secret to exam success.

What do the AP Physics 1 exam free response questions look like?

Statistically, it’s been shown that the free response questions are more challenging to students taking the AP Physics 1 exam. Students score higher on the multiple-choice exam questions. As students familiarize themselves with the practice questions, it’s important to reiterate the benefits of the AP Physics 1 Score Calculator. Utilizing the AP Physics 1 Score Calculator gives students an edge in understanding where their strengths are in terms of the exam, and areas where more study might be necessary.

Get familiar with past examples of past free-response questions here.

Additionally, the AP Physics 1 equation sheet helps students familiarize themselves with what to expect on the AP Physics 1 exam. This is one more layer of preparation students can dive into to prepare for both the practice exam and eventually, the real thing.

AP Physics 1 Score Distribution/What is the average AP Physics 1 Score?

Let’s talk about how students have historically performed on the AP Physics 1 exam. For example, students (and parents alike) might be interested in knowing the average AP Physics 1 score.

In 2023, of the 144,526 students who took the AP Physics 1 exam, 43.2% of students scored a 3 or higher. Only 24.9% scored a 4 or 5. Not to incite alarm, but both the AP Physics 1 course and exam are real doozies. Not only is AP Physics 1 listed as one of the most difficult AP courses, the average number of students who score a 3 or higher falls exponentially below the 88% of its less-challenging AP Chinese Language & Culture counterpart.

Let’s follow that information with a note or two of encouragement. First, the tips and tricks below —along with the AP Physics 1 Score Calculator, will help you maximize your potential to do well on the AP Physics 1 exam. Second, even if a student doesn’t get a score of 3 or higher, there are benefits to taking the exam. Taking the exam helps reinforce basic understanding and skills in the course. Further, students who’ve taken the AP Physics 1 exam have moved on to earn higher grades when taking the course at the college level.

How to get a 5The coveted high score on the AP Physics 1 exam?

What is considered a “high score” for the AP Physics 1 exam? Scores of 3, 4, or 5 are considered acceptable scores. According to the College Board, “a 3 is ‘qualified,’ a 4 ‘well qualified,’ and a 5 — the highest score, is ‘extremely well qualified.”

Tips & tricks to pass the exam

In addition to taking the practice AP Physics 1 exam as many times as you feel necessary and checking your work with the AP Physics 1 Score Calculator, there are several other tips and tricks to help set you on the path to success.

First, be aware of how much time you’re allowed for the exam and familiarize yourself with the exam’s format. Students will be allowed 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam. It is broken into two sections—multiple choice questions, followed by the free-response questions. Familiarizing yourself with the practice exam will help you feel more comfortable when the time comes to sit for the official exam.

Tip #1

Before beginning to work to solve the free response questions, read through all of the questions to determine which ones you feel most prepared to answer. You can then proceed to solve the questions in a sequence that will allow you to achieve optimum performance.

Tip #2

Monitor your time, especially on the free response section. You want to ensure that you don’t spend too much time on any one question as this might prevent you from having time to finish the exam.

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Tip #3

Show ALL the steps you took to reach your solution on each question involving calculations. If you do work that you suspect is incorrect, simply put an “X” through it instead of taking time to erase. Work marked with an “X” won’t be graded.

Tip #4

Many free response questions are divided into parts, such as a, b, c, and d, with each part calling for a different response. Credit for each part is awarded independently, so you could attempt to solve each part. For example, you might receive no credit for your answer to part a, but still receive full credit for part b, c, or d. If the answer to a later part of a question depends on the answer to an earlier part, you might still be able to receive full credit for the latter part, even if the earlier answer is incorrect.

Tip #5

Organize your answers as clearly and concisely as possible. Be intentional in preparing your answers. For example, you might want to label your answers according to the sub-part, such as (a), (b), (c), etc. This will help you organize your thoughts. It will also ensure that you answer all parts of the free response question.

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Tip #6

Include the proper units for each number where appropriate. If you keep track of units as you perform your calculations, it can help ensure that you express answers in terms of the proper units. Depending on the exam question, it is often possible to lose points if the units are wrong or missing from the answer.

Tip #7

Don’t use the “laundry list” approach: i.e. writing many equations or lists of terms hoping that the correct one will be among them so that you can get partial credit. For exams that ask for two or three examples or equations, only the first two or three will be scored.

Tip #8

Clearly and correctly label all graphs and diagrams accordingly. Read the question carefully, as this could include a graph title, x and y axes labels including units, a best fit line, etc.

Pay attention to the task verbs. You’ll see the following task verbs on the AP Physics 1 exam:

Calculate: “Perform mathematical steps to arrive at a final answer.” These might include “algebraic expressions, properly substituted numbers, and correct labeling of units and significant figures. Also phrased as ‘What is?’”

Compare: “Provide a description or explanation of similarities and/or differences.”

Derive: “Perform a series of mathematical steps using equations or laws to arrive at a final answer.”

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Describe: “Prevent the relevant characteristics of a specified topic.”

Determine: “Make a decision or arrive at a conclusion after reasoning, observation, or applying mathematical routines (calculations).”

Estimate: “Roughly calculate numerical quantities, values (greater than, equal to, less than), or signs (negative, positive) of quantities based on experimental evidence or provided data. When making estimations, showing steps in calculations is not required.”

Explain: “Provide information about how or why a relationship, pattern, position, situation, or outcome occurs, using evidence and/or reasoning to support or qualify a claim. Explain ‘how’ typically requires analyzing the relationship, pattern, position, situation, or outcome.”

Justify: “Provide evidence to support, qualify, or defend a claim; and/or provide reasoning to explain how that evidence supports or qualifies the claim.”

Label: “Provide labels including unit, scale, and/or components in a diagram, graph, model, or representation.”

Plot: “Draw data points in a graph using a given scale or indicating the scale and units, demonstrating consistency between different types of representations.”

Sketch/Draw: “Create a diagram, graph, representation, or model that illustrates or explains relationships or phenomena, demonstrating consistency between different types of representations. Labels may or may not be required.”

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State/Indicate/Circle: “Indicate or provide information about a specified topic, without elaboration or explanation. Also phrased as ‘What?’ or ‘Would?’ interrogatory questions.”

Verify: “Confirm that the conditions of a scientific definition, law, theorem, or test are met in order to explain why it applies in a given situation. Also, use empirical data, observations, tests, or experiments to prove, confirm, and/or justify a hypothesis.”

Againpractice, practice, then practice some more. Taking the practice exam, then using the AP Physics 1 Score Calculator are the best ways to ensure a student’s success on the exam.

When Do Scores Come Out?

In years past, students are typically notified of their exam scores sometime between early to mid-July. In 2023, that date was on July 5th.

Not only are students anxious to find out how they did, but achieving a score of 3, 4, or 5 might pay off in the college admission process. It can also help you earn several college credits. This allows you to not only start college ahead of the game, but reduces tuition overall.


The tips and tricks we’ve provided, studying, taking the practice exam, and using the AP Physics 1 Score Calculator to review your responses will be the key to optimizing your performance on the AP Physics 1 exam.

Ready, set, go!

Additional Resources

In conclusion, we also wanted to suggest checking out some of our other useful calculators such as: