AP Physics B is designed to introduce numerous physical concepts pertinent to mechanical and electrical systems. There is a heavy emphasis on both mathematical and conceptual understanding of these concepts, as most topics will carry forward into future physics courses or practical applications. The material covered in AP Physics B is heavily centered in mechanics, including one- and two-dimensional motion, but it also branches into electrical circuits, electrostatics, optics, and thermodynamic.
A course in AP Physics B generally culminates in the AP Physics B exam. This exam consists of two sections: multiple-choice and free-response. The multiple-choice section consists of 70 questions, most of which are independent. Some questions will be grouped in sets of 2 to 3 and refer to a given diagram or figure, but answers for one question will not need to be recycled in order to answer others. In the free-response section, however, answers often build on one another, and questions have several parts. Given a certain set of data, students may be asked to calculate several variables in a single question in the free response section.
90 minutes are allotted for each section, and the two halves of the test are weighted equally in the score. Test-takers are permitted a scientific or graphing calculator and are provided with a predetermined set of equations. While the equation sheet is extremely valuable on the test, memorizing common equations can become essential in order to save time.
Mechanics concepts compose the majority of the AP Physics B exam, mainly revolving around Newton’s laws and kinematics. Be prepared to perform calculations, but also be prepared to respond to hypothetical scenarios and demonstrate conceptual understanding. Further, work, energy, power, and specific forces (such as buoyancy and friction) will be tested.
The next largest section of the exam consists of electrical concepts, and a basic introduction to magnetism. Students should be extremely familiar with circuits and have a decent understanding of electric and magnetic fields and forces. The final topics of the AP Physics B exam are optics, waves, and quantum theory. Test-takers should have a good understanding of mirrors and lenses, as well as the relationships between wavelength, frequency, and other wave properties. Questions about quantum theory will be largely conceptual, and they will rarely require calculation.
The key difference between the AP Physics B and the AP Physics C exams is the level of mathematical integration. Where AP Physics B may tend to be more conceptual, AP Physics C courses will incorporate mathematical explanations that frequently use calculus to explain physical concepts. Many topics are tested on both exams, but with different levels of comprehension and mathematical interpretation.
You can practice AP Physics B topics using Varsity Tutors’ free AP Physics B Practice Tests! Each AP Physics B Practice Test consists of ten to twelve problems; think of each one as being like a little quiz that you can use to hone your skills. Varsity Tutors’ Practice Tests are presented in two ways: you can either take tests that offer a comprehensive selection of varied problems, or focus solely on problems that test topics that you are working to understand better. Either way you take them, Varsity Tutors’ free AP Physics B Practice Tests can help you to improve your knowledge of AP Physics B material!
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Practice Tests by Concept
ap_physics_b-electricity-and-magnetism
Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 55 secs
ap_physics_b-electric-circuits
Questions: 9
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 9 mins
ap_physics_b-calculating-circuit-power
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 55 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-capacitors
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 55 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-current
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 54 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-resistors-and-resistance
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 6 secs
ap_physics_b-using-ohm-s-law
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 3 mins
ap_physics_b-electricity
Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 20 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-electrostatics
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 17 secs
ap_physics_b-using-coulomb-s-law
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 37 secs
ap_physics_b-electromagnetism
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 3 secs
ap_physics_b-using-faraday-s-law
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
ap_physics_b-magnetism
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 25 secs
ap_physics_b-calculating-magnetic-forces
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 6 secs
ap_physics_b-fluid-and-gas-mechanics
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 30 secs
ap_physics_b-liquids
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins
ap_physics_b-fluid-flow
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 51 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-bernoulli-s-equation
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
ap_physics_b-newtonian-mechanics
Questions: 40
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 hrs 54 mins
ap_physics_b-forces
Questions: 18
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 hrs 28 mins
ap_physics_b-calculating-weight
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 50 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-friction
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 20 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-gravity-and-gravitational-forces
Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins
ap_physics_b-understanding-newton-s-laws
Questions: 5
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins
ap_physics_b-understanding-the-normal-force
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 35 secs
ap_physics_b-momentum
Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins
ap_physics_b-understanding-conservation-of-momentum
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 47 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-elastic-and-inelastic-collisions
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 42 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-momentum-and-impulse
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
ap_physics_b-motion
Questions: 29
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 hrs 30 mins
ap_physics_b-circular-motion-and-torque
Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins
ap_physics_b-understanding-circular-motion
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 48 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-linear-rotational-equivalents
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 26 secs
ap_physics_b-using-torque-equations
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 42 secs
ap_physics_b-harmonic-motion
Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins
ap_physics_b-using-spring-equations
Questions: 3
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 5 mins
ap_physics_b-linear-motion
Questions: 22
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 38 mins
ap_physics_b-calculating-motion-in-one-dimension
Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 12 mins
ap_physics_b-calculating-motion-in-two-dimensions
Questions: 6
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 17 mins
ap_physics_b-understanding-accelerations
Questions: 8
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 11 mins
ap_physics_b-understanding-vector-and-scalar-quantities
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 42 secs
ap_physics_b-work-energy-and-power
Questions: 10
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 26 mins
ap_physics_b-understanding-conservation-of-energy
Questions: 4
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 4 mins
ap_physics_b-understanding-kinetic-energy
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 45 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-power
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 12 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-work
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
ap_physics_b-thermodynamics-and-heat
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 38 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-heat-and-temperature
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 22 secs
ap_physics_b-waves-and-optics
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 2 mins 38 secs
ap_physics_b-optics
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
ap_physics_b-using-the-lens-equation
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 1 mins 18 secs
ap_physics_b-waves
Questions: 2
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 40 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-period-and-amplitude
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 23 secs
ap_physics_b-understanding-wavelength-frequency-and-velocity
Questions: 1
Test Difficulty:
Average Time Spent: 10 secs
All AP Physics B Resources