AP Chemistry vs AP Physics: Which One Is Right for You?

Are you one of the thousands of ambitious students that are tensed when choosing their Advanced Placement (AP) subjects in high school, hello!

This decision is daunting as it is, and there more than a dozen courses to choose from.

Many STEM aspirants have a tough choice to make where they select their AP science courses.

The part where most students seem to get confused is choosing between AP chemistry and AP physics. Worry not! Let’s see some easy pointers that will give you clarity on which subject is right for you.

Factors to Consider

Let’s delve into some important pointers that will help you decide between AP chemistry and AP physics.

Introductory Classes

You shouldn’t even think of taking AP classes if you haven’t taken the regular introductory classes for the subjects.

The reason is that the AP syllabus is usually accelerated, and you won’t be able to catch up to all that information without some backing.

AP chemistry requires you the basic knowledge of introductory chemistry. Similarly, AP physics 1 and AP physics 2 require an understanding of algebra in physics.

Since physics 1 and 2 are general, so you don’t necessarily need an introductory class.

However, for the two AP Physics C courses, you will require calculus knowledge.

So, you should consider taking AP physics C only if you have taken or are currently taking calculus and have done a physics class.

Managing Workload

Many students think they can handle all AP classes in one semester. Don’t be like them. Plan out your subjects in such a way that you can give time to all your courses and excel in them.

You should also look at the subjects you have taken in your freshman and junior year. So that you can show growth on your applications that are in a career field you are applying for.

The difficulty of the Course

A good teacher is the one who will challenge you to your greatest potential.

So, when scouting for which AP course is difficult, look at how strong the instruction is at your school.

Find out how the teacher is, how well do students normally score, and whether the teacher’s tests are much difficult than AP.

This is a good thing as it will prepare you for the worst while making sure you are humbled enough to score better every time.


The AP chemistry and AP physics courses give the students an edge over other applicants in the race for admissions to the best universities across the country.

No matter which course you select you will face your share of challenges. Just make sure you are taking subjects that align with your future career goals!

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