Is AP Physics 2 Hard? Can You Scale It Easily?

Students can choose from several Advanced Placement courses in high school to prepare for their college education.

These courses are a good way to earn extra credit early on and save on time, effort, and money. Since each course will vary in complexity and require different skills, you should choose after careful analysis.

What Is AP Physics 2 About?

AP Physics 2 is one of the multiple AP Physics courses students can take.

It is a more specialized course that requires some prior knowledge. Not to mention, it is difficult due to the maths and specific scientific background information you must cover.

Another thing to keep in mind is how important Physics 2 is to your prospective college degree.

In this context, you can take up a combination of physics and maths courses to increase your credit score. Keep in mind that some colleges do not accept algebra-based physics courses like AP Physics for certain majors.

Exam Pattern And Course Content

AP Physics tests students on a multiplicity of topics.

You are tested on Thermodynamics; Fluid Statics and Dynamics; Electrostatics, DC and RC circuits; Magnetism; Optics; and Quantum physics. The course is vast, and students will need to continuously keep learning to keep up.

AP Physics is additionally difficult because it requires you to take AP Physics 1 or some other first-semester physics course.

Although this is not compulsory, most students can’t manage AP Physics 2 without an introduction.

AP Physics 2 does not formally make use of calculus, as opposed to some other AP Physics courses. As a result, it can be considered easier for those who aren’t inclined towards calculus-based mathematics.

However, it is still recommended that a pre-calculus course be covered by students.

You should note that AP Physics 2 is not as difficult for students who have taken other Physics courses before. Despite being a more advanced course, it is thus subjectively simpler than AP Physics 1.

Skills Required

Students planning to take AP Physics must possess certain specialized skills. For starters, they must have advanced math skills. They should be able to deal with equations and algebra problems.

Secondly, AP Physics 2 requires you to explain plenty of theories in scientific and technical terms. This means you must know the principles involved and have linguistic skills to express them.

Lastly, AP Physics 2 will requires basic diagram drawing. Thus you must be able to visualize and execute these representations.

How Hard Is It To Score Well For AP Physics 2?

To earn credits, you should also be able to score decently well. When compared to other AP courses, Physics 2 is moderately easy to score on.

A good number of students score 5’s, and it is more scoring than Physics 1. Keep in mind that since AP Physics 2 is a secondary course, scorers are mostly experienced students.

Read: Should You Take the AP Capstone Exam?


The best way to assess difficulty is to ask other students who have already taken the course. You should also speak to teachers who are in charge of AP Physics 2 before making up your mind.

Another option is to talk to career counselors or guidance counselors in your school. This is important given that different high schools will have varying levels of course difficulty for each subject.

AP Physics 2 is a good course to take up for those aspiring to go into physics or engineering in college. Although it is a tough one, this course will prepare you for success in the future.

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