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Auto-didact's guide

Tutoring is expensive, and availability to meet is precious. You can use this page if you want to do most/all of the learning for AP Physics 1 on your own.

Major TaskSub taskDetails
Learn to read carefullyReflect on what "reading super carefully" currently means to you
  1. Print SAPW.pdf.
  2. Read the sample passage in this handout in whatever way it is that you think of as "reading super carefully."
  3. Use the space provided for any note-taking/drawing that is part of your process of reading super carefully.
Compare with with David Liao's example of "reading super carefully"
  1. Watch the video where David Liao demonstrates what "reading super carefully" means to him:
  2. Write a comment to yourself comparing and contrasting what you thought "reading super carefully" meant to you and what "reading super carefully" apparently means to David Liao.
Learn to read reasonably carefully
  1. Watch the first 5 minutes and 42 seconds of a video where David Liao demonstrates what "reading reasonably carefully" looks like:
HousekeepingOrder books
  1. Order a copy of Knight et al., College Physics, 3rd ed. Inexpensive, used copies are available
  2. Order a copy of Etkina et al., College Physics, 1st ed. Inexpensive, used copies are available
  3. Order a copy of Jacobs, 5-steps-to-a-5: AP Physics 1, Algebra Based, ELITE Student Edition, (doesn't really matter what year) Get a fresh copy if you want to write in the book
Bookmark review materials
  1. Bookmark the College Board AP Physics 1 Full-year video review series
  2. Bookmark David Liao's AP Physics 1 handouts
Plan pacing
  1. Save a copy of the College Board AP Physics 1 Course and Exam Description.
  2. Print the Course at a Glance overview on pp. 20-22 (pp. 27-29 in print settings)
  3. Assuming that there are a total of roughly 120 class periods of instructions, use proportional reasoning to estimate the amount of time to spend on each unit. For example, Unit 1: Kinematics, is assigned approximately 19-22 class periods. Out of a total of about 120 class periods, 19-22 class periods corresponds to about 16%-18% of instructional time. Say you want to cover the AP Physics 1 curriculum in 5 months. Sixteen to eighteen percent of 5 months is about 0.8 to 0.9 or so months.
  4. On your printed copy of the Course at a Glance, write down the estimated numbers of months (and/or weeks) each unit should take.
The "actual" studying: For each chapter, use these steps: Learn
  1. Read the Knight textbook:
    1. For most of the body text, use the reasonably careful reading style shown in the first 5 minutes 42 seconds of the problem-solving steps video.
    2. For each equation, law, or other "important" point surrounded by one of those "this is important" boxes, read the box contents using the excruciatingly tedious method shown in the 1 hr video.
Take and edit notes
  1. While using the Knight textbook, take notes summarizing the key features of the chapter. Organize your notes in a three-column format with columns for Words, Pictures of scenarios and mathematical quantities, and Mathematical/algebraic notation (or, more succinctly, make a "Words-Pictures-Algebra" table). You can print a premade template if you like.
  2. Use the corresponding end-of-chapter pictorial summary in the Etkina textbook to critique your three-column summary notes. Make edits as needed.
Practice applying concepts to solve problems
  1. Read the corresponding example problems in the Etkina textbook to see how work is organized using multiple representations.
  2. Do practice problems from the corresponding section of the Jacobs' 5-steps book. Use the method demonstrated in (actually watch the full 16.5-minute video for the full discussion of problem-solving steps).
  1. Watch the corresponding review video from the College Board AP Physics 1 review videos playlist.
  2. Browse the corresponding AP Physics 1 handouts from David Liao.
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