# 5 Best AP Physics C: Mechanics Prep Books (2020)

Newton’s laws of motion and linear momentum are not easy topics to understand. But, getting a 4 or 5 on the Physics C: Mechanics AP test will prove your mastery over these complex theories and applications. In order to do this, **we recommend getting a prep book**.

The right prep book for you will cater to your *unique learning style* and give you an *overview of the test*. Some AP Physics C: Mechanics Prep Books focus on written material and explanations, while others can connect you with **online videos and practice tests**. We are confident that the time spent studying in one of these books will help you to **pass the AP test with flying colors**.

Table of Contents

## Best AP Physics C: Mechanics Prep Books

There are many ways to study for a test. But, **AP tests have a unique standardized format** that is challenging for many. But, succeeding on this test could mean college credit for you. In addition to this, having a **solid understanding of the concepts sets you up for success** in any future physics or engineering classes you may take.

So, **what are the Best AP Physics C: Mechanics Prep Books**? Starting with our favorite, they are:

### 1. Cracking the AP Physics C Exam, 2020 Edition: Practice Tests & Proven Techniques to Help You Score a 5 (College Test Preparation)

**Publisher**: Princeton Review

**Year**: 2019

**Number of pages**: 656

**Our Final Grade**: A++

Paired with online resources, the **Princeton Review** provides *tried-and-true test strategies, comprehensive content, and practice tests* for a **well-rounded prep book**.

Professionals in preparing students for all sorts of exams, Princeton Review’s Cracking the AP Physics C Exam book is a **solid resource for anyone shooting for a 5 on their AP test**. Both **full-length practice tests** have** fully explained answers** for a deeper understanding of the concepts.

Students can practice the **recommended exam strategies and pacing tips** on the included tests, too. By understanding how to logically guess on the AP test, these precise tips can bump your score from a 4 to a 5.

This book has a **comprehensive review **of every test topic with a **multitude of visual aids**, like charts and figures, to illustrate the tough concepts. **Online study plans** can help you stay on track for test day.

Lastly, this book has been written by *actual AP Physics teachers* who lend a bit of personality and humor to the text. So, there will be just a tinge of entertainment as you are delving deep into all aspects of Magnetism and Newton’s Laws.

#### Pros

- Clear explanations of all problems
- Includes suggested study plans for any timeline
- Updated for the 2020 AP Physics: C Test

#### Cons

- No specific author means the book lacks personal insight

### 2. 5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics C 2021

**Publisher**: McGraw-Hill Education

**Year**: 2020

**Number of pages**: 352

**Our Final Grade**: A+

**The most up-to-date AP Physics:C Prep Book available**, this is an excellent choice for anyone who needs *plenty of practice exams and detailed explanations*.

The 5 Steps to a 5: AP Physics C 2021 version begins with an **incredible five-step study plan** that shows you exactly what to do to optimize your performance on the AP test. By walking you through **multiple practice tests and the most recent test changes**, students will have boosted confidence from this book on test day.

Written by AP Physics B and C teacher Greg Jacobs, this book is a* proven guide to success*. The teacher’s perspective brings a healthy taste to this book, as the author understands how to explain difficult concepts to students.

**Diagnostic tests show students what aspects they need to study more** than others. In addition, Jacobs explains all the test strategies he lends to his own students. He includes **extra drills on the toughest topics** that are commonly missed on the AP test, like Motion Graphs and Simple Circuits.

Overall, this brand-new prep book is a solid resource to help students achieve a 5 on their AP test.

#### Pros

- 3 Practice exams
- Four-minute drill prompts help students to work faster
- Extra time spent on subjects known to be difficult on the AP exam

#### Cons

- The latest version not available until October 2020

### 3. AP Physics C: With 4 Practice Tests (Barron’s Test Prep)

**Publisher**: Barrons Educational Series

**Year**: 2020

**Number of pages**: 656

**Our Final Grade**: A

A *comprehensive guide* to all aspects of the AP Physics C: Mechanics test, Barron’s Test Prep provides an **excellent resource** in this book for any student wanting a 5 on their AP test.

As the 5th edition of this book, *Barron’s Test Prep AP Physics C book has honed their information to provide a clear and helpful resource* for any student. In particular, they have **improved the Mechanics section as well as the Electricity and Magnetism section** to better prepare students for the AP exam.

Barron’s AP Physics C prep book was written by a physics professor at Brown University, Robert Pelcovits, and Joshua Farkas, M.D., who scored 5’s on many AP exams and an 800 on his Math SAT’s. This **book comes from brilliant minds** to help you fully understand all the concepts on the test. Not only that, but it **includes many test-taking strategies** for those who struggle with understanding standardized tests.

This book goes into every topic on the AP Physics C Exam, from kinematics and simple harmonic motion to capacitors and magnetic fields. For those who have a solid grasp on some concepts but not others, the** included diagnostics test **shows you exactly what areas you need to focus on.

#### Pros

- Four practice tests (1 diagnostic test, 2 practice tests in the book, 1 practice test online)
- All practice questions are explained
- Plenty of diagrams, illustrations, and charts

#### Cons

- Some questions are more complex than the actual AP test will be

### 4. The AP Physics C Companion: Mechanics

**Publisher**: Silly Beagle Productions

**Year**: 2017

**Number of pages**: 250

**Our Final Grade**: B+

This **in-depth conceptual guide** will help students understand every AP Physics C Topic on a deeper level.

Written by **New York State’s 2014 Master Physics Teacher**, Dan Fullerton, this AP Prep Book is an incredible resource to go alongside an AP class. As a full-time educator himself, Fullerton **understands how to break down tough concepts for students who struggle to understand them**.

This book contains *over 350 problems* for students to try. If you have trouble, each has **solutions fully worked out **so students can see the full process. This allows anyone struggling with the application of tough physics concepts to see **exactly how to apply theories to actual problems **one will find on the AP test.

While this is an incredible resource, it is a **self-prescribed companion guide, not a specific AP test prep book**. Anyone using this book should also study the College Board’s layout of the test and their practice tests, as none are included in this book.

Instead,** this book focuses solely on helping students understand basic principles on the AP Physics C: Mechanics test as clearly as possible** – and how to apply them.

#### Pros

- Well-written for in-depth understanding
- 350 worked-out problems
- Online resources available at APlusPhysics.com

#### Cons

- No test-taking tips

### 5. Kaplan AP Physics B & C 2014

**Publisher**: Kaplan Publishing

**Year**: 2013

**Number of pages**: 552

**Our Final Grade**: C-

This **outdated book **has multiple tests and practice questions but also has **confusing explanations** at times.

Complied by** five different authors**, this book has *varying degrees of depth and explanations.* Some areas are covered clearly, while **others leave students more confused **than when they started.

The book does provide **two full-length practice tests on top of 125 other practice questions**. While the instruction material lacks quality, it can be used for additional practice tests if that how a student prefers to prepare.

#### Pros

- Includes One Diagnostic Test
- Two Practice Tests
- Inexpensive

#### Cons

- Outdated with some confusing chapters

## FAQ

Preparing for the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam can feel like a **daunting task** for many students and parents. To ease stress, especially on test day, it is* best to understand not only the test material but the format of the test too*.

### How is the AP Physics C exam structured?

It has two sections: a multiple-choice section and a free-response question.** Each is worth 50% of the final score.**

The Multiple Choice section has 35 questions that **students must finish in 45 minutes**. The free-response section has three questions and **also has a time limit of 45 minutes**. This section will include either a lab-based or experimental component.

### Can students use a calculator on the AP Physics C exam?

Yes, students are allowed **one **four-function __scientific or graphing calculator__ for the exam.

## Conclusion

**Many students need additional assistance studying for AP Exams**. While the class itself is *helpful for understanding concepts*, additional practice is required to **boost confidence** when taking the AP test. In addition, the **right prep book can help students work through topics** they may not fully understand.

If you’re looking for an all-around helpful prep book, we recommend the** Princeton Review’s Cracking the AP Physics C Exam, 2020 Edition.**