AP Class Reviews
AP Physics C taught by Jack Kernion
by Students and Parents
AP Physics C Mech/E&M with Mr. Kernion posted by Caleb Godbold on August 07 2018 at 23:57:20
Before I actually write the body of my review, I just want to say that I highly recommend this class. The few issues I had were related to me and my personal difficulty with the material. The teaching quality is excellent, Mr. Kernion answers questions within a couple hours of them having been posted, and the lab activities are superb.
I waited to write this review until after I got my AP scores because *cough* I thought I did really badly on both exams. However, I ended up getting a 4 on both (by the skin of my teeth, I'm sure), which is still better than I was expecting.
That being said: this was the most difficult course I have ever taken. Calc BC was worlds easier. And, I had already taken a HS physics course prior to this. I am hesitant to say that the course material itself is super hard because there were many (very smart) people in my class who had a vastly better understanding of it than I did, and I was coming from a background where I hadn't ever taken a class that was particularly hard, up to this point.
All this to say, if you are not a physics person, I would recommend doing as many extra problems as you can. It takes a while but the more you do, the better your understanding will be. Mr. Kernion emphasizes this for a very good reason. The lab activities are also your friend here. They are even better than the problems for reinforcing the concepts, in my opinion, and play the same role that discussion does in a history or other humanities course.
Did I feel the course prepared me for the AP exam? Yes. It did. I would have liked to have started the timed AP tests from previous years back during Mechanics, and I do think that the test-specific prep (e.g. FRQs and MCQs from previous years) should be backed up and spread out over the entire course year, but an intensive review works for many people. I just prefer to start practicing the test material as soon as I possibly can so it is easier to identify my weak areas well in advance of the exam.
How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? This is the one course for which I consistently worked on weekends. I put in 15-18 hours of work per week-- which was a lot more time than I am used to.
Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Actually, it did the opposite, and was just as valuable for that. I thought i wanted to do STEM when I started my Jr. year-- specifically mechanical engineering. After the difficulty I had with this course, I intend to pursue my interests in the humanities instead, at least until further notice.
What sort of student would do well in this course? Well, judging by my possibly abnormal experience, you need to either be a very hard worker or brilliant, to be perfectly frank. I am neither (sadly). I guess it would also depend on how much of a science person you are. If you love physics and have an aptitude for it you'll probably breeze right through. Expect to work at this course if you aren't, though.
Finally, I want to re-emphasize that my experience with this course is solely due to my difficulty with the material. The pacing, Mr. Kernion, the labs, and everything else about this course are excellent. If I had tried to do this course on my own I have no doubt that I would have gotten a 1 or 2 on the exam. All in all, I am happy to have done this course. It was a valuable use of my time (the knowledge that engineering is probably not my thing is worth the purchase price of the course alone), and it greatly furthered my general physics knowledge.
AP Physics C Mechanics and E&M posted by Sam Hodges on June 01 2018 at 14:53:48
I took both of these classes in the same year (Mechanics first semester and then E&M second semester). The work load is high if you choose this option. Be prepared to have lessons almost every day and to be taking quizzes and tests on the weekend. The lessons generally require 1-1.5 hours of work, the quizzes 1 hour, and the tests 3 hours (including studying). Be sure you are keeping up with AP practice problems as well throughout each course depending on how important the exams are to you. The class is rigorous (it pushed me way harder than any other high school class has) and a great preparetion for anyone looking to major in STEM fileds. Overall, it is a great class nad Mr. Kernion does a great job with it. He is very responsive and has a good community with which to discuss and answer questions.
Difficult, but Super Satisfying posted by Daniel Lisle on May 30 2018 at 23:49:13
I took full-year Mechanics, and absolutely recommend Mr. Kernion's course. While this class was never easy, working through it was an extremely valuable experience and it greatly increased my interest in physics.
The biggest reason for this is that Mr. Kernion teaches with immense style and skill. A wealth of information is packed into each lecture, but in a way that is surprisingly easy to understand. When I had difficulty with a unit, just watching the Wednesday lecture would quickly get me back on track.
Make sure to take advantage of all this course has to offer. For me, doing this meant a huge improvement in my knowledge and skills in physics.
Highly recommend posted by Jennifer John on May 28 2018 at 19:42:03
Note: I took AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism only (not Mechanics) with Mr. Kernion.
- Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?
Yes. Although the exam was difficult, I had a strong understanding of the material covered. Mr. Kernion tailors the course to the topics expected by the College Board, and he provides many practice tests during the last few weeks of review.
- How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?
About 8 hours per week, sometimes more if there were time-consuming labs. In the ~3 weeks of review leading up to the exam, I spent much more time on the course (including doing FRQs beyond those Mr. Kernion required), maybe about 15 hours/week.
- Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?
The quizzes (roughly weekly) were very helpful for assessing my comprehension of the material.
- Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?
Definitely. I hadn't previously taken any physics beyond an extremely basic middle school class, and this course made for a fascinating introduction to physics.
- Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?
The live sessions (once every two weeks) provided a valuable opportunity to discuss the material with like-minded peers.
- What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?
Students need a fairly strong math background, but it isn't necessary to have previously taken physics to do well.
Excellent AP Physics class! posted by Kyle Fang on May 24 2018 at 06:29:01
Students learn by reading the textbook and watching videos made by Mr. Kernion. Mr. Kernion is a great teacher who understands all the important things students need to know for the AP exams. In his videos, he utilizes many graphs, drawings, labs, and pictures to help explain difficult concepts.
The class is very organized, and the website instructions are very easy to follow. You learn each concept, complete some virtual activities, and practice questions provided by Mr. Kernion and from the textbook. I also appreciate the live sessions Mr. Kernion provides every other week. Even though the time conflicted with my math class, I was able to watch the recordings. Mr. Kernion is also very responsive to our questions and understanding when I occasionally need an extension. I enjoyed taking the class and learned a lot about Physics!
AP Physics C Review posted by Michelina Hanlon on May 16 2017 at 04:08:28
I really enjoyed this class! I did feel prepared for the AP exam, but you have to put in a lot of work, especially in the weeks leading up to the exam. I generally would spend 1-2 hours a day on this class, but sometimes more before tests. Mr. Kernion's presentations are extremely thorough and well done, and the content is very well organized. If you liked calculus, I think you will definitely enjoy this class!
Great course if you're motivated posted by Matthew Kenigsberg on May 15 2017 at 17:21:07
This course was thorough and covered all the material you need to know on the APs. I would definitely recommend it if you're motivated! It's primarily self-paced, and the work load is pretty heavy if you're doing both Mechanics and E&M in a single year. At a minimum, expect to spend 1-2 hours on it a day, but it can take longer if you're struggling with a concept.
If you like to have a little more independence and are willing to put in the effort, this is a great class!
Definitely a class to consider if you are up to the challenge! posted by Christian Simpson on May 15 2017 at 05:56:01
Mr. Kernion does a great job at presenting each key concept of the class in detail as well as supplementing his presentations with practice problems, labs, and class-time discussion. This helped to engrain the concepts into my mind and helped on test day where I felt very prepared.
This was one of my most time-consuming classes I have taken in my high-school education but well worth it for someone who wants to go into engineering and other Physics-based careers.
I encourage any prospective students to be active in the live sessions and glean wisdom from both Mr. Kernion and their fellow classmates.
AP Physics C posted by Luke A on May 12 2017 at 24:31:15
This course does prepare the student for the exam. As with most ap courses one must put in a significant amount of study time before the exam. I had already taken AP Calculus BC and High School phyisics courses before taking this class. Not taking these before this class could make it more difficult, but I still think that it would be very doable. The course is designed with the assumption that you have not taken calculus or physics before. Depending on how much experience in physics and calculus you have you may be able to skip some lecture videos. I skipped most of the homework (which was not graded), but can usually get with that because of the way I learn. I do not know how much time I spent on the course, but the description said 10-12 houres a week which is probably about right when you do both Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism. For me the labs took the most time. I have always liked physics and always will, so I can not say the course enhanced my interest in physics, but it is a very fun course. The students who take AP Physics C are some of the more advanced students which is really neat. The type of student that would do well in this course is one who is wants to do this course. If you are going to do this course just to look good on your transcript, or have to do it in college but just want to get it out of the way, than it is probably not the best idea at this point. This is a freshman to sophmore college level course and requires commitment. That level of commitment is not difficult at all if you enjoy physics. If you have not taken a physics course before, research what the course is about before signing up. I think that anybody that enjoys calculus would do well in this course. The AP Physics C test is harder than AP Calculus, but there is a generous curve. If you are interested in physics I highly recommend Mr. Kernion's phyics class, he is an experienced teacher and knows what he is doing. If you like physics and want to get a deep knowledge in it than this class is for you. Most likely if you are reading this than this class is for you. It is not an easy class, but doing something challenging is very rewarding. This was one of my favorite high school classes.
Testimonials from former students posted by Jack Kernion on February 18 2016 at 11:57:43
Since this is my first year on the faculty of PA Homeschoolers, I thought I might post a few testimonials from former students.
"Mr. Kernion is truly an amazing physics instructor! He makes usually difficult concepts seem very straightforward with many examples and practice problems."
-Former student, Lily Z., Harvard University
"Mr. Kernion promotes a deep comprehension of the subject material through his incredibly detailed lessons. His teachings gave me a genuine appreciation of physics as well as fives on both AP Physics C tests! He is a master teacher whose passion for physics has helped his students succeed on the AP tests for over a decade.
-Former student, Nick S., University of Pittsburgh
"Many physics instructors lose the big picture by getting tangled up in calculations, but Mr. Kernion maintains his focus on the important aspects that make physics so essential. I was lucky enough to have Mr. Kernion as a teacher, and his website conveys the same enthusiasm and insight that he brought to the classroom every day. The road to physics success is never totally frictionless, yet Physics Prep is an ideal way to undertake the journey."
-Former student, Tommy M., Yale University
"This course is a detailed and engaging instruction that provides the methodology for answering any AP Physics test question. Because of Mr. Kernion's extensive knowledge of physics and superb grasp on language and technology, the class left me with a deep, long-lasting understanding of the big ideas in physics so that no cramming was necessary to be successful on the AP test and that stayed with me in college classes."
Former student, Katie S., Penn State Honors
"We had Mr. Kernion for AP Physics C our senior year, and we can't imagine a better teacher! He made difficult concepts easy to understand with his clear explanations and interesting analogies. The way he organizes his lectures makes it so easy to take good notes that are easy to review during test time. What's also really nice is that Mr. Kernion has a genuine passion for physics, and he always manages to transfer that enthusiasm to his students. Tests are very fair, and his course prepared us very well for both the AP test and college physics courses. We were very lucky to have a physics teacher like Mr. Kernion!"
-Former students, Anjali P., CalTech and Carol W.,The University of Pennsylvania
"Mr. Kernion's ability to present difficult concepts in an accessible way gave me a very solid foundation in physics over my two years in his classes. He is able to instill deep understanding of topics through clear explanation, contextual information, and abundant examples. A large portion of the credit for my three AP 5's goes to Mr. Kernion's class."
Former student, Michael M., from Carnegie Mellon University
I really think that this course will be able to help a lot of students prepare for the AP Physics exams, whether they use it as the primary source for the course or as a supplement to traditional schooling.
-Former student, Mike B., from Penn State Honors
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