AP Class Reviews

Physics B taught by Jeff Lanctot

by Students and Parents

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Terrific course! posted by Hannah Che on May 28 2012 at 16:14:45

This was an incredibly comprehensive and thorough physics course. I definitely felt prepared for the AP exam-- although the textbook covered more than what was actually tested on the AP exam, Mr. Lanctot made sure to point out in his weekly comments what points/concepts were the most important and pertinent for the exam. The weekly assigned problems, quizzes, and practice Free-Response questions were all incredibly helpful and well organized. The labs we were required to do were all very clear and manageable, and I especially loved the cool Virtual Lab apps Mr. Lanctot would include in the weekly assignment page. I think the most valuable component of this course was the Daily MCQs that we were required to do-- since these questions were all taken from previous actual AP exams, by the time of the exam, I felt completely prepared and familiar with the questions on the multiple-choice section. I generally put in around 5-7 hours every week reading the textbook, taking notes, doing problems, and completing MCQ questions and quizzes. As in any class, it's extremely important not to fall behind, although Mr. Lanctot is especially gracious and flexible in regards to schedule changes and deadline extensions. This class was not as interactive of a course as say, an English or history course, but we did have frequent postings postings on our class Board, where people would periodically post questions, discuss concepts, interesting videos/articles, etc. Mr. Lanctot is an excellent teacher and is always very helpful and encouraging. I'm actually not a math-science person at all, but the course was definitely do-able and very rewarding. All in all, I would highly recommend this course to anyone willing to put time into digging deeper into the fascinating world of physics.

Take this course or else! posted by Emmet Meyer on May 21 2012 at 22:43:28

This course is one of the best I've ever taken. It was comprehensive and easy to understand, but gave a thorough exploration of the topics involved. I spent at least 2 hours a day on Physics, and even though it took a lot of time, I miss it already. If you are mathematically inclined and willing to commit a lot of time to the class, it will be a perfect course for you and give you an extensive background in physics. The teacher was perfect. He had a perfect grasp of every inch of the material and worked his butt off to make everything as clear as possible. He was available any time I had a question and the time difference permitted. He was patient but still set a brisk pace for the class that kept us at an optimal learning level.

Great course! posted by Matthew%20Nyhus on May 18 2012 at 11:53:16

This was a great course. AP Physics B is very difficult, but this course preapred me well. The labs were fun, the daily multiple choice questions were really helpful (they were taken from actual AP exams) and the textbook was really good as it was able to explain all of the concepts really well. All in all, this was an excellent course.

Excellent posted by Zara%20Perumal on May 14 2012 at 23:23:25

The course was excellent. I did not feel as prepared for the exam as I would like to be, but that was my fault and no reflection on the course. I was fairly busy throughout the year will 5 college-level classes, research, working, TA-ing etc, so it was hard for me to find time to study. I'd say I usually spent about 4 hours a week, but that varied a lot based on lab assignment etc. I loved the phets they were so helpful. After taking the course, I am much more interested in physics, but I would like to see the math behind it. I will be taking Cal-based physics in the fall. :) Honestly, I did not interact with students in this course very much, but it was helpful when I did. I think it is important in the course to stay disciplined, there are so many chapters to learn.

This Course Was Great! posted by Tabatha Felter on August 06 2011 at 19:11:46

I have taken several other AP courses, and none of them provided me with the degree of practice and preparation for the AP exams that this physics course gave me.  The "Daily Multiple Choice Questions" are taken from previous AP exams and are used to review material going back as far as the beginning of the year.  Hint:  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS!!!  I can clearly see the difference in my proficiency in the portions of the course where I regularly did the daily MCQs and the portions where I did them sporadically.  Every few weeks Mr. Lanctot will assign a Free Response Question or two which also covers material from the beginning of the year to where you are at present.  These are significantly easier if you have been doing the daily MCQs regularly because you have already been reviewing all the material you've covered on a daily basis.  Each week Mr. Lanctot gives us notes on how thoroughly we must understand each part of the reading for the AP exam (HINT:  If a passage is relevant to the AP exam, it is also relevant to the weekly quiz) so we don't waste time studying the trees and missing the forest.  Because of the frequent review that takes place over the course of the year, studying for the AP exam is made much easier.

Expect to put in at least 9-10 hours a week for the course.  A large percentage of this time (at least based on my experience) will be spent on the weekly readings.  The good news is that every week's assignments are due on Friday, so the only work you'll be doing on the weekends might be to get a head start on the readings (probably a good idea to do since you are slated to finish all the reading by Tuesday so that you can focus on the problem sets).  If you don't understand something, don't worry, just ask!  I once had a question that stretched into a 8-12 post long thread about voltage drops and constant currents because I simply could not grasp the concept until Mr. Lanctot explained it to me for the 15th time.  As a side note, although not the focus of the course, you may pick up one or two practical skills during the course of the year.  For instance, I had to figure out how to change a fuse in my multimeter to finish a lab.  As an aspiring engineer, I found that very exciting.

If you're looking for an AP science so that when you get to college you can test out of the science requirement and focus on your humanities and social sciences degree, do not take this course.  There are easier sciences that you can take to test out of your general science requirement.  If you want to dig deeper into physics, though, or you want a science that is more math-based, then this course is for you. 

International Perspective posted by David Moy de Vitry on June 27 2011 at 23:53:57

This is a great course for a wide and rigorous overview of physics. We covered many interesting topics and investigated their real-world applications, one of Giancoli’s (the textbook we employed) strong points. You have to accumulate many, many equations, laws, and principles. The labs are useful, especially now that one is included on every exam; we could actually repeat experiments such as for resistance in circuits and the period of pendulums that scientists conducted to discover the equations we use today. At the school where I took the test, one student was complaining that he never did do any labs. Mr. Lanctot is always happy to frankly discuss any of your questions or comments. However, be aware that Mr. Lanctot occasionally forgets to post assignments, though this didn’t affect too much my good preparation for the exam.

Feedback for prospective students: posted by Nathaniel Pawelczyk on June 27 2011 at 23:49:12

If you are interested in how things work, then you need to take this course!  Circuits, fluids, and generators are just a few of the everyday items that we studied and now understand.  Also, Mr. Lanctot is a great teacher who quickly answered all of our questions about the course material.  I highly recommend this course!