Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

One of the best things was definitely listening to lectures, both the ones Mrs. Hawkins created and the Teaching Company lectures she provided for us. I had not listened to lectures in previous history courses, and in this class, I realized how beneficial it was. 

AP Class Reviews

AP Physics C taught by Jeff Lanctot

by Students and Parents

AP Physics C course review posted by Caroline Larsen on May 27 2020 at 14:21:41

Yes, the course prepared me for the AP exams (Mechanics and E&M). The daily multiple choice questions were helpful in solidifying concepts from earlier in the course, and the problems in the book, though challenging, helped me learn the problem-solving skills necessary for the exams.

I generally put in 9-12 hours of work per week. Weeks with labs tended to be more time consuming.

The daily MCQs provided very helpful practice, and many of the labs, particularly a lab that involved creating an electric motor, made concepts from the course more tangible and understandable. Although the course is intensive, none of the assignments are busywork: the main assignments for each week usually involve reading a chapter in the textbook, completing assigned problems in the textbook, taking a short quiz on the chapter, and completing daily MCQs, with some weeks adding labs or FRQs.

Yes, taking the course definitely enhanced my interest in physics, and it encouraged me to study physics in more depth in college.

There isn't much communication with other students in this course, but there is a discussion board where you can post questions to other students, which is helpful if you need a concept clarified.

Students who have a solid foundation in mathematics and problem-solving and who are willing to put in time each week to understand the concepts would do well in this course. I found that one of the most important skills for the course was to understand how the various formulae and concepts relate to each other (instead of just using rote memorization). I recommend this course to any students looking to gain a strong foundation in calculus-based physics.

Good course posted by Irene Macri on May 26 2020 at 21:56:49

I took the AP Physics C: Mechanics full year course. The workload was very manageable, and I loved the daily MCQ's, they definitely prepared me for the classic questions for the exam.

If you are used to working very independently, this class is for you. I found when I had questions about specific problems, the response time was very slow, maybe a few days, and by that time I had forgotten what I was stumped on the problem, or moved on.

I also would have liked if there was more structured review in the 5 weeks leading up into the exam, maybe more practice tests. Also a  quicker turn around time on grading tests in general, because again by the time the test results were back, I may have been on a totally different lesson, and the little pieces that I may not have understood I may have forgotten.

Overall, I still enjoyed the course and received an A, so even with everything I've said, it was obviously enough structure and information to form a solid course that made me love physics even more than before

AP Physics C: Mechanics and E&M posted by Kenneth Harland on May 22 2018 at 23:38:35

I really enjoyed both the Mechanics and the Electricity and Magnetism (E&M) courses with Mr. Lanctot, and I feel that they well prepared me for the exams.

The AP Physics C exam and content can be tough, but you need to realize that most all students are in the same boat. However, coming out of the exam I felt more confident about my performance than the other high school students I was with. (I hope my confidence was well founded. Results come out in July.)

I found the workload for this course very manageable, but there are many opportunities to learn the material throughout the week through readings, homework, quizzes, FRQs, and/or labs.

I strongly suggest taking notes while you read the chapters. In my notes, Iincluded formulas and information that I thought was useful. These notes helped me learn, and they were invaluable for my homework. Instead of flipping through my text book for a formula, I coudl often reference the notes I had taken.

Also, the frequent FRQs helped my confidence and prepared me for difficult questions. I realized that in AP Physics C, the FRQs are not always about getting the correct answer. You do need the correct answer for full points, but you can get a lot of points for showing your work and for logically trying to sovle the problem. The repetition helped me figure out how to tackle these questions.

My favorite assignments were the labs, though. They were really fun, and were well integrated into the course material.


Graduate of Physics C now at College posted by Tim S. on June 23 2017 at 16:53:24

I took AP Physics C Mech and E&M with Mr. Lanctot in 2014-2015 and scored 5s on both AP exams.

Now, I just finished my first year in engineering at Cornell University. Thanks to Mr. Lanctot's teaching, I was not only able to test out of a semester of physics, but the two courses I did take were fun and I received A+ in both.

This past semester I decided to jump ahead and take a class called "Waves, Oscillations, and Intro to Quantum Physics" which had about 130 students, mostly sophomores and juniors. As far as I know, only 7 students in the class were freshmen (generally, taking that class early is ill-advised). Taught by Prof. Matthias Liepe, it was a great class and I enjoyed it more than the other students; my grades showed it.

Now, although I'm sure I want to major in mechanical engineering, I'm thinking about minoring in (and possibly doing research in) physics because I enjoyed it so much and learned so much.

Thank you, Mr. Lanctot, for giving me a strong foundation in physics and helping me get to Cornell!

I really enjoyed this challenging class! posted by Amy McKeown-Green on June 11 2017 at 19:20:16

Excellent class, outstanding test preparation! posted by Thomas Pioch on May 25 2017 at 17:03:41

First, I'm a senior who took the dual Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism classes this year, and I took AP Calculus BC the previous year.

I have to say, even with mechanics and e&m compressed into one school year (which Mr. Lanctot's schedule does quite effectively), I felt very confident when taking the AP exams, especially after taking several full-length practice tests in the weeks prior to the exam date. Mr. Lanctot always had helpful weekly schedules, notes, tips, videos, simulations, and other resources available to help with preparing for the exam.

I especially liked the way topics are reviewed throughout the year in the form of daily multiple-choice questions posted on the class website, complete with solutions to questions answered wrong. The textbook and its thousands of physics problems, some of which are used for homework, are excellent, and the solutions to the example problems and homework problems (and the homework problems are always self-graded) always tell you not just the correct answer, but also why it is the correct answer. Whenever I had a question or got stuck on an assignment, the message board on the main class page was a great resource. Although the work can get difficult, it never stops being engaging or interesting, and with a willingness to work hard it makes for a positively rewarding experience.

On average I would put anywhere between 5 and 10 hours per week (depending on the subject difficulty and what free-response questions or labs or practice tests are assigned in a particular week) into the class, which is reasonable for a college-level class.

Overall, this course was demanding, but I very much enjoyed it. Even with some very difficult material, the whole class was very fast-paced, engaging, and fun. It definitely increased my own interest in physics, and I would highly recommend it enough to anyone who is even remotely interested in science in general, and especially to anyone who is interested in physics. If you're willing to put in the hours and the effort in some occasionally difficult assignments, this class is the perfect way to score high on the AP Physics tests.

posted by Sean M on May 23 2017 at 01:20:36

I took the dual (Mech + E&M) course.  Prior to taking this course, I had taken AP Calc AB & AP Physics 1.

Because of my experience with AP Phys1, much of the first semester (Mechanics) was review.  The second involved newer material and was much more demanding.  I probably spent an average of ~5hr / week on this class (for weeks with no lab).

Overall pretty positive.  Mr. Lanctot was very generous with extensions and grading (I think that students who make a genuine effort will do just fine).

Highly recommended posted by Parker E on May 22 2017 at 13:56:16

Yes! I took both Mechanics and E&M, and both tests were easier than expected. Mr. Lanctot did a great job of preparing us. I averaged ~20-30min / day in homework and tests. The format is flexible, so it's possible to frontload everything for the week on Monday and Tuesday, and sometimes get a head start on the next week's work.

I've enjoyed every class I've taken with Mr. Lanctot (I took Calc AB before this, and highly recommend it as well). He's a great, flexible teacher who only assigns what he knows is valuable.

A Hands-Off Class posted by C Peterson on May 18 2017 at 22:38:39

First, some quick introductory information: I'm a high school senior who took the yearlong AP Physics Mech course. I took AP Calc AB last year and took AP Calc BC concurrently, and at the end of this year will have taken a total of ten PA Homeschoolers courses.

AP Physics Mechanics posted by Jay Leeds on May 16 2017 at 13:41:20

I took the yearlong AP Physics Mechanical course and had a very positive experience.  It moved at a solid pace (fast enough to cover everything necessary for the exam but slow enough to make sure all of the concepts were understood well).

This is definitely a fairly independent course.  Students are assigned problems every day, and homework consists of completing each day's problem set and using provided solutions to check yesterday's work.  At the end of the week, students submit their solutions, corrected as necessary.  The course also includes daily multiple-choice practice, multiple-choice quizzes every few weeks, labs, and free response questions from old AP exams.  This structure would be a good fit for any student willing to work hard and to work independently.  Homework is generally completed independently using problemsets and provided solutions.  That said, detailed feedback is given for labs and FRQs, and there weren't any major concepts that still confused me at the end of the class.

My one gripe with this course was that some of the lab instructions were a little confusing.  It took some time to get some of them to work, and as a result, they were frustrating at times.  However, they generally did a good job of reinforcing the material, and they were not exceedingly frequent, so it wasn't a major issue.

The course definitely left me very prepared for the AP exam.  In addition to homework and other assignments, I completed ~8 AP-style multiple choice questions per day, which was ample preparation for the exam.  We also did about 15 complete free response questions over the year, and in April, the class completed four complete AP exams.  This was more than enough preparation for the AP Physics exam.  I didn't find Physics particularly intuitive at first, but the frequent practice helped me understand the material far better than I would have otherwise.

Finally, a word about Calculus: AP Physics C does require Calculus.  I completed the year-long mechanics course while taking Calculus at the same time and had a very positive experience.  The Calculus components in this class helped to reinforce my understanding from my Calc course, and I felt that taking the two classes concurrently worked out very well.

Overall, this was a very good class.  It was much more independent than many of my other courses, but that didn't make learning the material any harder, and by the end of the year, I was very well prepared for the AP exam.  I would strongly recommend Mr. Lanctot's class to any student willing to put in the time necessary to succeed.

My experience with AP Physics C posted by Keegan West on May 12 2017 at 23:07:36

This was a very challenging course. The material was difficult and there was a lot of it. The concepts were explained well, though there were a few issues I had. There were very few significant problems I had over the duration of the course and if I did not understand a topic my teacher was always capable of answering. My one major issue with this course was the fact that you need to submit each question on the multiple choice quizzes one at a time. This may not sound that bad, but it was very stressful knowing that I had goten a few questions wrong and had to get 7 or so more questions correct in a row to well on the quiz. This kind of nerve racking experience may appear to be just another challenging aspect of this course. But I found that getting a few questions wrong towards the beginning of some of the online quizes made me more stressed out during those quizzes than during both AP tests. I may have had a problem with this but it was something I got used to over time even if I still did not believe it necessary. Because the final exam and the several practice tests that were handed out were structured like the AP test and the daily multiple choice questions kept up my knowledge of all of the topics, I felt very prepared for the AP test. On a normal week I generally put in 2-3 hours of work into this course, unless I was doing a lab or a free response question in which I would spend an extra 20 minutes to 2 additional hours. My favorite assignments that I feel were most important were the early quizzes on the relation between acceleration and force because much of the course seemed to build off of those topics. I also feel that the labs that involved electric circuits and the electric field lab were important to help me understand how the concepts apply to real life. With the mechanics half of the course it is easy to see how the concepts apply to real life, but with the electricity and magnetism half it is somewhat difficult to understand what is actually being described in the course without actually trying it out in a lab. This course showed me that the creative thinking I have used in other science related AP courses can be applied to Physics as well. I did not find that there was much need for interaction with other students, though I did feel that the WWW board was a big help if I or another student had a question. The kind of student that would do well in this course is one who is willing to not just work hard, but for extended periods of time, can manage time effectivly, and puts effort towards understanding the material and can handle a lot of stress. Overall this was a good course, though I found it challenging and sometimes overwhelming I would still recommend it to students who can handle stress, manage time efficently, and can understand the concepts present in science courses.

AP Physics Mechanics Review posted by Hannah on June 09 2015 at 03:03:54

Mr. Lanctot’s AP Physics courses are excellent! I took the Mechanics course, and it helped me feel well prepared for the AP exam. Mr. Lanctot gave us plenty of multiple choice questions and free response questions to practice with, and in the last few weeks we took several practice tests. Since we had plenty of preparation, I felt like I knew what to expect when I walked into the test room.

Generally, I put in 1-2 hours per day for this course. During the few weeks with labs, I put in a few extra hours to complete the labs and the reports. Mr. Lanctot’s assignments were always very clear and reasonable (both in length and difficulty). For every reading he posted a commentary that explained the key concepts and highlighted the information we would need to remember for the exam.

I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning physics. This course is very well designed, and it will show you many new and exciting things about daily phenomenon. Also, while it might be helpful, you definitely don’t need to finish Calculus AB before taking this class. Mr. Lanctot doesn’t introduce any calculus in the assignments until a few months into the course. I took the Mechanics course while concurrently taking AP Calculus AB, and I didn’t have any problems with the math. Regardless of whether or not you have a background in calculus, you’ll be able to succeed in this class. If you’re looking for a good AP Physics course, take Mr. Lanctot’s!

Tons of fun! posted by Justin Restivo on May 26 2015 at 15:04:00

Absolutely. I walked into the AP exams having taken several full practice AP exams that Mr. Lanctot graded. This combined with having taken countless FRQs throughout both semesters and the daily practice AP questions Mr. Lanctot provided, I was thoroughly prepared for the exam.

The time required varied significantly for me. Do note that prior to this course, I had taken rigorous precalculus and single-variable calculus courses (AOPS’s Precalculus and Calculus; I scored 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam last year after taking the courses, to give an idea of my competency). I’d taken a physics course the prior year, and studied for both the AP Physics B and SAT Physics exams as well. I also have a strong math background, meaning that I didn’t struggle too much with the formula derivations (in my opinion, the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of this course).

Every weekday Mr. Lanctot assigned either textbook reading, labwork, practice FRQs, quizzes, and/or homework problems. Depending on how well I knew the material, I spent anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours every day studying. For example, for the first couple months of the course (until we hit rotational motion), I was able to spend ~45 minutes every day because the material was something I had already seen (note this increased on lab days and textbook reading days, when I would supplement with Walter Lewin’s physics lectures).

The second semester (EM) was significantly more conceptual than the first, and to completely master the material, I would spend 2-3 hours on average every weekday. This number did decrease exponentially as I neared the AP exam, for at that point because we were no longer learning new material, it was simply a matter of reviewing my notes and studying an AP review book.

My favorite assignment would be any part of the EM semester. I loved how we learned about each of Maxwell’s Laws in detail. I also enjoyed learning of the different EM physics applications we use in our day-to-day life. The course was particularly eye-opening in that regard.

If I had to choose, my favorite assignment would have to be the electric motor I built during our last lab. It was amazing not only to see a copper-wire loop rotate via a seemingly invisible force, but also to understand the concepts behind its rotation.

Yes. I’ve developed a strong passion for the EM portion of this course, and I’m now planning to major in electrical engineering/computer science in college. Electrical engineering requires a thorough knowledge of physics, and my interest for it was inspired by taking this course. We barely touched the surface, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning about circuits (especially inductors!)

If you’re willing to work for it, this course is tons of fun. You’ll need a strong grasp of calculus, and already having had a year of physics does help. However, even if you’re taking calculus simultaneously with this course and have no prior physics experience, I’d strongly recommend it. You’ll need to devote much time to this course, but trust me, it’s completely worth it. You won’t even notice how much time you’re spending because you’re having so much fun. The course is highly rewarding, and has many practical applications. 

More Productive than a College Class posted by Diane Squire on May 25 2015 at 22:49:33

Mr. Lanctot is an excellent teacher and prepared me very well for the Physics C: Mechanics AP exam. I will definitely recommend his class to everyone. The part I loved most about this class was its college like structure. Mr. Lanctot provided correct advice on what parts of the book were important and various helpful internet resources. He was also open to questions. Mr. Lanctot, certainly provides good support, and this class does a good job of rewarding those who give an effort. I believe that students who give effort in this class, whether they are math and physics enthusiasts or not, can still score high on the AP. Yet, I feel Calculus AB knowledge makes the topics a lot easier to understand. Personally, I spent about 2 hours reading chapter sections and 6 hours completing homework every week; I spent 2-3 hours on each lab (about 8 labs total). As a senior, this class has made me more confident in a college structured class (besides saving money and time towards my engineering degree). Mr. Lanctot’s class was very well organized, and I would undoubtedly recommend it to students who truly wish to learn and succeed. I get the feeling I have learned more in his class than I would have in college! Thanks Mr. Lanctot!

Great Class. posted by Timothy Wynia on May 22 2015 at 19:14:28

Coming into Physics C: Mechanics + Electricy and Magnetism with a calculus backround, I wasn't worried with the math aspect but the wide focus was intimidating. Mr. Lancot did an excellent job of breaking the material down into smaller bits to make it easier to understand. While the subject is broad, and I still very much lack a complete understanding, the instruction I have received has left me better prepared for college engineering classes, and for that, I am most appreciative.

Very fun class posted by Sonia Reilly on May 22 2015 at 17:11:02

First the background: I took the combined AP Physics C: Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism class, after having taken AP Calculus AB and BC, as well as other math classes, in previous years.

Mr. Lanctot's class prepared me quite well for both of the AP exams -- I felt confident going into the test, and I'm pretty sure it went well despite the fact that I had a serious cold during the exams. I generally put in about 2 hours/day, 5 days/week, plus several hours on weekends to read the textbook and ~4 hours per lab (every few weeks). Even though I took both AP exams in one year, I didn't find the workload at all overwhelming.

The course was generally well organized, but could have benefited from some more interaction with the teacher and the other students. Mr. Lanctot always answered any questions we had, but the discussion board was not very active -- there were anywhere from 1 to 5 questions from students per week, and there was not much discussion on anything other than clarifying assignments and problems.

The assignments were definitely helpful to understanding the material. The textbook clearly explained everything, and there was only one chapter where I found myself struggling to understand the concepts. Mr. Lanctot never assigned material not required for the AP exam, but pointed out other interesting sections of the book. The most useful assignment was the Daily MCQs. They are a selection of past AP multiple choice questions that you are supposed to do 8 of every day. It is tempting to do only the 4 daily questions that are required, but this is a bad idea! The questions are randomly selected from all the topics you've covered so far, and are an excellent way to review the material constantly. As far as labs, they were not unusual for an AP science class -- a useful experience, but admittedly occasionally tedious. That said, Mr. Lanctot did everything possible to limit the busywork typical of science labs: I really appreciated the lack of formal lab reports, since the reports focused instead on understanding the material, not listing procedure etc.

I am definitely more interested in physics now than I was at the start of the class. I had studied physics before but never found it particularly appealing. Seeing it all laid out in a logical progression helped a lot, and made me appreciate the subject far more than I had before. Thank you to Mr. Lanctot for making me see the light! :)

There are a few things that you should keep in mind in taking this course: First, it is necessary to have a very good background in math. It is all right if you are taking AP Calc AB at the same time, because Mr. Lanctot waits until the middle of the fall semester to introduce any calculus, but you should be quite comfortable with the math from before calculus. AP Calc BC is not at all needed, but the AP Physics C exams definitely use ALL the material you will learn in Calc AB -- they expect you to be able to derive and solve differential equations, which is a topic at the very end of Calc AB. Be prepared for this! The other thing to keep in mind is that the AP exam has a lot of time pressure (something I wasn't expecting), so you will need to get used to doing the FRQs and even MCQs that Mr. Lanctot assigns very quickly.

In short, if you are willing to do the work and keep up with all the assignments, and you have a solid background in math, this class will definitely prepare you for the AP exams in both Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism. I definitely recommend it!

Very good Mech/E&M class posted by Nolan Reilly on May 22 2015 at 17:02:54

The course was very good preparation for the AP, provided you do all the work. This is quite intensive, averaging out at ~2 hours per day, with a few of the labs taking up whole days. The homework could get somewhat repetitive, but it was never pointless; it was always geared towards the skills you were expected to learn, and the quantity definitely helped to make the processes mechanical and reduce errors on the actual test. The course definitely helped me understand physics, and prepared me to understand the more interesting parts of physics beyond the introductory (including statistical mechanics, quantum physics, relativity).

The discussion board is not very lively:  it has a rather poor organization, with posts organized by temporal order rather than by subject matter, and it's difficult to sift through the list to find a particular discussion. The difficulty in using it tends to discourage many people from participating in it. There are not many conversations among students; posts are more one-way notifications than discussions. All in all, a better discussion board would improve the conversations, but neither is this strictly necessary: you can learn all you need to know from the readings without need for elucidation from other students.

I would recommend this course to anyone who can do the workload assiduously and does not expect to be able to network with other students. However, as I expect this is exactly the sort of student who would be taking AP Physics C M&EM, I do not think these restrictions will be very problematic.

All in all, this is a very good course -- combined Mechanics and Electromagnetism -- that does its job superbly: it prepares you for the exam and future classes in physics.

AP Physics with Mr. Lanctot Class Review! posted by Jack Novack on May 30 2013 at 13:50:13

AP Physics with Mr. Lanctot was a very fun class for me. The workload was not overwhelming by any stretch of the imagination - typically we were only asked to do a few problems in the workbook a day, and then submit a test or FRQ at the end of the week. I typically studied two hours per day (not including - but sometimes including - weekends). 10-12 hours a week was pretty much my time spent on this class, which is very reasonable for an AP science course. Every day we are also given the option to complete eight AP multiple choice questions, which total up to four points. Admittedly I was not steadfast enough to get four points every day, but even not doing the full amount of problems there, I felt like it helped me a lot with understanding of the material.

There was relatively little student interaction compared to some online courses that I have taken. There was a forum, and there could easily have been hundreds of conversations happening all the time, but there wasn't. That may have been do to this year's particular batch of students, however. Honestly, the level of student interaction is up to you. 


This course is an excellent course for a reliable student who can manage his or her time wisely, and actually work when they are working. If you are a prospective student who has had trouble teaching himself information in the past, or easily slips off into daydreaming or net-surfing when doing computer work, this is probably not the course for you. Like anything, you get what you put into this course. Mr. Lanctot, is helpful when it comes to responding to emails, so although you are largely left on your own when it comes to teaching yourself the information, there is some support if you don't understand anything. 

Thanks for your time, Mr. Lanctot, studying the wide world of Physics has been a fascinating journey!

AP Physics B Review posted by Abigail H. on May 23 2013 at 24:05:23



Excellent Course posted by Eric Britt on May 23 2013 at 16:24:42

Mr. Lanctot is an excellent and rigorous teacher with a solid understanding of physics.  His comments were inciteful and helped me prepare for the AP Physics Exam.  I felt very prepared for the AP Exam.

This is a great course that will prepare you for the AP Exam and increase your knowledge of Physics.  It is rigorous and I would suggest that before taking this course you have an interest in physics and/or math, that you have a good work ethic and that you are willing to take notes.

A Fantastic Physics Course posted by Thomas Hennessey on May 22 2013 at 14:35:12

This course definitely prepared me for the AP Physics B Exam.  Throughout the year, Mr. Lanctot used his reading comments to point out topics in our textbook that would be tested on the AP Exam and always let us know of types of problems that often show up and how those problems related to the course material.  On the actual test, I saw many of the types of problems he said would be tested.  Also, the Daily MCQ's he makes available on the class website are an invaluable resource; since they're actual past exam questions, you will see problems like them on the real test (I'm pretty sure I saw some of the exact same questions on this year's exam).  Mr. Lanctot also provided us with real past FRQ's all year and graded them with an AP rubric, showing us exactly how we should craft our answers to score higher.  I felt really familiar with the material and prepared for the exam on test day thanks to everything Mr. Lanctot provided.

I probably spent around 10-13 hours/week on the course material.  Because the topics can be difficult, I usually went over each chapter's material a couple times and took plenty of time on the homework problems to make sure I understood not only how to work the problems, but why the actual physics makes sense.  I also spent about 30 minutes/day on the Daily MCQ's since they were so helpful in studying for the weekly quizzes and the AP Exam.  In weeks with labs, a lot of reading, or especially long or difficult weekly quizzes, I would spend more time, but the workload was never too heavy or difficult, especially since Mr. Lanctot was always very helpful and clear about what he wanted in each assignment.

I particularly liked the virtual lab simulations Mr. Lanctot made available throughout the year.  They were easy to run and clearly showed the principles behind any lab experiment we did or any topic we covered.  I especially liked using them to check my results for a particular lab to get a sense of whether my results were reasonable.  I also liked running the real labs because they were generally informative, easy to set up, and fun to execute.  The labs taught me a number of helpful relationships that saved me time on the AP Exam.

Absolutely!  I've always liked science and found physics interesting, but I really enjoyed the depth with which this course explored every topic, from mechanics and electricity to modern physics.  Mr. Lanctot taught beyond what the exam required and his enthusiasm for the subject was contagious.  I always looked forward to new readings or labs and found his input extremely useful.

Our course website had a message board where students would regularly post questions or interesting resources.  This class felt very interactive because the board was a great place to bounce ideas off of other students or just discuss the course material.  This type of communication was especially helpful for labs because whenever somebody had trouble, they would post a question and the rest of us would answer it, with Mr. Lanctot checking to make sure we had our facts straight.  Physics doesn't naturally lend itself to a lot of discussion since there isn't as much writing or interpretation involved as there is in other subjects, so the communication wasn't too extensive, but I thought this class was interactive and had a really collaborative atmosphere.

I would definitely recommend this course to anybody who likes physics or wants to learn to like physics.  Mr. Lanctot is an amazing teacher who really loves the subject; he'll teach you to be as enthusiastic about it as he is.  He knows exactly what the AP exam covers and makes sure you know what parts of the textbook to devote the most attention to.  Someone who's willing to put in a good amount of time to independent study and who's strong in algebra/trigonometry would probably do best in this course.  There are a lot of equations to memorize and the topics can be confusing, but Mr. Lanctot will guide you through the material, answer any questions you have, and prepare you for the AP Exam.



Good prep for the AP, and good coverage of physics, but some caveats posted by Michael DeBellevue on May 20 2013 at 06:14:07

This course is a great choice if you want to be prepared for the AP exam.  There's a lot of daily review that keeps the material fresh throughout the year, so studying for the AP itself is rather easy.  The course isn't too difficult as long as you complete assignments on time and study for the quizzes.  I found the labs to be time consuming and generally unhelpful.  Some of the quiz questions, I felt, were ambiguous or weren't answered adequetely in the study material, but some of that is subjective.  If you take this course, make sure you study all the reading before taking a quiz, not just the material which was govered by the homework, as all of the assigned reading is covered by the quiz questions.  Overall, I would give this course an 8/10.  I think it was worth the money and time.


Hope this helps,


Michael DeBellevue

Great Course posted by Genevieve B on May 19 2013 at 24:57:26

The AP Physics class is exceptionally well-taught. It definitely enhanced my interest in the field of physics. Mr. Lanctot is a just teacher whose feedback was timely and precise. His notes and his strategic assignments were invaluable to me.  The course took at least 15-20 hours a week for me to complete and I found that the daily MCQ's, although time-consuming, were exceedingly helpful and important.  I also found it necessary to allocate plenty of time for the labs; I repeated some of them multiple times in order to attain reasonable results before submitting them.  Mr. Lanctot's Friday deadlines helped me stay on track and let me use weekends for studying as opposed to last minute catch-up work. 

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!

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