AP Physics C (Mech and/or E&M) Full Year or Single Semester Reviews

Great course

Posted by Emilia Davey on 07/05/2023
  • Did you feel this class prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely! The course textbook was very thorough and provided practice problems that are AP-level (or above). I ended up scoring a 5 on both the Mechanics and E&M exams, so I definitely felt very prepared :)

  • How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into this class?

I found the mechanics section a lot easier than the E&M semester (I had already taken Physics 1, which no doubt helped). Thus, I averaged around 5-7 hours a week in the 1-semester Mechanics course (as all I really needed to do was 'integrate' calculus into my knowledge), and ~8 hours a week for the E&M semester. The semester courses are very fast-paced, but it really forces you to concentrate and manage your time.

  • Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I thoroughly enjoyed the AP practice tests, as they really helped reinforce my knowledge of the course content and helped reduce exam anxiety. The final exams are all AP-based practice tests, which I really appreciated. I also enjoyed the required daily practice MCQs--they not only help you garner points to improve your grade, but it keeps content covered earlier in the year fresh in your mind!

  • Did this class enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely! I acquired a deep fascination for electricity and magnetism--I'm hoping to take up circuit building as a new hobby :)

  • Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

The class was very small, and there was not much communication going on, so I would say this question isn't very relevant. However, I do appreciate how independent this course it--a great preparation for college. 

  • What sort of student would do well in this class? Would you recommend this class to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?
Any student who is willing to prioritize time management and consistency would do very well. This course provides a weekly-based assignment schedule, but other than that, you're mostly on your own. So students who prefer to work independently and figure things out on their own would thrive in this course. 

    AP Physics C Review

    Posted by Ioana Geba on 05/12/2022 6

    First of all, I think this course prepares the hard working student very well for the AP Physics C exams. It is especially important that anyone who considers taking this class has a strong mathematical background, especially calculus. The course is designed very carefully and the weekly homework assignments connect well with the material covered that week. In addition, the laboratory assignments reinforce the physical intuition that is acquired by reading the textbook. Specifically for the AP Physics exam, it is extremely helpful that the student can exercise on a daily basis with multiple choice questions and that free response questions are assigned on a consistent basis in conjunction with the weekly homework. The feedback provided by the instructor is timely and very useful. For someone like myself, who did not have prior physics experience, the course required consistent time commitment, averaging 12 hours per week. The material is covered at a steady pace and there is ample time left for review. I highly recommend this class for someone who likes science, and who is willing to work very hard on a consistent basis. 

      Grueling yet Gratifying - That's Real Physics!

      Posted by 'lmos Quevedo on 05/06/2022
      • Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

      Definitely! Throughout the year, we practiced AP-style free response questions, and after Mr. Lanctot graded them, he gave us access to their scoring guide so we could identify and learn from our mistakes. Additionally, we were required to complete short sets of multiple choice questions daily, which helped enormously with keeping previously learned concepts fresh. The course culminated with three weeks of review, during which we took both Mechanics and Electromagnetism full-length AP practice exams. These tests helped me with my pacing/timing - something vastly important given the tight time constraints of the actual AP test. Mr. Lanctot also provided us with plenty of extra resources, videos, and simulations we could use to solidify our knowledge of the course material.

      • How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

      I spent around 10 hours weekly on this course. Most of this was studying new material from the textbook, taking meticulous notes, and doing homework problems.

      • Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

      I especially appreciate the fact that Mr. Lanctot gave us plenty of paper tests to do and required all our homework to be done on paper and scanned in. I say this because I have taken online AP courses where every single test and homework assignment was online. I personally find it harder to understand concepts and commit material to memory in a fully digital environment. When doing a practice test, I need to get that pencil and wreak havoc in the pages of the test - it is like thinking aloud. This course allowed me to do just that.

      And of course the labs were fascinating. Precise measurement was an important aspect of all labs, and the results of these measurements were usually used to compute experimental values or develop mathematical models for a given situation. One of my favorite experiments involved the charging and discharging of a capacitor!

      • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

      I've always loved physics, but now I love it more. Before taking this course, I would shy away from anything experimental and would be frustrated by the imprecision of my lab attempts. However, this course gave me some insight into the true nature of experimental science and honed my measuring skills, such that toward the end of the course I was expecting labs more than anything else. This is important since I plan to major in engineering, where, as in most scientific disciplines, experiment and theory go hand in hand.

      • 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!)?

      First of all, you need to be an independent and motivated student. Mr. Lanctot is always there to help, either via email, on the discussion board, or at his weekly Zoom office hours, but this course is definitely not the spoon feeding kind. I would say the class bears closer resemblance to college classes where students are expected to handle the material fairly independently; thus this course is a great preparation for this new study style. Second, I strongly recommend that you have at least some basic knowledge of calculus (derivation and integration). While not required, previous knowledge of calculus will make the material easier from the very start. I personally was taking AP Calculus AB concurrently with this class but had been studying calculus by myself the previous year.

      So to wrap up, if you love physics, have good self-discipline and study habits, and are strong in math, this is the course for you. It is rigorous and fast-paced, but perseverance pays off!

        AP Physics C Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism Course Review

        Posted by Stephen Marble on 05/06/2022
        • Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

        Yes, I feel it has prepared me well to take the AP exam. The book was laid out well, and the problems, while challenging, really helped drive home the concepts being taught. The daily MCQs helped with review of material, and the message board on the main page was a useful tool when needed. Mr. Lanctot would always respond in a timely manner when I was confused about some problem. The practice tests in the last few weeks of class were especially helpful in familiarizing me with how the AP exam might go and with reviewing material.

        • How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?


        On average, I spent around 2-3 hours per day, except when the work was more difficult. This included daily MCQs, homework, and more.

        • Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?


        The labs were almost always fun to do, relevant, and were integrated nicely into the material we were learning. The one I enjoyed the most was the electric motor lab near the end of the course.

        • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?


        Yes, I would say it did. The labs really brought the subject to life by having the coursework be more interactive. I am planning on majoring in engineering in college this fall and this has helped deepen my interest in physics.

        • Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?


        I didn't really have a whole lot of communication or interaction with the other students in the class, but I would on occasion use the message board and that was helpful.

        • 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!)?

        The type of student who would do well in this course is someone who works well independently, is organized, and has good study habits. A strong interest in math and science goes a long way when taking this course. If they're willing to work hard and seriously put in the effort to study this challenging material, I would definitely recommend this course and Mr. Lanctot to other students.


          Student Success

          Posted by Mr. Lanctot (Teacher) on 12/28/2021

          I've been teaching AP Physics and AP Calculus online with APHomeschoolers for about 12 years now and during that time I've had almost 500 students.  Over that entire period, students have performed extremely well earning an average AP Exam score of 4.3 in Physics and 4.2 in Calculus.  While my courses are asynchronous (i.e., no live sessions), I have recently implemented live weekly Office Hours and Extra Help sessions. However, I have found that the vast majority of students find the structure of the course to be extremely effective for mastering the material and rarely require live communications.

            No weekly class is about as bad as it sounds

            Posted by John Grant on 07/27/2021

            This is a good class with good material, but you will entirely be on your own as you do it.

            I'll start with the positive - if you have a strong affinity for physics or mathematics, you will do well in this course. The textbook is usually helpful, and Prof. Lanctot chooses a good selection of problems from the textbook as homework. There are daily MCQ's that are extremely helpful with in enforcing the concepts you've learned. Prof. Lanctot grades in a timely manner if you don't fall behind on your work. The labs can be long and tedious, but some of them are fun and - hey, it's a high school science course. What are you expecting?

            These are important class attributes, and they are done well in this one.

            Unfortunately, the course will not prepare you for the AP exams as much as I think it should. Prof. Lanctot shies away from the official AP practice problems that are so essential for mastering the exam. This is particularly prominent for the FRQ's - this class will have a single FRQ roughly every other week. That's just not enough. When practicing FRQ's, I frequently felt confused about what to do. Most of the time this was not because the material hadn't been taught to me, it was because the AP style for physics questions had not been taught to me. If you want to learn that, you'll have to put additional non-required work into the class. Especially when compared to AP classes from The Potter's School, this course will not prepare you to know the material inside and out for the exam.

            Then there is the biggest complaint around the course - the lack of a support network. While I don't know for certain, I believe about half the class transferred over to Kernion after the fall semester, and I think the lack of community was the reason for almost all of them. If you struggle with a particular concept or problem, you're almost entirely on your own to solve it. Prof. Lanctot tries to stop that with a discussion board, but a text-based discussion board with a twenty-four hour response time just can't compare to students that are actually engaged in the class. I said before that if you had a strong affinity for physics you could make it - I'll now say that if you don't, I would highly recommend taking a class with weekly meetings. 

            Despite all these problems, I was still able to do well in the class and on the AP exams. Then again, I will also be majoring in Physics in college, so I will probably have an easier experience in this course than the majority of students. If you are confident you can learn the material with little outside help, you should do fine.

              AP Physics C course review

              Posted by Caroline Larsen on 05/27/2020
              • Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

              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.

              • How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

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

              • Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

              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.

              • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

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

              • Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

              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.

              • 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 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 05/26/2020

                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 05/22/2018

                  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 06/23/2017

                    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 06/11/2017

                        Excellent class, outstanding test preparation!

                        Posted by Thomas Pioch on 05/25/2017

                        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 05/23/2017

                          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 05/22/2017
                            • Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

                            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 05/18/2017

                              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.

                              • Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?
                                More or less. We covered everything that would be on the test, and we did three practice tests plus the final exam in the weeks leading up to the AP exam, but I struggled to understand a lot of the concepts in the textbook throughout the year (despite making good grades in the class). I wound up solidifying a lot of the information in the last few weeks by going over the material in the practice tests with my mother, who is a mechanical engineer. That helped a lot. Without her, I'm not sure that I would have been quite ready for the exam.
                              • How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?
                                Every week we had to read a little discussion of the material from Mr. Lanctot, read a section or two in the textbook, and do an average of about 12-15 problems from the book. Every other week or so we also had a practice FRQ (that's free response question) or a lab due. If I did literally only the required work on a week with no extra assignments, I could probably get them done in about 5 hours for the week. I did this occasionally, but it wound up hurting me later when I didn't understand the material as well as I should have. There are also daily multiple choice questions that take about five to ten minutes a day. The FRQs took about half an hour, so they didn't add much more time the weeks we had them, but the labs could take up to about five hours.
                              • Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?
                                I didn't really enjoy doing the FRQs, but I think they were very helpful. They've been my weak spot all year, so doing them was very crucial. In fact, I kind of wish he'd assigned more of them!
                              • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?
                                I always kind of hated math, so I was mad when my parents made me take AP Calc AB in 11th grade. I wound up really loving it, though. I thought that it would be the same way with physics this year, that I'd be initially scared by its rigor but would warm up to it as I became more comfortable with it. That did not happen. In fact, this class taught me once and for all that I am never going to be an engineer like my mother–because I really don't like physics! I get really frustrated with the way everything in physics is so complicated and not straightforward. In the future, I think I'll stick with calculus and (my future major) computer science.
                              • Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?
                                There's a discussion board on the website that no one ever really used. Two of my other classmates and I were in a Skype group together, though. We would chat once in a while about problems we were unsure about (as well as our other AP classes and random other stuff!). I wouldn't say the group had a huge impact on my class experience, though.
                              • 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!)?
                                To do well in this course, you just need to be willing to put in the work of doing all the assignments. To really excel at physics with this course, you need to be very self-motivated and (preferably!) enjoy studying physics on your own. The student-teacher interaction is pretty minimal–you do most of the reading on our own, fix your textbook problems with an answer key, and usually have to wait a while to get graded assignments back (with often very short explanations). If you like to set your own study pace for the week, absorbing new material with whatever supplementary study methods that work best for you, then this class could be right up your alley. If you need a little more hand-holding, though, it might not be quite what you're looking for.

                                AP Physics Mechanics

                                Posted by Jay Leeds on 05/16/2017

                                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 05/12/2017

                                  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 06/09/2015

                                    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 05/26/2015
                                      • Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

                                      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.

                                      • How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

                                      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.

                                      • Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

                                      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.

                                      • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

                                      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!)

                                      • 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!)?

                                      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 05/25/2015

                                        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 05/22/2015

                                          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 05/22/2015

                                            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 05/22/2015

                                              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 05/30/2013

                                                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 05/23/2013
                                                  • Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

                                                    Yes! Throughout the year, we covered a 33 chapter textbook. Each week, we would do selected problems from these chapters, and then self-correct them the next day. These problems were very similar to the FRQs on the AP exam, so were a huge help. There was a MC quiz at the end of each week, which helped point out which chapters needed more work. The daily MCQs, a random jumble of old MC questions that were required every day, were an extremely helpful study tool! However, I would recommend getting a review book at the beginning of the second semester, because there is so much material to cover that this class only has 2 full review weeks.


                                                  • How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

                                                    I typically spent 1-2 hours a day. However, on lab days I spent up to 6 hours. This seems a bit excessive, but there were only 10, and were very necessary in understanding certain applications.


                                                  • Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

                                                    The daily MCQs were an extremely helpful resource! Doing questions on each topic every day really helped with memorizing equations and being able to efficiently use them. The videos and Phet simulations were also helpful with visiualizing certain topics, such as waves and circuits.


                                                  • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

                                                    Yes! It has definitely enhanced my interest in physics.


                                                  • Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

                                                    There isn't really much to discuss in physics, besides everyone getting different lab results. :) Mr. Lanctot or other students were quick to answer any questions on the WWWBoard.


                                                  • 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!)?

                                                    Any student willing to work hard would do well in this course. Although this course is very difficult, it is completely manageable! I would recommend this to anyone interested in science.


                                                    Excellent Course

                                                    Posted by Eric Britt on 05/23/2013

                                                    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 05/22/2013
                                                      • Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

                                                      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.

                                                      • How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

                                                      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.

                                                      • Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

                                                      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.

                                                      • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

                                                      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.

                                                      • Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

                                                      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.

                                                      • 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!)?

                                                      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 05/20/2013

                                                        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 05/19/2013

                                                          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 05/28/2012 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 05/21/2012 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 05/18/2012 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.


                                                                  Posted by Zara%20Perumal on 05/14/2012 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 08/06/2011

                                                                    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 06/27/2011
                                                                      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 06/27/2011

                                                                        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!