If your child is among the approximately 38.9% of students taking AP exams this year, you’ll need to invest in services to ensure their success.

High-level academic tutoring is the single best way that you can get your student the preparation that they need. This will allow them to attain the much-coveted 5 that gets them college credit.

AP Physics is one of the tougher exams, but students can pass the test when their individual academic needs are met. Read on to learn what you should know before hiring a tutor for AP Physics exam prep.

Why Hire an AP Physics Tutor?

AP Physics tutors can assist students in multiple formats. This allows parents to choose the medium through which they want their children to learn. Tutors can:

  • Come to your home to tutor your child (while parents are present)
  • Come to your child’s school and provide on-campus tutoring (in some cases)
  • Meet students at other public locations (libraries, coffee shops, etc.)
  • Engage in online tutoring (the most popular services due to convenience and quality)

This is one of the core reasons to hire an AP Physics tutor. It’s easy, efficient, and convenient. Parents don’t need to worry about going to a faraway test prep center or finding a safe place to meet.

Expert Knowledge and Tools

One of the main benefits of an AP physics tutor is that they will be an expert on the subject.

This doesn’t apply to student tutors or random teachers who are not trained in AP testing. However, high-level tutors like those at Tungsten Prep have many years of experience with students. They have undergone rigorous training both in physics and in working with students.

This knowledge gives students the tools needed to succeed. However, more tools such as apps, test prep packets, and practice exams are also essential. These materials are included within your $135 per hour tuition fee, and your tutor will provide them.

One-on-One Assistance

Every student has a unique learning style. While classroom settings cannot accommodate every individual student’s preferred methods, one-on-one tutors expect to do so.

Personalized learning is far more engaging and memorable for AP students. It also offers wider learning because each student can go at their own pace. Fast learners will not be held back by slower ones because there are no other students to consider.

One-on-one tutoring also encourages students to ask questions. Many will not disrupt a larger class to ask questions, and even those who are willing to may not get sufficient answers due to time constraints in the classroom. This is not an issue for students in high-level tutoring since they get individualized attention.

Understand the Four Exam Types

Recently, AP Physics B (a single-year class) was replaced with AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2. This is distinct from AP Physics B since these courses are taken back-to-back and span two years. There are also two semester-long AP Physics C classes.

There are now four distinct AP Physics classes.

This means that there are also four distinct exams. Each covers different material and is keyed to a specific level of the student.

Understand that a hired tutor will work with your student on any of the following exams. The primary focus will, of course, be on the next exam. However, since professional tutors have a strong understanding of all four courses, they will be able to draw on knowledge from previous classes and introduce concepts that will help on future exams.

AP Physics 1

AP Physics 1 is the introductory physics course offered to high school students. It is algebra-based, meaning that students do not require any math background beyond Algebra 2.

In this course, students look into basic physics concepts. Some of the most well-known include:

  • Newtonian mechanics
  • Gravity
  • Energy
  • Momentum
  • Motion

There are no technical prerequisites for this course. However, it’s best to take geometry before enrolling and to be enrolled in Algebra 2 at the same time as AP Physics 1.

AP Physics 2

Like AP Physics 1, this course is algebra-based. It’s intended to be taken the year after Algebra 2 has been completed, meaning that it requires full knowledge of topics from this math course. Physics 1 is a prerequisite to taking it as well.

This course looks into more complex topics in physics. They include:

  • Kinetic theory/thermodynamics
  • Electromagnetism
  • PV diagrams and probability
  • Electrical circuits with capacitors
  • Magnetic fields
  • Quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics

AP Physics C: Mechanics

Rather than being algebra-based, both AP Physics C courses are calculus-based. Because of this, students must have taken calculus already or be concurrently enrolled in the class. This isn’t just a recommendation, but a requirement of the course.

The ‘Mechanics’ segment of AP Physics C explores:

  • Newton’s laws of motion
  • Momentum
  • Energy and power
  • Oscillations
  • Gravitation

These topics were covered in Physics 1, but AP Physics C goes into significantly more detail. Because of this, the course is much more difficult.

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

This is the second AP Physics C course and is to be taken in the semester after Mechanics. This course will include topics such as:

  • Conductors
  • Capacitors
  • Electrostatics
  • Magnetic fields
  • Circuits
  • Electromagnetism

You can take AP Physics C concurrently with other AP Physics 2 or in the semesters following it.

Know What Tutoring Will Cover

AP test prep tutoring covers many subjects. The exact material will depend largely on your student’s needs, but there are certain things that we emphasize when working with tutees.

The first area of emphasis is teaching students to support their answers. AP test scorers look for strong support for answers, and they look for it to be in a specific format. We help to eliminate general and broad statements from your student’s practice test answers.

We also work on determining when to explain an answer versus when not to. Some questions are looking for short answers (specifically, those that begin with words like ‘state’ or ‘determine.’) Others require long answers (‘justify,’ ‘explain,’ ‘sketch,’ and so on.)

This helps students to better allocate their time during a test. It also helps them provide the information that AP test graders want.

AP Physics exams also have a qualitative/quantitative translation question. We work on how to explain the answer without simply writing out the equation used into words. This means exploring the ways that students can explain and reference principles to ensure content mastery rather than memorization skills.

Open Communication in Tutoring


You likely understand how tutors and students will relate to one another. There will be a lot of open and honest communication.

But where do you fall as a parent?

That depends on your individual needs. When you have limited time to guide your child through the admissions process and want to stay informed, you can inquire about their progress with the tutor.

Talk to Your Child’s Tutor

First, ask your tutor about your child’s strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to AP Physics. This will let you know in what direction you should steer them. Since students need to study on their own between tutoring sessions, it’s important that you know what materials to discuss with them and focus on.

You also can tell your tutor the way that the student learns best. Because you know your child best, you can provide insight into how the tutor can best assist them individually. This ensures that all tutoring sessions go as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Ask Your Child Questions

High school can be challenging, especially when a student is taking college-level courses. Make sure to regularly check in with your child to make sure that they are doing well in tutoring and are feeling on top of their studies.

Ask what they are struggling with and what they feel good about. This not only helps you be present for your child but also gives you information to tell the tutor next time you speak with them.

Start Preparing Students for the AP Physics Exam Today

Now that you know why it’s critical to hire an AP Physics tutor, it’s time to get started. Contact us with any remaining questions that you have about preparing your student for AP Physics exams.

We’re happy to discuss pricing, topics we can help with, and more. We also can schedule a free consultation between you and our Parent Outreach Coordinator so that we can pair you with the best possible tutor. Since we’re committed to ensuring success on upcoming AP exams and helping to open doors for your child, we look forward to hearing from you soon.