Creating a Study Plan

So you've decided you want to self-study AP Physics C: E&M, but how exactly are you going to do it? You need to complete the following:

Step 1: Self-Assessing your Goals

If you're trying to self-study E&M, I assume you are aiming for at least a 4 on the AP exam. If you're trying to get a 5 on the AP exam, using every resource on this website is going to be more than enough. Personally, I was averaging close to a perfect score on official FRQs and MCQs from previous years, and I used only the resources listed on this website. Keep in mind, you only need around a 65% raw on the AP exam to achieve a 5, so I definitely over prepared, and you might end up over preparing as well.

Consider how comfortable you want to be come exam day. If you don't want to take any chances of getting below a 5, use every resource on this website.

Step 2: Determining vacancy in your current schedule

I recommend limiting your dedicated time to E&M to a maximum of 60-90 minutes per day. Ideally, you'd be doing E&M work everyday as well, but I understand not every schedule accommodates that. Therefore, calculate how many total works you are willing to dedicate to self-studying for E&M starting from today all the way up to the AP exam. If your exam is in May, I recommend starting before February starts, but also don't start self-studying too many months in advance in case you run out of material to review.

For every lesson listed on this website, there is an estimated time required to complete it. Completing every lesson will take around 90 hours, and I recommend doing at least 10 hours of dedicated AP exam review (more detail on that later). So in total, try to allocate at least 100 hours of work time in your schedule. 

Step 3: allocating time for pure ap exam prep

AP exams administered in different years are not very different from each other. Therefore, I find it a huge mistake to self-study for an AP exam without allocating some time to do official practice exams. After you finish the final unit (unit 11), you should quickly go through all the material one more time, and then focus solely on doing previously released FRQs and MCQs. You'll find more information on that on this website.

Of publicly available material up to 2021, there are 27 years of official FRQs and 6 years of official MCQs you can practice. Each FRQ or MCQ set should take around an hour to complete and grade. Thus, if you were to prepare the absolute most that is possible by doing every available question released by College Board (which I personally did), it will take 30-35 hours. It is of course not necessary to prepare this much, but I do recommend doing at least 10 hours of AP exam prep before the exam by doing a healthy balance of reviewing notes, doing official FRQs, and doing official MCQs.

Step 4: Choosing the resources you will be using

The key to self-studying any AP exam is determining ahead of time which resources you will be using throughout the year and then cycling through each, unit by unit. The bulk of the work put into this website was to make this process as easy as possible. Click the link below to read more about each of the 9 resources on this website to determine which you should be incorporating into your schedule. Use the time constraints calculated in the previous two steps to decide how many resources you can afford to go through per unit.

Step 5: Finalizing Your study plan

The final step is to make an official, organized study plan listing every single resource you plan to go through. This can take the form of a giant to-do list, a weekly calendar, or even a daily calendar. Either way, it is imperative that before you begin, you finalize which resources you want to use and figure out which pages/videos/problems you need to look at from that resource for each unit. This website has a total of 99 lessons, split into 11 units. Therefore I recommend you assign the lessons from this website you plan on doing in sequential order to a specific week or day, leading all the way up to the exam day.

Hopefully in the future I'll make a tool that makes such a calendar/schedule for you automatically.