AC Theory

A Guide to Credit for Prior Learning

Typical Learning Experiences of Students Earning Lower-Level Credit:

  • Attend electronics program or gain electronics knowledge through work experience or hobbies.

Typical Learning Experiences of Students Earning Upper-Level Credit:

  • Students generally do not earn upper-level credit in the area of AC Theory.

Discussion Topics:

If students are familiar with some (but not necessarily all) of the following topics, they may be eligible for lower-level credit in the area of AC Theory. If knowledge of some of the topics is substantial, the students may consider requesting additional credit in more narrowly defined areas.

AC Current

  • Discuss the dynamics of AC current production.

The AC Cycle

  • Explain how waves represent AC current.


  • What are three ways in which AC currents, EMFs or waves can differ?
  • Define phase.
  • Define amplitude.
  • Define frequency.

Advantages of AC

  • Explain the advantages of AC current.
  • How would you calculate power loss in a line using the formula for power loss?


  • Define inductance.


  • Define impedance.

Circuit Components

  • What is a resistor?
  • What are switches?
  • What are capacitors?
  • What are transformers?


  • What are formulas such as Ohm’s Law and Kirchoff’s Law used to calculate?
  • Explain how to calculate impedance.
  • Explain how to calculate phase angle.
  • When does one use vector addition?
  • What does the J operator in front of a number indicate?

Electrical Supply

  • Describe the electricity supply system for residential and industrial use as produced by large generators at power stations.

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