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# Physics

Cover topics emphasized in most high school courses. Because of course differences, most students will find that there are some questions on topics with which they are not familiar. You may not be able to complete all the questions in the time given, but it’s not necessary to get every question correct to get a high score or even the highest score on the test. Skills Covered in the Context of Physics Recalling and understanding of the major concepts of physics and the application of these physical principles to solve specific problems › Fundamental Knowledge: remembering and understanding concepts or information › Single-Concept Problems: applying a single physical relation or concept › Multiple-Concept Problems: integrating of two or more physical relationships or concepts Understanding simple algebraic, trigonometric, and graphical relationships and the concepts of ratio and proportion and the application of these to physics problems Application of laboratory skills in the context of the physics content outlined below Important Things to Note on This Subject Test Numerical calculations are not emphasized and are limited to simple arithmetic. Questions predominantly use the metric system; pay attention to the units stated. You should assume that the direction of any current is the direction of flow of positive charge (conventional current). Calculator use is not permitted. Recommended Preparation One-year introductory physics course on the college preparatory level Laboratory experience—a significant factor in developing reasoning and problem-solving skills— even though this test can only measure lab skills in a limited way, such as data analysis.
FORMAT/CONTENT Approximate % of Test 75 multiple-choice questions
Topics Covered:
Mechanics 36%–42%
Kinematics, such as velocity, acceleration, and motion in one and two dimensions Dynamics, such as force, Newton’s laws, statics, and friction Energy and Momentum, such as potential and kinetic energy, work, power, impulse, and conservation laws Circular Motion, such as uniform circular motion and centripetal force Simple Harmonic Motion, such as a mass on a spring and the pendulum Gravity, such as the law of gravitation, orbits, and Kepler’s laws.
Electricity and Magnetism 18%–24%
Electric Fields, Forces and Potentials, such as Coulomb’s law, induced charge, field and potential of groups of point charges, and charged particles in electric fields Capacitance, such as parallel-plate capacitors and time-varying behavior in charging/ discharging Circuit Elements and DC Circuits, such as resistors, light bulbs, series and parallel networks, Ohm’s law, and Joule’s law Magnetism, such as permanent magnets, fields caused by currents, particles in magnetic fields, Faraday’s law, and Lenz’s law
Waves and Optics 15%–19%
General Wave Properties, such as wave speed, frequency, wavelength, superposition, standing waves, and Doppler effect Reflection and Refraction, such as Snell’s law and changes in wavelength and speed Ray Optics, such as image formation using pinholes, mirrors, and lenses Physical Optics, such as single-slit diffraction, double-slit interference, polarization, and color.
Heat and Thermodynamics 6%–11%
Thermal Properties, such as temperature, heat transfer, specific and latent heats, and thermal expansion Laws of Thermodynamics, such as first and second laws, internal energy, entropy, and heat engine efficiency.
Modern Physics 6%–11%
Quantum Phenomena, such as the photoelectric effect and electron diffraction Atomic, such as the Rutherford and Bohr models, atomic energy levels, and atomic spectra Nuclear Physics, such as radioactivity, fission, fusion, and other nuclear processes Relativity, such as time dilation, length contraction, and mass-energy equivalence.
Miscellaneous 4%–9%
General, such as history of physics and general questions that overlap several major topics Analytical Skills, such as graphical analysis, measurement, and math skills New Topics in Physics, current developments in such areas as astrophysics, elementary particle physics, nanophysics, and new technological applications of physics

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