This 30-question research-based multiple-choice test is designed to evaluate students' conceptual understanding of symmetry and Gauss's Law. The test may be administered to students in calculus-based introductory physics courses or upper-level undergraduate E&M courses.
The survey is based on investigations of students' difficulties with the concepts of symmetry, electric field, and electric flux and should be given in a 50-minute period. Statistical results have shown the survey to be reliable and valid. A summary of the construction and analysis of the survey is available in Student Understanding of Symmetry and Gauss's Law of Electricity, Am. J. Phys. 74 (10), 923-936 (2006).
This assessment is free for use by instructors in their classroom. However, as it takes years of development effort to create and validate reliable assessment instruments, the file is password-protected. Furthermore, the author requests that 1. students are not given copies following examination; and 2. none of the questions are incorporated into web-based question delivery systems without adequate security to prevent printing or unauthorized access by students.
To obtain the password, please send a request with your name, email, institution, and a link to a page at your institution that confirms you are an instructor.
Last Modified May 3, 2012