Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Website Detail Page

published by the American Association of Physics Teachers
The Physics Olympiad Screening Exams are used each year by the American Association of Physics Teachers to help select members for the United State Physics Team.  Each year there are two or three rounds of exams consisting of both multiple choice and open response questions. The exams cover a broad range of topics in physics including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, waves, and optics.

The exams linked below provide examples of the Olympiad screening tests from several previous years. In most cases both exams and exams with solutions are provided.
View the primary documents attached to this resource (8)
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Assessment
= Instruments
= Standardized Tests
General Physics
- Collections
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Problem/Problem Set
- Assessment Material
= Test
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Assessment
- New teachers
  • Currently 4.4/5

Rated 4.4 stars by 16 people

Want to rate this material?
Login here!


Intended Users:
Educator
Learner
Format:
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 1993 AAPT
Keywords:
advanced placement, standardized evaluations
Record Creator:
Metadata Instance Creation Date October 16, 2003 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
March 22, 2010 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 2, 2009
Other Collections:

Questions show remarkable ignorance of physics

Author: Nona Busen
Posted: December 22, 2011 at 1:54PM
Source: The PSRC collection

I worked through the first dozen questions of the 2007 test, and I'm dismayed at how little knowledge of physics the question-writers appear to have had.  Calling gravitational binding energy "gravitational potential energy" is not a trivial mistake (question 8), nor is asking a question about what happens during a specific time period, and then expecting an answer about what has happened in total from zero to the end of that time period (question 4).  

These tests are useless for learners, and their only use for educators would be as a potential source for sample questions.

» reply

Re: Questions show remarkable ignorance of physics

Author: Bruce, ComPADRE Dir
Posted: Dec 22, 2011 at 10:34PM

Nona, the US Physics Olympics Team, the source of these tests, is organized by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Institute of Physics each year, with the tests provided here written by experienced physicists and physics teachers. The results of these tests have been quite good, with the US Physics Team doing well in international competitions. I don't know precisely the way the tests are written and approved, but I'm sure they are carefully vetted. They are provided mostly for teachers to use in their classes.

As to your specific questions, the term "gravitational potential energy" is standard for the gravitational energy between objects and is used in most textbooks. The question about what happens in a second time period given a first time period is a standard conceptual question that tests student understanding of kinematics.



> On Dec 22, 2011, Nona Busen posted:
>
> I worked through
> the first dozen questions of the 2007 test, and I'm
> dismayed at how little knowledge of physics the question-writers
> appear to have had.  Calling gravitational binding
> energy "gravitational potential energy" is not a trivial
> mistake (question 8), nor is asking a question about
> what happens during a specific time period, and then
> expecting an answer about what has happened in total
> from zero to the end of that time period (question 4).
>
>
> These tests are useless for learners, and their
> only use for educators would be as a potential source
> for sample questions.

» reply

thanks

Author: salvatore viva
Posted: June 26, 2009 at 7:27AM
Source: The PSRC collection

i hope to use this in phisycs summer school in Lecce, Italy

( sorry for my English )

» reply

Re: thanks

Author: Bruce, ComPADRE Dir
Posted: Jun 27, 2009 at 3:38PM

I'm glad this can help you out with your class.

Bruce

> On Jun 26, 2009, salvatore viva posted:
>
> i hope to
> use this in phisycs summer school in Lecce, Ital
>
>
> ( sorry for my English )

» reply

Post a new comment on this item
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(American Association of Physics Teachers, College Park, 1993), WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=390&DocID=961).
AJP/PRST-PER
Physics Olympiad Exams (American Association of Physics Teachers, College Park, 1993), <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=390&DocID=961>.
APA Format
Physics Olympiad Exams. (2009, February 2). Retrieved July 28, 2014, from American Association of Physics Teachers: http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=390&DocID=961
Chicago Format
American Association of Physics Teachers. Physics Olympiad Exams. College Park: American Association of Physics Teachers, February 2, 2009. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=390&DocID=961 (accessed 28 July 2014).
MLA Format
Physics Olympiad Exams. College Park: American Association of Physics Teachers, 1993. 2 Feb. 2009. 28 July 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=390&DocID=961>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Physics Olympiad Exams}, Publisher = {American Association of Physics Teachers}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {28 July 2014}, Month = {February 2, 2009}, Year = {1993} }
Refer Export Format

%T Physics Olympiad Exams
%D February 2, 2009
%I American Association of Physics Teachers
%C College Park
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=390&DocID=961
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D February 2, 2009
%T Physics Olympiad Exams
%I American Association of Physics Teachers
%V 2014
%N 28 July 2014
%8 February 2, 2009
%9 application/pdf
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=390&DocID=961


Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

This resource is stored in 5 shared folders.

You must login to access shared folders.

Physics Olympiad Exams:

Is Associated With International Physics Olympiads

This is a link to the home page of the Physics Olympiad competition.

relation by Caroline Hall

Know of another related resource? Login to relate this resource to it.
Save to my folders

Supplements

Contribute

Related Materials

Similar Materials