This exam is designed for individuals who would like to teach physics at the secondary school level. Usage of a calculator is not permitted for this exam. You will be given two and a half hours to complete the 125 multiple-choice questions that comprise this exam. The test can be broken down into six sections:
Mechanics – 40 questions
Electricity and Magnetism – 24 questions
Optics and Waves – 16 questions
Heat, Energy, and Thermodynamics – 15 questions
Modern Physics, and Atomic and Nuclear Structure – 15 questions
Scientific Inquiry, Processes, and Social Perspectives – 15 questions
Scientific Inquiry, Processes, and Social Perspectives
Questions in this section of the exam will cover STS, safety in the laboratory, various laboratory activities, data manipulation, measurement, mathematics, scientific methodology, scientific inquiry, and the history of science. STS questions will cover economic, ethical, political, and social issues relating to technology, scientific technology and everyday life; managing natural resources, storage and usage of disposable consumer products, energy production, and the environmental and technological impact of science on human life. Questions regarding laboratory safety and procedures will cover the legal issues of operating a science classroom, proper safety techniques in the science classroom, preparation of materials for classroom use, the maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment, and safe storage and use of laboratory materials. Questions regarding data manipulation, measurement and mathematics will cover accuracy, error analysis, data collection and drawing conclusions from data, scientific notation and measurement systems will be included in this section of the exam. Questions regarding the history of science will cover the experimental design, the history of physical science, theories, models, laws, assumptions, and hypothesis. Your knowledge of scientific processing skills such as: application, inference, comparison, categorizing, ordering and hypothesizing will be assessed in this section of the exam. Questions regarding scientific inquiry will cover: generalization, observation, testing of hypothesis, and problem formulation.
Modern Physics, and Atomic and Nuclear Structure
Questions in this section of the exam will cover the Michelson-Morley experiment, Lorenz transformations, de Broglie’s hypothesis, velocity addition, blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, nuclear reactors, fusion, fission and, physical properties of matter. Your knowledge of matter organization, ionizing radiation, radioactivity, beta decay, alpha decay, isotopes, radioactive decay, electrons, neutrons, protons, isotopes, the hydrogen atom, binding energy, and nuclear forces will be assessed in this section of the exam. Questions regarding the Bohr model and Rutherford scattering, will also be included in this section of the exam.
Heat, Energy, and Thermodynamics
This section of the exam will cover kinetic, sound, magnetic, electrical, light, nuclear, heat, chemical, and mechanical energy. Your knowledge of the Zeroth law of equilibrium, pressure, volume, temperature and the three laws of thermodynamics will be included in this section of the exam. The questions regarding the first thermodynamics law will cover energy conservation and internal energy; the second question will cover the Carnot cycle, efficiency, spontaneity, irreversible and reversible processes and, entropy; the third law will cover absolute zero temperature. Your knowledge of heat and temperature measurement, thermal expansion, thermocouples, kinetic molecular theory, heat capacity, vaporization and fusion of heat will be assessed in this section of the exam.
Optics and Waves
Questions in this section of the exam will cover geometric optics, linear superposition, the electromagnetic spectrum, sound, and waves. The questions regarding geometric optics will cover telescopes, microscopes, magnifiers, prisms, spherical and plane mirrors, thin lenses, fiber optics, internal reflection, Snell’s law, refraction and reflection. The linear superposition questions will cover Young’s double slit experiment, inference in thin films, standing and beating waves, dispersion, diffraction, and inference. The electromagnetic spectrum questions will cover color and frequency regions. Questions regarding sound will cove beats, harmonics, standing waves, air columns, pitch and loudness. The questions regarding waves and optics will cover the Doppler effect, polarization, resonance, natural frequencies, longitudinal and transverse waves, Rayleigh scattering, Snell’s law, scattering, transmission, absorption, reflection, retraction, the inverse square law of intensity, and the speed and amplitude of wavelength.
Electricity and Magnetism
Questions in this section of the exam will cover electromagnetic induction, currents, magnetic fields, electrical circuits, and electrical fields. The questions regarding electromagnetic induction will cover motors, transformers, Faraday’s law, Lenz’s law, generators, and magnetic flux. The magnetic field questions will cover magnetic fields, magnetic dipoles, electric fields, Lorenz force law, cyclotron mass spectrometer, Gauss’ law of magnetism, Bio-Savart law, Ampere’s law, the magnetic field of a wire, the magnetic field of a solenoid, and displaced current. The electric current section of the exam will assess your knowledge of components and application of electric circuits; semiconductors, conductors, insulators, sources of EMF, generators, batteries, Ohm’s law, inductance, capacitance, series and parallel circuits, Kirchhoff’s rules, RC circuits, internal resistance, voltmeters, ammeters, galvanometers, and potentiometers. Questions regarding electrical fields will cover Coulomb’s law, Gauss’s law, electrical forces, conduction, induction, electric potential difference and electrical energy potential.
This section of the exam will cover numerous aspects of the dynamics of physics, kinematics and vectors. Questions in the dynamics of physics section will cover density and pressure of fluids, Bernoulli’s principle, Archimedes’s principal, Pascal’s law, Kepler’s laws of orbits, areas and periods; and Newton’s law of orbital motion and universal gravitation. Additional question in the dynamics section of the exam will cover mass energy relationships, rotational kinetic energy, rigid body motion, torque, inertia, momentum, velocity, impulse and linear movements, Questions regarding Hooke’s law, pendulums, springs, oscillations, harmonic motion, energy conservation, and equilibrium of torque will be included in this section of the exam. Your knowledge of force, rolling, static and kinetic friction, and Newton’s laws of motion will also be included in this section of the exam. Questions regarding kinematics will cover Galilean relativity, relative velocity, relative motion, circular and projectile motion, acceleration, velocity, and displacement along with straight line motion. Questions regarding vectors will cover addition, subtraction and multiplication of vectors, scalar (dot) product and vector (cross) product.