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Want to be on the US Physics Team?

posted Oct 11, 2018, 6:27 AM by Barbara Fortunato   [ updated Oct 11, 2018, 6:37 AM ]
Then you might want to take the qualifying test.  Take it for fame or take it for fun.  Sign up below first and then...
Submit $10/$20 to Mrs. Fortunato by Tuesday, November 6th.  

Each year, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) sponsor a competition for high school students to represent the United States at the International Physics Olympiad Competition. The mission of the U.S. Physics Team Program is to promote and demonstrate academic excellence through preparation for and participation in the International Physics Olympiad.  

F=ma is the first qualifying exam for the US Physics Team.  The F=ma exam focuses on mechanics, including kinematics, statics, Newton’s laws, momentum and energy, oscillations, orbital mechanics, fluids, and elementary data analysis. All problems can be solved without the use of calculus.

Students must be either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States (green card holders) to participate in the F=ma or USAPhO (semi-final) exam.  

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The test will be administered TWICE - Wednesday, January 23 AND Friday, January 25, 2019.  (There will be two different versions obviously!)  I will be administering both tests, and you can choose to take either one or BOTH!  But you have to decide ahead of time which one you will take if you are taking only one.  The options are:

A - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 (D-day) 8:45-10:50pm - Hours 2 and 3 (periods 2 and 3).
B - Friday, January 25, 2018 (B-day) 12:45-2:50pm - Hours 5 and 6 (periods 8 and 5).

The F=ma A and F=ma B are designed to cover the same topics and have the same difficulty but will have completely different questions.  You will qualify for the USAPhO if your F=ma exceeds the cutoff score. If you take both F=ma exams, you will qualify if either exceeds the cutoff.

I am collecting $10 for each test (that means $20 if you're taking both).  The registration fee to the AAPT is $8 per student, plus $35 for the school.  So if I get more than 35 registrations, I will return $1 to you on the day of the test.  Both tests will be held in the Media Center (aka library).

For more information and practice exams, visit