SAT Subject Test Practice

Physics

Register Next Tests:
1/24 , 3/14

Introduction

Looking for a way to showcase your achievements in Physics? The Physics Subject Test assesses your understanding of concepts from one year of introductory physics on the college-preparatory level, as well as reasoning and problem-solving skills derived from lab experience. If you’re thinking about pursuing a math- or science-based program of study (such as science, technology, engineering or math), taking the Physics Subject Test is a great way to demonstrate your talents interest on your college application.

Test Basics

Scoring, Timing, Number of Questions

Points Minutes Questions
200–800 60 75
    Multiple Choice

Important Notes

  • Offered in Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, May and June
  • Calculator use not permitted
  • Problem-solving requires simple numerical calculations
  • Measurements are expressed in the metric system

Getting Ready for the Test

Anticipated Skills

SKILLS Approximate % of Test
Fundamental concepts & knowledge 12%–20%
Single-concept problem 48%–64%
Multiple-concept problem 20%–35%

  • Ability to recall and understand the major concepts of physics and to apply these physical principles to solve specific problems
  • Understanding of simple algebraic, trigonometric and graphical relationships, and the concepts of ratio and proportion, and how to apply these to physics problems
  • Familiarity with the metric system of units
  • Ability to apply laboratory skills in the context of the physics content covered on the test
Recommended Preparation

  • One-year introductory college-preparatory course in physics
  • Courses in algebra and trigonometry
  • Experience in the laboratory
Topics on the Test

Free Downloadable Practice Resources

Additional Things to Know

When answering questions, you should assume that the direction of any current is the direction of flow of positive charge (conventional current).

Please note that this test reflects what is commonly taught in high school. Due to differences in high school classes, it’s likely that most students will find questions on topics they’re not familiar with. This is nothing to worry about. You do not have to get every question correct to receive the highest score (800) for the test. Many students do well despite not having studied every topic covered.

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