If you’re planning on pursuing a science or math-based degree, taking the SAT Physics Subject Test is a great way to bulk up your application. Some colleges request that students take this exam not only to test their knowledge, but to gauge their level of commitment to their studies. So, if you want to impress your school of choice with a great score, it’s important to thoroughly prepare. We’re here to help you get started with these top SAT physics question tips.

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Know the Test Guidelines & Restrictions

Understanding how the test is set up will guide you in your studies. These are the Physics Subject Test guidelines and restrictions you need to know:

  • Scores range from 200 – 800
  • You lose ¼ of a point for every question you answer incorrectly
  • It lasts one hour
  • There are 75 multiple choice questions
  • Each question has five answer choices
  • You cannot use a calculator
  • You will not be given a formula sheet
  • Measurements are based on the metric system

There are Three Types of Questions

The three primary types of questions you’ll find on the Physics Subject Test include the following:

  • Recall questions. These will test your knowledge of general concepts, facts, and definitions. Make sure you have a solid grasp of big-picture ideas and have definitions well-memorized.
  • Single concept questions. For these, you’ll need to recognize and understand the concept, and then use the appropriate formula to solve the problem. Single concept questions make up between 40% – 50% of the test.
  • Multiple concept questions. Just as the name sounds, you will need to recall multiple concepts that will allow you to solve the given equation.

In total, understanding main concepts and the formulas they likely coincide with is key to acing this exam.

There are Six Primary Concepts You Should Know

As we’ve mentioned, understanding main concepts is important to answering questions correctly—but what exactly are they? Below are the six primary concepts that will be incorporated into the Physics Subject Test questions, ranked from most tested to least tested:

  • Mechanics. This is the most tested concept on the exam. It includes topics like acceleration, projectiles, force, energy, momentum, motion, and gravity.
  • Electricity and Magnetism. This concept covers topics such as electric fields, circuit elements, and magnetic fields.
  • Waves and Optics. This includes the properties of waves, refraction, reflection, ray optics, and more.
  • Heat and Thermodynamics. Laws of thermodynamics and thermal properties are included in this category.
  • Modern Physics. This is the least tested concept. It includes topics like relativity, quantum phenomena, and nuclear physics.

Use the Process of Elimination

You may hear this tip for most exams you take, but considering that you lose ¼ of a point for every question you answer incorrectly on this exam, it’s more important than ever to use. If you can minimize your chances of choosing the wrong answer in any way, you should do it.

Study with Jantzi Test Prep

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We hope these top SAT physics question tips assist you! If you feel that you need additional help studying for the SAT Physics Subject Test, schedule a tutoring session with a professional tutor from Jantzi Test Prep. We look forward to helping you improve your score!