AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers


Registration for 2009 is now closed.

2007 U.S. Physics Team working together  

Fee Structure

The fee to participate is $30 ($20 for AAPT members) per school plus

  • $3 per student - WebAssign
  • $6 per student - download PDF

Registration Deadline

January 5, 2009 – For PDF and WebAssign

Ordering Exam

You still have two options for how you may receive the exam:

You can request a secured PDF version of the exam (where you’ll receive a PDF and a password code sent to your school email address).

Anyone can register students to take the exam via WebAssign. Teachers should agree that they will monitor their students who take the test.

WebAssign Practice Exams: WebAssign Practice exams are open to everyone without a fee. If you would like to take the Olympiad practice exams:

  • Go to www.webassign.net
  • Click the Log In button
  • Click "I have a Class Key"
  • Enter aapt 7700 4077 - anyone can use this key to access the class
  • Click Yes, this is my class
  • Follow the instructions.

Information you will need:

  1. AAPT ID number (Members - Find your 5 digit ID number on Journal lable. Non-members - Go to www.aapt.org to set up a record or join.)
  2. School CEEB number (your school's SAT number) - You can also use the CEEB Code Lookup Wizard to find your school's CEEB number. If you are homeschooled your number is 970000

After completing the form, the student will be able to take three different sample tests to practice how to answer questions in WebAssign. When the exam dates are open, students will get just one attempt. None of the practice exams will be available. The student's instructor will have the password for the Preliminary Exam and should administer the test verifying that the student took the exam.

Practice Exams

Exams from previous years' Olympiads are available for download from AAPT as a method of practicing for future Olympiads. Please visit the exams page for a list of links to download them.

Exam Procedure for Selection of the U.S. Physics Team

Again this year there are THREE exams. In earlier versions of this contest, the preliminary exam contained a section of free response questions as well as a section of multiple-choice questions. However, we are now separating that exam into two separate exams: a preliminary exam and a new quarterfinal exam.

Preliminary Exam: The Fnet = ma contest. Multiple-choice only, focusing on mechanics. Exam time: 75 minutes (allow 90 minutes total to administer the exam). Administer the exam between January 19 and February 2. Deadline for AAPT Grader to receive scantron forms back is February 3. Again, we strongly encourage you to have your physics students participate in this part of the contest and are certain that they will benefit from participating in an international educational forum.

Quarterfinal Exam: Top 400 students based on preliminary exam score will be invited to take this free response exam with Mechanics and Electrostatics. Exam time: 60 minutes (allow 75 minutes total to administer the exam). Administer the exam between February 23 and March 4. Exam papers must be received back at AAPT by March 5.

Semifinal Exam: Top 200 students based on the combined score on the preliminary and quarterfinal exams will be invited to take this exam. Also, free response exam. However it covers all topics in introductory physics: Mechanics, E&M, Thermodynamics and Fluids, Relativity, Nuclear and Atomic Physics, and Waves and Optics. Part A: 4 problems, 90 minutes. Part B: 2 problems, 90 minutes. Allow 3.5 hours to administer the exam. Administer the exam between March 12 and 20. Exam papers must be received back at AAPT by March 23.