Team Facts & News
From 1986 to 2011, the United States Teams have brought home: 43 Gold Medals, 31 Silver Medals, 29 Bronze Medals, and 11 Honorable Mentions. — AAPT.ORG
REGISTRATION FOR THE 2012 F=MA CONTEST HAS NOW CLOSED!
(PLEASE NOTE: Students cannot register for the exam. A faculty member from the host site must register for students to take the exam).
The fee to participate is $35 ($25 for AAPT members) per school plus:
(Schools will need to return Scantron sheets)
Registration & Exams
Faculty Members have two options for how students may take the preliminary exam:
Students taking the exam by either the paper plus Scantron or WebAssign options must be monitored and all normal exam protocols must be followed. Detailed procedures that should be followed will be provided for these who register their students to take the exam.
WebAssign Practice Exams
WebAssign practice exams are open to everyone without a fee. In order to take the practice exam, see the following instructions:
Students will need the following information to register for the Preliminary Exam:
Faculty Member's AAPT ID Number
Pre-College Host Sites
If you are home schooled a list of CEEB codes for your region is available on The College Board's PSAT/NMSQT Codes for Home-School Students page.
Two-Year College, Four Year College and University Host Sites:
Practicing & Administering the Exam
Students will be able to take three different sample tests to practice how to answer questions in WebAssign. When the exam dates are open, none of the practice exams will be available.
The student's instructor or person proctoring the exam will have the password for the "F= ma" exam and should administer the test verifying that the student took the exam. Students will get just one attempt to answer all 25 questions.
Exam Procedure for Selection of the U.S. Physics Team
There are two exams: the preliminary "F= ma" exam consisting of multiple-choice questions, and a semi-final for the top 300 to 400 students from the "F= ma" exam.
Preliminary Exam: The F=ma contest.
Multiple-choice only, focusing on mechanics; problems can be solved without the use of calculus. Exam time: 75 minutes (allow 90 minutes total to administer the exam). Administer the exam between January 23 and February 3. Post mark deadline for Scantrons to be sent to AAPT Grader is February 4. 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.
The top 300 to 400 students based on the combined score on the preliminary exam will be invited to take this exam. This is a free response exam and may require the use of derivatives or simple integration. The exam 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. Exam will be administered between March 5 and 23, 2012. Exam papers must be received back at AAPT by March 26, 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: Students taking the Semifinal Exam may be invited to be a part of the US Physics Team. Students accepting invitations to be a part of the US Team must be willing and able to attend the entire training camp - June 4th thru June 15th. They must be able to compete internationally as representatives of the US Team. This requires that they are US citizens or hold a green card and have attended school in the US for at least three years.