This page will be updated periodically with important information about the 2021 F=ma exam, USAPhO exam, and the U.S. Physics Team training camp.


The July 21st AAPT press release is available HERE.  Stay tuned to the IPhO website for the IPho results. The Closing Ceremony will be streamed on YouTube July 24th. Results will be posted here once they are available.


The 2021 IPhO is July 17-24, 2021 in Vilnius, Lithuania. This year's competition will be held virtually. Information about the IPhO can be found at The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be streamed on YouTube July 17th and 24th at this LINK.

Meet the 2021 U.S. Physics Team Virtual Traveling Team and the 2021 U.S. Physics Team Coaches.

AAPT would like to thank the 2021 U.S. Physics Team coaching staff for their tremendous efforts to select and train a virtual Physics Team this year. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the entire process had to be conducted virtually. The coaches have gone above and beyond to ensure that the United States will be represented at the 2021 International Physics Olympiad.  Best of luck to the virtual traveling team members at the competition next week.


The USAPhO-Plus Exam Solutions can be found at this LINK


Revised USAPhO Exam Solutions can be found at this LINK.


2021 USAPhO Results

The USAPhO Exam Solutions can be found at this LINK. (See above for revised solutions)

A listing of students who qualified for the USAPhO exam can be found by clicking Here!

2021 USAPhO Book Prize Winners: We are pleased to announce the Top 50 Scorers of the 2021 USAPhO. It has been a tough year and we congratulate your excellent performance on the 2021 F=ma and 2021 USAPhO. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. David Morin, we will send the Book Prize winners a copy of Dr. Morin’s Introduction to Classical Mechanics, if they indicated that they don’t already have a copy. The 2021 USAPhO Top 50 Scorers can be found at this LINK.

2021 USAPhO-Plus Invitees: The US Physics Team will participate in the 2021 International Physics Olympiad via the online format. Unfortunately, we will not be able to host an in-person training camp due to COVID restrictions. However, we have invited 30 students chosen from the Book Prize winners to participate in an additional round of exam, the 2021 USAPhO Plus (to be held on May 8, 2021 from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT), to select the 2021 USA IPhO team. These 30 students are chosen to have a balanced age and gender representation. Specifically, we invited the top 5 female scorers, the top 10 10th graders or below, the top 11 11th graders (tied in 10th place) and the top 4 12th graders. USAPhO-Plus instructions will be sent separately to the invitees. The 2021 USAPhO-Plus Invitees can be found at this LINK.

2021 USAPhO Honorable Mentions: Given the extraordinary learning and competition environment this year, we would like to honor the top 50% scorers of the 2021 USAPhO. It was a challenging competition with questions from tricky mechanics to counter-intuitive special relativity, from exciting electromagnetic to surprising thermodynamics. You all did well! We will hopefully return to the medal system, similar to the IPhO system, in 2022 when we can resume the former testing format. The 2021 USAPhO Honorable Mentions can be found at this LINK.

We thank all the students, teachers, parents and all of the other folks who continue to support the US Physics Team Program in this challenging year. We hope to be able to return to our previous competition, award, and training format in 2022.


Please Note: We have sent an email to the teachers/proctors of the students who have qualified to move on to the 2021 USAPhO exam. The email was sent March 30th. This email contained the following:

Students should check with their teachers if they have not received this information.

Students that have qualified to take the 2021 USAPhO exam should sign into their AoPS account at Once you sign in, you should see that you are registered for the 2021 USAPhO exam April 19th (part A) and April 21st (part B). You will also see a “Test Contest Submission PDF Upload”. This is a link for students to practice uploading their scanned answers for the 2021 USAPhO exam problems.

We strongly encourage students to practice solving the problems, scanning/photographing their solutions, combining images to one problem into a single image file, and uploading it to AoPS. Make sure all your submissions are properly labeled, the images are legible and in correct order and orientation. USAPhO graders are not responsible for missing pages or illegible handwriting. No late submissions will be accepted.

A formal listing of students qualifying for the 2021 USAPhO exam will not be posted online until after the 2021 USAPhO exam is completed.


There has been an update to the 2021 F=ma exam results, the updated results are availble at this LINK.


The 2021 F=ma exam results, solutions and scores are now available.

The F=ma exam results are available at this LINK. The F=ma exam solutions are available at this LINK.

Students are now able to log into their AoPS account to check their scores. Students should go to this LINK and log into their account to view their results. Student scores will also be emailed by AoPS to the teachers/proctors for the exam.

The USAPhO Exam will be conducted over two days on the AoPS platform.

  • USAPhO part A will be Monday, April 19, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EDT.
  • USAPhO part B will be Wednesday, April 21, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EDT.

USAPhO exam instructions will be emailed to the teachers/proctors of qualified students.

Thank you for participating!


Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2021 F=ma exam.  We will be posting the solutions to the exam, and releasing student scores by mid-March.  Details are still being worked out regarding the USAPhO exam, and will be shared once finalized.

Official statement on F=ma exam integrity
Due to a technical error at AoPS, some students were able to view their official F=ma results before the exam window ended by visiting the practice exam results page. These students were able to see their score and which problems they got correct after having submitted their exam. No information on the official exam was available to students that had not already completed the exam.

After analyzing submissions and access logs to the exam results page, we have determined that this did not have a meaningful impact on the results of the exam. However, we deeply apologize to anyone affected.




An email was sent to all teachers/proctors with instructions for having your student(s) register for the F=ma exam on the AoPS contest platform.  The email was sent by an AoPS email address,  If you have not received the email, please check your spam email to see if it is there. If you do not find the email, please email to have a copy sent to you.

Please have your students register on the AoPS website and access the practice exam as soon as possible.  We want to make sure the students are familiar with the platform, and are able to access the exam with the technology that they are using.



Important announcement for the 2021 F=ma exam

Dear Physics Community,

The F=ma exam for 2021 will be online at one time only, offered on February 18, 2021 at 4 pm EST, administered by the Art of Problem Solving. Whether your students are physically and/or virtually attending school, we are conducting the exam online for greater ease and convenience. Thank you for securing the safety of yourself and others during this competition administration cycle.

PLEASE NOTE:  For 2021 we ask that only the students’ high school science/physics teacher, or parent/guardian register for the F=ma exam.  No testing/education centers are eligible to register or proctor the exam.

Important Policies for ONLINE Administration:
            The 2021 F=ma exam must be administered on February 18, 2021 at 4:00pm EST ONLY.

            Students should register for the exam with their high school science/physics teacher, or a parent/guardian if a teacher is not available.

            If the school is open, and can proctor students in a safe environment equipped with a computer, then students should use that option.

            If the school is not open, or doesn’t have the resources to safely proctor students, then students can take the test at home, proctored by a responsible adult.

            Students should NOT take the exam at testing/education centers.

Proctoring options include teacher/counselor proctoring, and parent/guardian proctoring.

As part of the registration process, there are fields asking for the proctor’s contact information (name, email address, phone number, relation to the student, and where the exam will be taken). This is where the exam information will be sent. If there is any suspicion of cheating or unapproved resources, proctors will be contacted. Participants should be continuously monitored by the proctor during the entire exam period.

U.S. Citizens Living Abroad
Teachers may register U.S. Citizens living abroad for the F=ma exam. However, the USAPhO Exam may only be administered within the United States.

The American Association of Physics Teachers may change the program rules, regulations, and conditions of participation in whole or in part. Whenever possible, teachers will be notified of these changes ahead of time.


The 2021 F= ma exam will be held on Feb 18, 2021 at 4 pm EST ONLY. More details concerning registration and the testing procedure will be posted soon.


Details for the 2021 F=ma exam are still being worked out.  The exam will take place as an online only exam, on one day, and at one time in mid-February, the exact date and time are still being determined.

Registration for the F=ma exam will open mid-November.  Please stay tuned to this page for additional updates.