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27 April 2016

Some practice quizzes to review before the AP Physics 1 exam

In the lead-up to the AP Physics 1 exam, I ask some short fundamentals-style questions on a quiz each day.  These questions are far less detailed than actual AP Physics 1 questions, but are deeper than my fundamentals questions leading up to the old Physics B exam.  The purpose of these quiz questions are to focus my students' review, and to focus their attention in class.  If I just said "listen while I tell you about gravitational mass again, even though I told you two months ago and you probably forgot," I'd get little useful knowledge imparted for the class time spent.  However, "let's answer the questions to this quiz you just took" keeps students invested -- if nothing else, they care whether they got a quiz question right five minutes ago.

How do I write these?  I put my fact sheets into random.org's list randomizer.  Then I just riff on the facts in the order they come up.

Here's one quiz.  I gave them a strict 3 minutes to finish.  Feel free to use in your class.  I'll post another in the next day or two if people like them.

1.      What is the more common word for the “magnitude of the velocity vector”?


2.      One metal sphere has a charge of +3 mC.  A second metal sphere has a charge of -2 mC.  The spheres are touched together.  What is the charge residing on the two spheres while they are in contact?

3.      A planet’s orbit about a sun is elliptical.  Consider a system consisting of just the planet.  Is the planet’s angular momentum about the sun conserved?


4.      An object is hung from a spring scale, which reads 2.0 N.  Dividing by 10, it’s determined that the object’s mass is 0.2 kg.  Which kind of mass was determined?


5.      An object is pulled at constant speed to the right by a rope, which is angled 30o above horizontal.  The tension in the rope is 5.0 N.  Is the force of friction greater than, less than, or equal to 5.0 N.


6.    An object is attached to a horizontal spring, compressing the spring by 0.15 m.  A second object, twice as massive as the first, compresses the same spring by 0.15 m.  By how much has the potential energy of the spring-object system changed? 

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