Stem Learning Community Physics
Semester 2 Final Exam Review

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Background Information

The final exam for SLC Physics will be held held the week of June 8. The exam will be a 90-minute exam covering all topics learned during the second semester. The exam will start the moment the bell rings and be collected the moment the exam period ends; extra time will not be alloted. If there are special circumstances that require that you need additional time, then see Mr. Henderson privately before the day of the exam to discuss arrangements.

Most questions are multiple-choice; there are a few problem-solving questions. Many of the multiple choice questions include up to 10 possible choices - from a through e and such choices as ab, ac, ad, etc. Planning to guess on questions is unlikely to be a wise alternative to planning to prepare. The MC answers will be placed on aa GradeMaster form; the solutions to the problems will of course be worked out on a separate sheet of paper. Each block will have a separate form of the exam with nearly identical or at least very similar questions. The exam is not likely to be curved or curved a lot; it would not be surprising if there are some perfect scores. Your exam score will comprise 20% of your semester grade in SLC Physics as per school policy.


Contents of Exam

There are ~75 questions on the final exam. The questions are spread across our three second-semester units:


Approx. # of MC Qs

Unit 4: Newtonian Model of Motoin:

  • Newton's first law - concept of inertia; relationship to mass
  • Newton's second law - factors affecting acceleration; meaning of net force; simple computations
  • Newton's third law - action-reaction; identifying force pairs in an interaction
  • Free-body diagrams and analysis - computing acceleration from known force values or determining an individual force value from a known acceleration
  • Combining a = Fnet/m with kinematics
  • Friction - static vs. kinetic; coefficient of friction; equation; determining Ffrict
  • Air resistance, teminal velocity
  • Equilibrium - definition/concept; analyzing static situations (e.g., hanging signs)
  • Dynamic situations with forces at angles; SOH CAH TOA and a = Fnet/m
  • Inclined plane problems - resolution of force of gravity; conceptual understanding; computations; analyzing to determine the acceleration
  • Two-body problems - system analysis to determine acceleration; individual analysis to determine tension force or other forces
  • Uniform circular motion - conceptual understanding of vector quantities - v, a, and Fnet; importance of inertia in understanding the sensation of an outward pull (careful); centripetal force
  • Simple computations of quantities such as v, a, Fnet, T, etc.
  • Mathematical analysis of physical situations involving motion in circles; use of a = Fnet/m and free-body diagrams to solve problems

~24 Qs

Unit 5: Field Model of Forces:

  • Charge interactions between like- and opposite-charges, etc.
  • Conductors vs. insulators
  • Methods of charging objects - friction, conduction (contact) and induction
  • Grounding
  • Polarization
  • Electric force and Coulomb's law calculations
  • Electric field - definition/concept, equation, units, simple computations
  • Electric field lines
  • Newton's law of universal gravitation - universal nature of gravity; conceptual understanding of the m-d-F relationships; simple computations
  • Satellite motion - variables effecting T, v, a, Fnet; role of gravity
  • Kepler's laws and their use to describe planets and other satellites
  • Weightlessness - conceptual understanding of the cause of this sensation

~18 Qs

Unit 6: Conservation Laws:

  • Work - definition, equation, units, simple computations
  • Power - definition, equation, units, simple computations
  • Potential energy - definition, equation, units, simple computations
  • Kinetic energy - definition, equation, units, simple computations
  • Work-energy relationship; conservative vs. non-conservative forces; work-energy equation and its use in solving problems
  • Work-energy bar charts
  • Conservation of energy - equation, concepts, use as a tool of predicting information about speed or height or distance
  • Roller coasters: energy analysis, force analysis, # of Gs
  • Momentum - definition, equation, units, simple computations
  • Impulse - definition, equation, units, simple computations; relationship to momentum change
  • Newton's third law - relationship to collisions
  • Momentum conservation; isolated systems; use of p conservation in analysis of collisions; problem-solving
  • Elastic collisions vs. inelastic collisions; relationship to KE
  • Two-dimensional collisions; vector/mathematical analysis

~23 Qs

Science Reasoning:

This includes specific passage-based questions as well as questions that are sprinkled throughout the test in which science reasoning (and not memorized information) is used to answer the question. This isn't really something you can do last-minute cramming for. This is something we've done all year anytime we do a lab, collect lab data, and post-lab/analyze the results.
  • Interpolating and extrapolating from data and graphs
  • Identifying conclusions that are consistent with presented data
  • Identifying simple and complex relationships from presented data
  • Combining info from two or more data presentations (graph, data table, diagram)
  • Using a simple or complex relationship to make a prediction
  • Predicting the result of an additional trial in an experiment
  • Analyzing an experiment to identify the dependent and independent variables, the assumptions, and the error involved
  • Extending the conclusions of an experiment in order to make a prediction regarding a new situation
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
~10 Qs

Regarding the multiple choice questions:

Very few of the questions require the use of a calculator. Most questions can be answered quickly. A few questions involve in-depth analysis. Several questions involve reading a short passage and using information in the passage, in a data table or on a graph to answer the question. Some multiple choice questions are quantitative as opposed to conceptual; very few of these (maybe 10) would require a calculator. Most calculations are straight-forward. Many quantitative questions are accompanied by a diagram - e.g., a resonance pattern or a velocity-time graph - which forms the basis of the computation. Expect the overall majority of multiple choice questions to be purely conceptual or process-based (using some reasoning).

Regarding The Short Problem Section

All multiple choice questions are worth 1 point. There are 8 short problems at the end of the test; each are worth 2 points. The problems are not horendous, multi-step problems. There will be very few 4-, 5-, ... or 8-step problems. Manage your time. Do not blow 5-10 minutes trying to solve a single question at the expense of not getting to other questions. If such a question is that difficult for you, then count it as a loss and continue on with those questions that you do know; return to the troublesome questions after completing the rest of the test.

Provided Physics Formulas

The following math equations will be provided on the test. You will be responsible for knowing the meaning of the symbols.

d = [(vi + vf) / 2] • t
d = vi • t + 0.5 • a • t2
vf = vi + a • t
vf2 = vi 2 + 2 • a • d
Fnet = m • a
Fgrav = m • g
Ffrict = mu • Fnorm
a = v2/R
Fgrav = G • M1 • M2 / d2
G = 6.67 • 10-11 N•m2/kg2
g = G • M / R2
v = SQRT (G • M / R)
T2/R3 = k
Felect = k • Q1 • Q2 / d2
k = 9.0 • 109 N•m2/C2
E = F / q
E = k • Q / d2
Qelectron = -1.6 • 10-19 C

Fparallel = m • g • sine(theta)

Fperp = m • g • cosine(theta)

PE = m • g • h
KE = 0.5 • m • v2
W = F • d • cos(Theta)
P = W / t
KEi + PEi + Wnc = KEf + PEf
F • t = m • (∆v)
p = m • v
Qelectron = 1.6 • 10-19 C

How to Prepare

There are numerous ways to prepare for the test. The best ways are those that help you learn the material. This will be different for different learners with different learning styles. The main thing is to devote some time to the preparation process. There are numerous preparation tasks which can be done that should help. The following provides such ideas:

  • Use the Unit Review sheets from The Review Session for each of the  three units which we have completed.
  • Review old quizzes (but do note that there are many topics on the final exam which were not on quizzes).
  • Use The Physics Classroom or the Multimedia Physics Studios to review topics which you have difficulty with or merely need to review. 
  • Utilize Minds On Physics to help prepare. Try any module you wish; there is no need to collect codes.
  • Review concept sheets from the packet.
  • Review sections of your "book" and use the Reading Guides from WebAssign to assist in your review.
  • Review the major types of calculations that are performed with the equations listed above.
  • Consider getting a good night's sleep on the evening before the exam; this may mean that you will have begin preparations several days in advance.

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