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Physics Olympiad

samwisesamwise Posts: 606Registered User Member
edited April 2006 in High School Life
Is anyone else here going to take the qualifying test to try for IPhO? I haven't seen any threads about it or found any info on how high you need to score to advance. I'm sending out my registration soon; they send out the test around the end of January.

So.. anyone else?
Post edited by samwise on
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Replies to: Physics Olympiad

  • athlonmjathlonmj Posts: 1,555Registered User Senior Member
    yeah I'm taking it.

    not sure about how high you need, but I know 200 people make it to semifinalists. last year our school tied Thomas Jefferson for the most semifinalists with 8 =) (dunno if we can repeat that again though)
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    I'll be administering it. I have had a student make it to semifinals each of the past 3 years. I'm thinking it required about half the possible points.
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    I'll be administering it. I have had a student make it to semifinals each of the past 3 years. I'm thinking it required about half the possible points. Does the number 45 make sense?

    here are some sample tests:
    http://www.compadre.org/psrc/evals/olympiad.cfm
  • samwisesamwise Posts: 606Registered User Member
    So is the first round "Multiple Choice Exam", or "Preliminary Exam", or both? If it's only half of the multiple choice, that's great! I though you'd need close to a perfect score.

    EDIT: Ok, I think the first round is both, and then the second round is the Semi-Final. Texas, does the administrator grade the exam or send it back for AAPT to grade?
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    the administrator grades the exam and then sends it in, where I presume they toss out the really low score ones (which is most of them) and regrade the rest.

    the prelim exam is half multiple choice (various topics) and half free response (all mechanics). The semi is only free response, and includes both mechaincs and EM.
  • Dave_BerryDave_Berry Posts: 33,391CC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    How do you sign up. Do students in only regular Physics stand a chance. Does it cover any AP material?
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    tell your teacher you want to take it. The deadline for registration is Jan 21. You can get the application at http://www.aapt.org/olympiad2005/

    It's pretty hard. Go look at some sample old tests to decide if it's something you want to do or not. I let anyone who wants to take it, but I advise them strongly to look at an old test before they decide. I did have one student take it w/o any formal study of physics at all, just based on Mechanical Universe videos and reading he had done out of general interest. He did pretty well, but he was kind of a special case (unusual talent). He qualified for the team the following year after working through a textbook on his own. Most of them have done pretty badly, including 3 who had a semester of what was supposed to be college physics at the local CC (we don't have AP courses).
  • samwisesamwise Posts: 606Registered User Member
    Which text have you used athlonmj? I'm going to read through some fluid mechanics; haven't covered any of it. I've taken two of the exams, and I think both had a question about the equation derived from kinetic theory, so make sure you remember that one. They seem to like questions about induction and induced current too. Oh, and the period of an electron circling in a magnetic field.
  • athlonmjathlonmj Posts: 1,555Registered User Senior Member
    last year in B we used cutnell & johnson, but i never cracked open the book, our teacher just taught us using powerpoint slides & practice problems

    this year, we use some blue book called i think "physics for scientists and engineers" or something along those lines. I've only opened it a couple times because once again, our teacher doesn't use the book at all.

    we covered fluid mechanics last year but i've forgotten a lot of it. i need to review my magnetism again (ughhh, i hate e&m)

    BTW samwise, what school in illinois do you attend?
  • samwisesamwise Posts: 606Registered User Member
    I used Serway (Physics for Scientists and Engineers) too. If you want to review E+M, check out open courseware at MIT, they have videos of all the 8.02 lectures if you prefer that to studying out of the textbook. You can also get 8.01 lectures at: http://curricula2.mit.edu/pivot/

    I go to Macomb, small (~600), and pretty bad, HS in a college town. No AP physics, so I've taken a few courses at the college. Where do you go?
  • Dave_BerryDave_Berry Posts: 33,391CC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    Does anyone know anything about the PhysicsBowl? How hard is that? Say in detail, please!
  • samwisesamwise Posts: 606Registered User Member
    I beleive PhysicsBowl is a team event. I've heard it's easier than the Olympiad or at least open to more students.
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    Physics Bowl is much easier than the Olympiad. There is recognition for both individuals and teams. It is all multiple choice. It would be appropriate for any entire physics class, as opposed to the Olympiad where teachers are expected to only nominate their strongest few students. Info under "contests" at www.aapt.org
  • ssshaftedssshafted Posts: 45Registered User Junior Member
    texas:
    i was curious as to how safe a score 1/2 of the qeustions right is. (is it like amc12 where a 100 will definately make it?)
    and also, because you have graded them, how picky are they on work shown? and is there anyway to obtain the grading rubric or solutions to the free response qeustions?
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    it's like the amc 10 where the exact cut-off varies from year to year.

    They are not picky at all about work shown. The answer key gives partial points for various steps in the solution, but if you have the final answer right you get all the points regardless of whether or not you showed the steps. The grading rubric is pretty easy to understand. I am able to grade the free response pretty easily, in spite of the fact that I don't actually know enough physics myself to follow anyone's reasoning. Aren't they on the website with the sample exams?
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