#### Recall (20–33% of the test)

These are questions of the either-you-know-it-or-you-don’t variety. They test your understanding

of the basic concepts of physics. No equations or calculations are necessary for these questions.

They’re simply a matter of knowing your stuff.

#### Single-Concept Problem (40–53% of the test)

These questions expect you to recall, and make use of, one physical relationship, formula, or

equation. This might involve plugging numbers into a kinematic equation of motion, or it might

involve recalling the equation E = hf and solving for E or f. These questions test to see if you

know important formulas and how to apply them.

#### Multiple-Concept Problem (20–33% of the test)

These questions expect you to bring together two or more different relationships, formulas, or

equations. This could involve bringing together two formulas from the same subject—for instance,

a problem in linear momentum that requires you to calculate the momentum of an object before a

collision so that you can calculate its velocity after the collision—or it may bring together

formulas from two different subjects—for instance, a problem that involves an electric point

charge moving in circular motion in a magnetic field. These questions test not only your

knowledge of physical relationships, but also your ability to integrate more than one in a complex

problem.

You’re probably thinking that the recall questions are the easiest, and the multiple-concept

problems are the hardest. This isn’t necessarily true. Most people have an easier time bringing

together two simple principles of mechanics than recalling the significance of the Rutherford

experiment. You’ll find all three types of questions throughout the test, and at different levels of

difficulty. Ultimately, every question tests the very same thing: whether you’ve grasped the basic

principles of physics.

### Strategies for Taking SAT II Physics

A MACHINE, NOT A PERSON, WILL SCORE your SAT II Physics Test. The tabulating

machine sees only the filled-in ovals on your answer sheet, and doesn’t care how you came to

these answers; it just impassively notes if your answers are correct. A lucky guess counts in your

favor just as much as an answer you give confidently. By the same token, if you accidentally fill in

B where you meant C, you won’t get any credit for having known what the answer was. Think of

the multiple-choice test as a message to you from ETS: “We care only about your answers. We do

not care about the work behind those answers.”

So you should give ETS as many right answers as possible. The SAT II Physics Test not only

allows you to show off your knowledge of physics, it allows you to show off your foxlike cunning

by figuring out what strategies will enable you to best display that knowledge. This chapter will

first cover some general principles of test taking that apply equally to this test and any other SAT

test you might take, then it will discuss a few strategies that are particularly useful to SAT II

Physics.

### General Test-Taking Strategies

Most of these “strategies” are common sense; many of them you already know. But we’re