Introduction to SAT II Physics

(Darren Dugan) #1

will a visual representation relieve some of the pressure on your beleaguered mind, it may also
help the solution jump right off the page at you.
Drawing graphs can also make a solution appear out of thin air. Even if a problem doesn’t ask you
to express anything in graphic terms, you might find that a rough sketch of, say, the velocity of a
particle with respect to time will give you a much clearer sense of what you’re dealing with.
And don’t forget to write down those equations! Writing down all the equations you can think of
may lead you to a correct answer even if you don’t really understand the question. Suppose you
know the problem deals with an electric circuit, and you’re given values for current and electric
potential. Write down equations like V = IR and P = IV, plug in values, fiddle around a little, and
see if you can come up with an answer that looks right.

Physics Hint 4: Answers Are Not Convoluted

Remember, on SAT II Physics you’re not allowed to use a calculator, and you’re only given, on
average, 48 seconds to answer each question. If you’re working on a problem and find yourself

writing out lines and lines of simultaneous equations, trying to figure out or trying to

recall your trig identities, you’re probably on the wrong track. These questions are designed in
such a way that, if you understand what you’re being asked, you will need at most a couple of
simple calculations to get the right answer.

Physics Hint 5: Eliminate Wrong Answers

In General Hint 6: Know How To Guess, we explained the virtues of eliminating answers you
know to be wrong and taking a guess. On most questions, there will be at least one or two answer
choices you can eliminate. There are also certain styles of questions that lend themselves to
particular process-of-elimination methods.
Classification Questions

``Que st io ns 1– 3 re lat e t o t h e fol l owi n g qu ant i ti es :``

``(A)Frequency``

``(B)Amplitude``

``(C)Period``

``(D)Wavelength``

``(E)Kinetic Energy``

1. .Which is measured in hertz?

2. .For a mass on a spring, which is maximized when the displacement of the mass from its
equilibrium position is zero?

3. .Which quantity is not applied to pendulum motion?

The weakness of classification questions is that the same five answer choices apply to several