Physics Subject Test

beginning of content:


The Physics Subject Test assesses your understanding of concepts from one year of introductory physics on the college-preparatory level, as well as reasoning and problem-solving skills derived from lab experience. If you’re thinking about pursuing a math- or science-based program of study (such as science, technology, engineering, or math), taking the Physics Subject Test is a great way to demonstrate your interests on your college application.

Start practicing

Video Lessons from Khan Academy

Use the free Khan Academy® lessons in this playlist to study for the Physics Subject Test.

Test Basics

Scoring, Timing, Number of Questions
Points Minutes Questions
200-800 60 75 (Multiple Choice)

Important Notes

  • Offered in Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan., May, and June
  • Calculator use not permitted
  • Problem solving requires simple numerical calculations
  • Measurements are expressed in the metric system

Getting Ready for the Test

Additional Things to Know

When answering questions, you should assume that the direction of any current is the direction of flow of positive charge (conventional current).

Please note that this test reflects what is commonly taught in high school. Due to differences in high school classes, it’s likely that most students will find questions on topics they’re not familiar with. This is nothing to worry about. You do not have to get every question correct to receive the highest score (800) for the test. Many students do well despite not having studied every topic covered.