US Physics Olympiad F=ma

Thursday, February 9, 2023

F = ma Exam

Date Thursday, February 9, 2023

Time 7:00 pm

Location UCSD La Jolla Campus, Pepper Canyon Hall, Room 122 (ground floor)

The F=ma exam is the first stage of the US Physics Olympiad sequence and is focused on the subject of mechanics. The exam consists of 25 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 75 minutes via a scantron form.

SDMC is authorized by the American Association of Physics Teachers as a higher education site for the US Physics Olympiad. This means that we will be authorized to administer the exam for any San Diego area students who do not have any other way to participate. Students do not have to be SDMC members to participate in the F=ma competition; however, if your school offers the F=ma exam, your school is your exam site, not SDMC; do not sign up to take the exam with SDMC.

Follow this link to the SDMC signup form.

This year's F=ma has only one exam date and only one exam session:

Date Thursday, February 9, 2023

LOCATION Pepper Canyon Hall, Room 122 (groound floor)

ARRIVE Please arrive at the exam room by 7:00pm

ENTER We will likely have a photo ID check - school ID, passport, CA State ID, etc.

MASKS Currently optional

BEGIN The exam will begin at 7:20pm; late arrivals may be seated, but will not receive extra time.

END The exam will end at 8:35pm.

EXIT Students must be clear of the exam room by 9:00pm

Bring: #2 pencils, a quality eraser, and a scientific calculator.


It is often the case that time is lost to confusion over the handling of backpacks and other personal items brought into the exam room that then must be turned in and picked up at the end of the exam period. Worse, the pile of backpacks and other materials collected inevitably contains a live cell phone that produces disturbance during the exam. Please help us to avoid all this unnecessary confusion, delay, and distraction by leaving EVERYTHING at home or with parents except 2-3 sharpened #2 pencils, and a scientific calculator. Please do not bring ANYTHING more into the exam room, even paper. Anything more will be required to be left OUTSIDE the exam room, including personal electronics.

Please be sure to use a #2 "wooden" pencil; these make the best mark on the paper. Harder than #2 many not darken sufficiently, and mechanical pencils can leave incomplete (spotty) marks. We have exprience of some scanning difficulties related to this, so please help yourself earn your best score by following this important instruction.

Details messaging will be sent directly to every family who has signed up.

Parking: Parking is not free anywhere on campus. Parking is available in numerous lots around campus, but the best choice is the Gilman Parking Structure, which is immediately adjacent to Pepper Canyon Hall. Permitting and payment can be handled using the ParkMobile phone app, or using the walk-up automats.

Maps: Please consult the UCSD maps tool to plan your arrival: