US Physics Olympiad F=ma

Thursday, February 8, 2024

F = ma Exam

Date Thursday, February 8, 2024

Time Noon

Location Art of Problem Solving Academy, Carmel Valley campus

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. 

(use the drop down menu and select "F=ma")

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

Date Thursday, February 8, 2024

LOCATION Art of Problem Solving Academy, Carmel Valley Campus  (11455 El Camino Real Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92130 )

ARRIVE Please arrive at the exam room by NOON.  (Outer doors may be locked until noon.)

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

BEGIN The exam will begin at 12:20pm; late arrivals may be seated, but will not receive extra time.

END The exam will end at 1:35pm.

EXIT Students must be clear of the exam room by 2:00pm

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

Parents note:  The AoPS campus is not normally open during the time of our exam.  It is possible that the outer doors may be locked while our exam is in progress, so you may not be able to enter the building for student pick up until our exam is over.


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 frequently 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 in a car 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 have to be checked in with the proctor.

An important note about calculators, quoting AAPT rules:   "A handheld calculator may be used if it is not a graphical calculator, its display has no more than three lines, and if its user memory is completely cleared immediately prior to each examination. "  So - please bring a basic, non-programmable, non-graphing scientific calculator - basic arithmetic and transcendental functions only.  If you do not have such a calculuator, you my borrow one from a supply that will be available at the exam.  All such scientific calculators are similar, but it will be best if you bring one that you are already familiar with using.

Please be sure to use an "old school" #2 wooden pencil; these make the best mark on the paper.  Leads harder than #2 many not darken sufficiently, and mechanical pencils can leave incomplete (spotty) marks, or even tear the answer form.  We have experienced some scanning difficulties related to this, so please help yourself earn your best score by following this important guidance.

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

Parking:  Ample free parking is available in an open public lot adjacent to AoPS Academy.

Directions:  Click through to Google Maps