NYSTCE Physics

The NYSTCE Physics test measures your knowledge according to the New York State Academic Standards. Success on this test indicates that you are qualified to teach physics in the New York State public school system. The test content is drawn from these subareas: Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (19% of the exam); Mechanics and Thermodynamics (23%); Electricity and Magnetism (16%); Waves, Sound, and Light (16%); Quantum Theory and the Atom (16%); and a Foundations of Scientific Inquiry constructed-response question (10%). The test consists of approximately 90 multiple-choice questions and one constructed-response question.

NYSTCE Physics Practice Questions

1. What are the SI units for shear modulus?
A: N x m2
B: N/m2
C: N/m
D: N x m

2. Two objects are dropped from the same height. The first object is dropped one second before the second object. Which of the following best describes the distance between the objects as they fall?
A: The distance will remain constant.
B: The distance will decrease.
C: The distance will increase.
D: The distance cannot be determined.

3. Which of the following is NOT a fundamental force?
A: Tension
B: Gravitational
C: Electroweak
D: Strong nuclear

4. If it takes 1.0 N of force to compress a spring 0.1 m, how much work is required to stretch the spring 0.4 m from its rest position?
A: 0.8 J
B: 1 J
C: 2 J
D: 4 J

5. How many significant figures are there in 10,078?
A: 1
B: 2
C: 3
D: 5

Answer Key

1. B. Shear modulus is the ratio of shear stress to shear strain. Shear modulus is typically expressed using the SI unit N/m2.
2. C. The objects will accelerate at the same rate so the object that was dropped first will have a greater velocity as long as they are both in the air.
3. A. Fundamental forces are forces that exist between elementary particles, which means that tension is not a fundamental force
4. A. The basic equation for work is Work = force x distance. The spring in this example, however, is being stretched from a resting position so the amount of work required is equal to 1/2 force x distance. Therefore, it will take 1/2 (4N x .4m) or 0.8J to stretch the spring.
5. D. Significant figures refer to all of the digits in a measurement that contribute to its accuracy, which means that the number 10,078 contains 5 significant figures.