The placement test is designed to help me determine where you should begin
your studies at SFSU. It is an open book test, and is untimed. The
test is quite long, and it will probably take you much of the day.
We will start at 9am and have a lunch break. During lunch, you will
have an opportunity to meet with your colleagues. Please meet at my
office (TH308). In the event that I am not there, please check in at
the Physics department office.
The material covered includes:
I do not expect that each student will be able to answer all the questions.
In fact, if every student could answer every question the test would not serve
its purpose. Students who enter our program with a degree in a subject other
than physics may not be able to answer many of the questions at all. That
is perfectly all right. We just need to find out where you should start, so
that your experience with us can be as enjoyable and successful as possible.
- Basic undergraduate physics at the level of Lea and Burke; Halliday,
Resnick and Walker; Serway; or equivalent books. Mastery of this material
is required for all TA's.
- Basic undergraduate physics knowledge expected of beginning graduate
students. This material includes junior-level mechanics, E&M, and modern
- Basic mathematical techniques used in undergraduate physics. This
includes algebra, geometry and trigonometry, calculus, vectors and vector
calculus, differential equations, linear algebra. Cartesian, cylindrical
and spherical coordinates systems.
- Material required as prerequisite to the core courses in our graduate
program (Phys 701, 704, 706).
SFSU graduates entering the Masters program will be expected to
take the test.
Please get in touch with me if you have any questions about the test, or
any other aspect of our program.
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