Physics Placement

Need to enroll in physics courses at UCI? Learn about common courses and sequences, enrollment criteria, and your self-assessment and placement options here.

### Language Tests

### Physical Science Tests

### Placement Tests

#### Physics Placement Test

Many undergraduate academic programs require students to complete part or all of a Physics sequence (e.g. Physics 3A-3B-3C or Physics 7C-7D-7E). If you know which Physics course(s) are required of you, please see below for information on how to enroll. If you do not know which Physics course(s) you need for your degree, please contact your academic advising office.

*NOTE: only some majors at UCI require students to take Physics during the first quarter of enrollment.

———————————–

For students who plan to enroll in **PHYSICS 3A (VECTORS, MOTION, FORCE, ENERGY)**: Physics 3A does not require a placement test. Students can enroll directly into Physics 3A if they meet AT LEAST ONE of the requirements below:

1. Complete (or be enrolled in) either Math 2A or Math 5A at UCI (also offered in Summer) or an equivalent **-OR-**

2. A score of 4 or higher on the AP Calculus AB Math Exam **-OR-**

3. A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus BC Math Exam.

———————————–

For students who plan to enroll in **PHYSICS 7C (FORCE, ENERGY, MOMENTUM, ROTATION, GRAVITY)**: Physics 7C does not require a placement test, but all students are STRONGLY encouraged to take the Self-Assessment Test (see #1 below). Students can enroll directly into Physics 7C if they meet AT LEAST ONE of the requirements below:

1. Pass the Self-Assessment Test (link and more information below) **-OR-**

2. Complete (or be soon completing) Physics 2 with a grade of “C” or better (also offered in Summer) **-OR-**

3. Complete both Math 2D and Chem 1C/H2C/M2C/M3C at UCI **-OR-**

4. A score of 650 or higher on the SAT Mathematics exam **-OR-**

5. A score of 27 or higher on the ACT Mathematics exam **-OR-**

6. A score of 4 or higher on the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam **-OR-**

7. A score of 4 or higher on the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism exam **-OR-**

**IN ADDITION**, enrollment into Physics 7C requires that students also be enrolled in Math 2B or have completed an equivalent course (or tested out of Math 2B with a score of 4 or higher on the AP Calculus BC exam).

Students with no previous background in physics, such as a high school physics course, are recommended to take **PHYSICS 2 (MATH METHODS FOR PHYSICS)** before taking Physics 7C. Physics 2 does not require a placement test. Students can enroll directly into Physics 2 if they meet AT LEAST ONE of the requirements below:

1. 1. Complete (or be enrolled in) either Math 2A or Math 5A at UCI (also offered in Summer) or an equivalent **-OR-**

2. A score of 4 or higher on the AP Calculus AB Math Exam **-OR-**

3. A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus BC Math Exam. ** **

———————————–

**Self-assessment test for students: Physics 2 and Physics 7C**

The assessment test consists of 32 questions. If a student can fairly easily answer at least 75% of the questions (at least 24 questions are answered correctly) with a calculator, but no other help, then the student is ready to take Physics 7C and should enroll in it if they completed one year of high school physics. If a student scores below 75%, enrolling into Physics 2 is recommended.

**Topics Covered in the Self-Assessment Test**

- Units, Significant figures

- Simple word problems: Translate words and information into equations

- Basic Calculus — Differentiation and Simple integration, know your functions (graph them, find the slopes, find maxima and minima on the graph and using derivatives)

- Vectors — represent them on a graph, know how to add, subtract and multiply them — basically be as comfortable with them as you are with numbers!

- 1-D and 2-D kinematics — understand and be able to solve problems involving objects moving in line or a plane under constant acceleration

Link to Self-Assessment Test: