Mechanics Quiz for AP Physics B & C

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 14, 2011

Are you getting ready to take the AP physics exam? Before you begin studying, find out what you know and you don't know with these four fundamental quizzes:  Mechanics Quiz for AP Physics B & C , Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics Quiz for AP Physics B & CElectricity and Magnetism Quiz for AP Physics B & C , and Waves, Optics, Atomic and Nuclear Physics Quiz for AP Physics B & C

It's okay if you didn't get every question on all of the fundamentals quizzes correct.  The whole point of these quizzes is for you to determine where to focus your study.

It's a common mistake to "study" by doing 20 problems on a topic on which you are already comfortable. But that's not studying … that's a waste of time. You don't need to drill yourself on topics you already understand! It's also probably a mistake to attack what for you is the toughest concept in physics right before the exam. Virtually every student has that one chapter they just don't get, however hard they try. That's okay … (as long as it's only one chapter.)

These fundamentals quizzes can tell you exactly what you should and should not study. Did you give correct answers with full confidence in the correctness of your response? In that case, you're done with that topic. No more work is necessary. The place to focus your efforts is on the topics where either you gave wrong answers that you thought were right, or right answers that you weren't really sure about.

Here is the mechanics quiz.


  1. What is the mass of a block with weight 100 N?
  2. Give the equations for two types of potential energy, identifying each.
  3. When an object of mass m is on an incline of angle θ, one must break the weight of an object into components parallel to and perpendicular the incline.
    1. What is the component of the weight parallel to the incline? _____
    2. What is the component of the weight perpendicular to the incline? _____
  4. Write two expressions for work, including the definition of work and the work-energy principle.
  5. Quickly identify as a vector or a scalar:
  6. _____ acceleration               _____ force               _____ momentum

    _____ velocity               _____ speed               _____ displacement

    _____ work               _____ mass               _____ kinetic energy

  7. Name at least four things that can NEVER go on a free-body diagram.
  8. Write two expressions for impulse. What are the units of impulse?
  9. In what kind of collision is momentum conserved? In what kind of collision is kinetic energy conserved?
  10. What is the mass of a block with weight W?
  11. A ball is thrown straight up. At the peak of its flight, what is the ball's acceleration? Be sure to give both magnitude and direction.
  12. A mass experiences a force vector with components 30 N to the right, 40 N down. Explain how to determine the magnitude and direction (angle) of the force vector.
  13. Write the definition of the coefficient of friction, μ. What are the units of μ?
  14. How do you find acceleration from a velocity-time graph?
  15. How do you find displacement from a velocity-time graph?
  16. How do you find velocity from a position-time graph?
  17. An object has a positive acceleration. Explain briefly how to determine whether the object is speeding up, slowing down, or moving with constant speed.
  18. Given the velocity of an object, how do you tell which direction that object is moving?
  19. When is the gravitational force on an object mg? When is the gravitational force Gm1m2 /r2?
  20. What is the direction of the net force on an object that moves in a circle at constant speed?
  21. Under what conditions is the equation xx0 = v0t + at2 valid? Give a specific situation in which this equation might seem to be valid, but is NOT.
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