GAMSAT Guide/Science/Physics

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The physics content of the GAMSAT seems to vary greatly - the 20% theory seemed from my experience to be a rather inflated estimate. Still common themes tend to emerge over the years - favourite areas seem to be relatively simple electrics (although I was confronted with a hideously difficult question looking at how to reduce voltage - so going beyond the simple basics may be a good idea!), gravity related areas, optics...


Physics Core Topics[edit]

The GAMSAT is designed to test year 12 physics topics.


Favourite Topics[edit]

These topics tend to recur.

  • Vectors & Kinematics
    • vectors and scalars, displacement, velocity, acceleration, linear motion, projectile motion.
  • Electric Fields
    • potential, field strength, Capacitance, combining capacitors, energy stored in a capacitor.
  • Lenses
    • convex, focal length, concave, magnification.


Additional Core Topics[edit]

  • Mechanics
    • moments, Newton's law of motion, friction and equilibrium
  • Work, Energy & Momentum
    • power, work, mechanical energy, kinetic and potential energy, conservation of momentum, internal energy, Ideal gases
  • Elastic properties of solids
    • Hooke's law, elasticity, stress, Young's modulus, strain
  • Current electricity
    • resistors in parallel and series, resistance, Ohm's law, current and drift velocity, emf and voltage
  • Magnetic Fields
    • field strength, force on a moving charge, fields due to currents
  • Waves
    • oscillations, resonance, wave measurements, supersition and interference, simple harmonic motion.
    • Refractive index
    • The photoelectric effect, work constant of metals
  • Radioactive decay
    • rate of decay and half life, emissions, stable and unstable nuclei
  • Sound
    • decibels, intensity, sound level


Other Topics[edit]

The above list has deliberately excluded some key year 12 topics, that are not commonly covered in the GAMSAT. These include:

  • quantum duality
  • particle accelerators
  • astrophysics


Personal Perspective[edit]

Some topics that came up in a single GAMSAT include:

  • Forces at rest
  • Force and Motion
  • Vibration, Waves and Sound
  • Gravitational and Electrical Fields
  • Currents and circuits
  • Electromagnetism
  • Thermal Physics
  • Particle Physics
  • Optics