Kaplan SAT II Physics, 2002-2003

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You will score higher. We guarantee it.

Kaplan's SAT II: Physics combines an in-depth review of all the test material with Kaplan's exclusive test-taking strategies and targeted practice — a combination guaranteed to help you score higher on this intensive subject test. With SAT II: Physics, you'll go into the test with confidence.

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You will score higher. We guarantee it.

Kaplan's SAT II: Physics combines an in-depth review of all the test material with Kaplan's exclusive test-taking strategies and targeted practice — a combination guaranteed to help you score higher on this intensive subject test. With SAT II: Physics, you'll go into the test with confidence.

  • Full-Length Practice Tests with Complete Explanations
  • The Most Up-to-Date Information on the Test
  • Effective Strategies to Succeed on Every Question Type
  • An Intensive Review of the Physics Concepts You'll Need to Know to Get a Higher Score

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Kaplan has helped more than 3 million students achieve their educational and career goals. With 185 centers and over 1,200 classroom locations throughout the U.S. and abroad, Kaplan provides a full range of services, including test prep courses, admissions consulting, programs for international students, professional licensing preparation, and more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743217828
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.84 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Author vii
How to Use This Book ix
A Special Note for International Students xiii
Section 1 The Basics
Chapter 1 About the SAT II: Subject Tests 1
Chapter 2 Getting Ready for the SAT II: Physics Test 11
Section 2 Physics Review
Practice Test 1 Diagnostic Test 23
Answers and Explanations to Practice Test 1 40
Chapter 3 Measurement, Scalars, and Vectors 47
Chapter 4 Kinematics 63
Chapter 5 Dynamics 83
Chapter 6 Momentum and Impulse 97
Chapter 7 Work and Energy 107
Chapter 8 Circular Motion and Rotation 117
Chapter 9 Vibrations 125
Chapter 10 Gravity 135
Chapter 11 Electric Fields, Forces, and Potentials 141
Chapter 12 Circuits and Circuit Elements 153
Chapter 13 Magnetic Fields and Forces 167
Chapter 14 General Wave Properties 177
Chapter 15 Reflection and Refraction of Light 189
Chapter 16 Polarization, Diffraction, and Interference of Light 197
Chapter 17 Ray Optics 203
Chapter 18 Heat, Temperature, and Thermodynamics 211
Chapter 19 Gases and Kinetic Theory 225
Chapter 20 Quantum Phenomena 231
Chapter 21 Atomic Physics 241
Chapter 22 Nuclear and Particle Physics 249
Chapter 23 Special Relativity 259
Section 3 Ready, Set, Go!
Chapter 24 Stress Management 269
Chapter 25 The Final Countdown 279
Section 4 Full-Length Practice Tests
Practice Test 2 285
Answers and Explanations to Practice Test 2 304
Practice Test 3 311
Answers and Explanations to Practice Test 3 328
Practice Test 4 335
Answers and Explanations to Practice Test 4 352
Glossary 359
Index 375
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Introduction: How to Use This Book

For more than 50 years, Kaplan has prepared students to take SATs. Our team of researchers and editors knows more about SAT preparation than anyone else, and you'll find their accumulated experience and knowledge in this book. As you work your way through the chapters, we'll show you precisely what knowledge and skills you'll need in order to do your very best on the SAT II: Physics Subject Test. You'll discover the most effective way to tackle each type of question, and you'll reinforce your studies with lots of practice questions. At the beginning of the physics review section, you'll find a lengthy diagnostic practice test, and each chapter in this section ends with a short quiz. At the back of the book you'll find three full-length, formatted tests with answer keys, scoring instructions, and detailed explanations. In addition, the Ready, Set, Go! section contains helpful tips on beating stress while you prepare for the test and on pulling off a victory on Test Day.

The Classic Plan

If possible, work your way through this book bit by bit over the course of a few weeks. Cramming the week before the test is not a good idea; you probably won't absorb much information, and it's sure to make you more anxious.

If you find that your anxiety about the test is interfering with your ability to study, start off by reading the Stress Management chapter in this book. It provides many practical tips to help you stay calm and centered. Use these tips before, during, and after the test.

Learn the Basics

The first thing you need to do is find out what's on the SAT II: Physics Test. In the first section of this book, The Basics, we'll provide you with background information about the SAT II: Physics Subject Test and what it's used for. We'll also give you the lowdown on the kinds of questions that are typically seen on the test and how best to tackle them.

Physics Review

Once you have the big picture, it's time to focus on physics. The Physics Review section gives you a succinct review of the physics you'll need to know on Test Day. Each chapter within this section deals with a major subdivision of physics and focuses on concepts crucial to a full understanding of the subject.

The review section begins with a diagnostic test. If your time is limited, you can use the diagnostic test to bypass the material you already know well enough and to zero in on what you need to work on. Each chapter in this section also ends with a follow-up quiz, complete with answers and explanations. When you feel you have mastered the material in a chapter, take the follow-up quiz to make sure. Don't forget to use the glossary at the end of the book to brush up on vital definitions.

Take the Practice Tests

At the back of the book are three full-length physics practice tests. The best way to use these tests is to take them under testlike conditions. Don't just drop in and do a random question here and there. Use these tests to gain experience with the complete testing experience, including pacing and endurance. You can do these tests at any time. You don't have to save them all until after you've read this whole book. Just be sure to save at least one test for your dress rehearsal some time in the last week before Test Day.

Take a Break Before Test Day

A day or two before the test, be sure to review section three of this book. It includes essential "how-to" tips that will help you get the upper hand on test day. Then, relax! Read a book or watch a movie. And most important, get a good night's sleep. How you approach the days leading up to the test really does matter!

On the morning of the test, eat a light breakfast (nothing too heavy to make you sleepy!) and quickly review a few questions if you feel like it (just enough to get you focused). Walk into the test center with confidence — you're ready for the challenge!


What if you have only two or three weeks until the test — or even less time than that — and you haven't started prepping yet? Don't worry! Kaplan's SAT II: Physics has been designed to work for students in your situation, too. If you go through two chapters in the Physics Review section every day, you can finish this book in a couple of weeks. If you run out of time, at least read the sidebars in each chapter: The suggestions in these sidebars can really streamline your study strategy as well as ensure that you cover the vital concepts before Test Day.

Be sure to read chapter two, Getting Ready for the SAT II: Physics Test, to find out what to expect on Test Day. Then take as many of the practice tests as you can — under timed conditions. Review your results, with special attention to the questions you missed.

SAT II Emergency FAQs

Q: It's two days before the test and I'm clueless. What should I do?

A: First of all, don't panic. If you only have a day or two to prepare for the test, then you don't have time to prepare thoroughly. But that doesn't mean you should just give up. There's still a lot you can do to improve your potential score. First and foremost, you should become familiar with the test by reading chapter two. And if you don't do anything else, take one of the full-length practice tests in this book under reasonably testlike conditions. When you finish the practice test, check your answers and look at the explanations to the questions you didn't get right.

Q: I don't get to use a calculator on the SAT II: Physics Exam! Does that mean I have to worry about learning math?

A: Not exactly. The exam is designed in such a way that you really shouldn't need a calculator. But you will be expected to know basic algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. If you're worried about math, you can find a thorough review of the math skills you'll need for the exam in chapter three of this book.

Q: My parents are upset with me for waiting till the last minute to study, and now I can't concentrate. Help!

A: Take a deep breath! Anxiety and stress are the enemies of all test takers — no matter how much time they have to prepare. Turn to section three of this book and read through Kaplan's suggestions for managing stress. Do the suggested exercises. And don't forget to think positively!

Q: The exam is tomorrow. Should I stay up all night studying physics formulas?

A: The best thing to do right now is to try to stay calm. Read chapter 25, The Final Countdown, to find out the best way to survive, and thrive, on Test Day. If you haven't yet taken a practice test, do it now, just to familiarize yourself with the exam. And get a good night's sleep.

Q: I don't feel confident. Should I just guess?

A: You should always guess if you can do so intelligently. The SAT II: Physics Exam does have a wrong answer penalty, but that doesn't mean you should never guess. If you can rule out even ONE answer choice, you should guess, because you have significantly increased your chances of guessing correctly. Also, on questions that appear early in a section, more obvious answers will tend to be correct, so you can guess more confidently on those questions.

Q: So it's a good idea to panic, right? RIGHT?

A: No! No matter how prepared you are for the exam, stress will hurt your performance, and it's really no fun. Stay confident, and don't cram. So...breathe. Stay calm, and remember, it's just a test.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2002


    Well, it's just wonderful to see that there are no reviews for this book now, just as when I purchased it in mid-August (note the sarcasm). I studied for the Physics test for about two, three months, using this book as my guide, and was extremely disappointed with my results. I felt that I knew this book cover-to-cover, and yet scored below the average score on the test. As a straight-A student in Physics, this was highly discriminating. Instead of this book, I would strongly recommend purchasing an AP physics book, one that may be more comprehensive and up-to-date.

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