What to Expect on the Physics Regents
For most students, the Physics Regents is the last science Regents that they’ll take. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, some students take it in freshman year of high school, but most will take it in junior year.
What's Provided on the Physics Regents?
Students who take the NYS Physics Regents Exam must be provided with:
- a scientific or graphing calculator
- a centimeter ruler
- a protractor
- a copy of the 2006 Edition Reference Tables for Physical Setting/Physics
During the NYS Physics Regents Exam, students will be provided with this Reference Table. All of the tests since 2006 have used this reference sheet. Students should get familiar with the reference table, including where the different formulas and constants are located.
Past Regents Physics Exams
How to Pass the Physics Regents
How Much is Each Question Worth?
Each multiple choice question is worth 1 point. Part A is made up of 35 multiple choice questions and Part B-1 has 15 multiple choice questions.
Part B-2 and Part C are student-response questions. Part B-2 is for questions 51-65, but there aren’t really 15 questions. Instead, you can earn 15 points and a question might be labeled as 54-55 if it is worth 2 points. The same goes for Part C. Part C continues the numbering from 56 through 85; although, there aren’t necessarily 20 questions, just a maximum of 20 points that can be earned.
If a students answers all 50 multiple-choice questions correctly, it should be just enough to pass with a 67. Most students are going to need help from the open-ended student-response questions as well.
Physics Regents Curve
The Physics Regents is scored based on a conversion chart. From year to year, the curve is slightly different, but overall it is pretty much the same.
Correctly answering all of the questions on the test with result in 85 points, which gets converted to 100 points.
If a students gets 48 out of 85 points (56%), it would convert to a 65 based on the scoring conversion table used in 2018, but a 49 out of 85 (58%) was needed to score a 65 on the 2019 test. It’s a difference of one multiple-choice question.
Students who get 65% correct, 55 points, end up with a scaled score of 72.
For students to get a scaled score (grade) or 90, a student needs to get a about 85% or 86% correct.
To sum up the main points:
- 49/85 points (58%) converts to a 65
- 55/85 points (65%) converts to a 72
- 73/85 points (86%) converts to a 90
The Physics Regents is not curved as much as the math Regents, such as the Algebra 1 Regents, in which 27 out of 86 points (31%) would convert to a 65.
Condensed Score Conversion Chart
The following is a condensed version of the chart that was used to score the June 2019 Physics Regents.
|Raw Score||Scaled Score|
|84 – 85||99 – 100|
|79 – 83||85 – 98|
|73 – 78||90 – 94|
|68 – 72||85 – 89|
|63 – 67||80 – 84|
|58 – 62||75 – 79|
|53 – 57||70 – 74|
|49 – 52||65 – 69|
|48 & Below||Below 65|
Topics on the Exam
The Physics Regents covers a lot of topics. Luckily, the questions for each topic tend to be grouped together on the test. For example, questions about energy will be together in the multiple choice sections and questions on electricity will be grouped together.
Here is a List of Topics That Appear on the Regents:
- Forces & Newton’s Laws
- One-Dimensional Motion
- Two-Dimensional Motion
- Work & Energy
- Circular Motion
- Waves & Sound
- Static Electricity
- Electrical Current and Circuits
- Modern Physics
- Nuclear Energy