FTCE Physics 6-12 Practice Test & Study Guide

About the FTCE Physics 6-12 Test

The FTCE are the official teacher certification tests used in Florida. The FTCE Physics 6-12 (also known as the FTCE 032) is specifically geared towards middle and high school physics, so if you want to teach 6th through 12th grade physics in a Florida classroom, this is the exam you will need to pass.

The FTCE Physics 6-12 test serves as a benchmark to determine whether or not a candidate is qualified to teach physics at this level. It is comprehensive, requiring knowledge of everything from the mathematics of physics to science teaching strategies.

In this article, we'll walk through the key information you need to know for the FTCE Physics 6-12. We'll examine the format of the test, dive into the content, and take a look at some of the exam policies. We'll also answer important questions such as how much it costs, how to prepare, how to sign up for Florida Teacher Certification Exam, how it is scored and when you'll know your FTCE scores.

We hope that this article will help you gain a good grasp of the FTCE Physics 6-12, as well as whether or not you should take it and how you should move forward in your FTCE test prep.

Practice tests give you a better idea of the topics you have mastered and those you should keep studying.

FTCE Physics 6-12 Test Format

Candidates will take the test entirely by computer, as the FTCE Physics 6-12 exam is a computer-based test (CBT). Tests are administered at various FTCE testing locations throughout Florida and around the nation. Scratch paper and a scientific calculator will be provided, though test-takers are not required to show their work or turn in off-screen calculations for credit.

Candidates will answer approximately 75 multiple choice questions - no "free responses" or "constructed responses" such as essays, on-paper calculations, or graphing - will be included in the exam. Test-takers will simply be asked to select the best answer from a list of possible responses. Typical questions will include only four potential choices.

The allotted time for the FTCE Physics 6-12 is 2 hours, 30 minutes, which works out to about 2 minutes per question (150 minutes of total exam time with 75 questions). You are allowed to proceed through the exam at your own pace, however, it is recommended that you take all the time you need to think through and properly answer each question.

In terms of material, the FTCE 032 is broken up into 7 categories, or competencies. The FTCE competencies are as follows:

  • Knowledge of the nature of scientific investigation and instruction in physics
  • Knowledge of the mathematics of physics
  • Knowledge of thermodynamics
  • Knowledge of mechanics
  • Knowledge of waves and optics
  • Knowledge of electricity and magnetism
  • Knowledge of modern physics

Each competency makes up a different percentage of the exam. For instance, Knowledge of Mechanics comprises approximately 27% of the test's material, whereas Knowledge of the Mathematics of Physics makes up only 8%. Regardless of how much (or little) each competency contributes to the overall number of questions on the exam, all of them are still highly important both for success on the test and in the classroom.

FTCE Physics 6-12 Content

The FTCE Physics 6-12 exam is made up of 7 competencies. Each one focuses on a different aspect of physics and/or physics education. Let's take an up-close look at them here.

Competency 1: Knowledge of the Nature of Scientific Investigation and Instruction in Physics

Making up approximately 7% of the FTCE Physics 6-12 exam material, the first competency is also the smallest one on the test. Its primary focus is upon science education and how to "connect the dots" so that students can have a good learning experience. Specific concepts include the scientific method, scientific inquiry, managing student safety, choosing relevant assessments, and managing laboratory activities.

Competency 2: Knowledge of the Mathematics of Physics

The second competency comprises 8% of the material on the FTCE Physics 6-12. Candidates will be tested over their knowledge of vector math, dimensional analysis, dot and cross products, unit conversions, and basic concepts of calculus. The mathematical knowledge required in this section will be tailored towards physics, as physics concepts like projectile motion, electromagnetism, gravity, etc. requires a strong knowledge of math.

Competency 3: Knowledge of Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics makes up 10% of the FTCE Physics 6-12 test. Concepts covered include essential knowledge of heat, heat transfer, energy, and conservation of energy. Candidates will need to possess a good grasp of the Ideal Gas Law, entropy, PV diagrams, and the various laws of thermodynamics.

Competency 4: Knowledge of Mechanics

The single largest competency in the exam, Knowledge of Mechanics, accounts for 27% of the total FTCE Physics 6-12 exam material. This is where the practical and "hands-on" part of physics comes into play.

The section tests candidates' understanding of projectile motion, Newton's laws, kinematics, velocity-time and position-time graphs, and work done by moving objects. It will also include questions about circular motion, including torque and rotational momentum. Finally, knowledge of basic fluid dynamics (Bernoulli's Principle, pressure vs depth, etc.) will also be tested.

Competency 5: Knowledge of Waves and Optics

The fifth competency covered on the FTCE Physics 6-12 exam makes up approximately 18% of the test. This competency covers the fundamentals of light and waves, including how waves interact with one another, how light travels between different media, polarization, reflection and diffraction, and basic knowledge of mirrors and lenses.

Competency 6: Knowledge of Electricity and Magnetism

The "Electricity and Magnetism" competency comprises 20% of the exam's total material. It focuses on candidates' knowledge of how electricity and magnetism relate, as well as the basics of DC and AC circuits, Ohm's Law, Gauss's Law, and Kirchhoff's laws. It also includes electromagnetic induction and the operations of motors and generators.

Competency 7: Knowledge of Modern Physics

The seventh and final competency on the FTCE Physics 6-12 is Knowledge of Modern Physics, which makes up approximately 10% of the exam. Topics covered here include relativity, mass-energy equivalence, radiation, the photoelectric effect, and the basics of quantum mechanics. Test-takers should also be familiar with the fundamental structure of the atom, including how models of the atom have changed over time.

FTCE Physics 6-12 Scoring

To pass the FTCE Physics 6-12, a score of at least 200 is required. This represents a scaled score, rather than a raw points total. Additionally, the precise number of questions required to achieve this score may vary slightly from one version of the test to another.

If you pass the exam, you will be presented with a "PASSED" designation. A score of less than 200 will result in a "NOT PASS" designation and a numeric score breaking down your performance by subject area intended to help you study for a future re-take. Unofficial pass/not pass designations will be provided upon completion of the exam, but the official FTCE score release dates may take up to four weeks.

As recently as 2019, a score of 200 could be achieved by answering at least 67% of the FTCE Physics 6-12 questions correctly, with about 60% of test-takers passing on their first exam attempt.

FTCE Physics 6-12 Cost & Registration

To register for the FTCE Physics 6-12 exam, candidates need to visit the FTCE/FELE website and select "Physics 6-12" to navigate to the registration page. Once there, simply click the "Register Now" button and proceed as directed.

The FTCE test cost of the FTCE Physics 6-12 exam is $150, which is payable via credit card, debit card, or e-check. You will be prompted to enter your Social Security Number (SSN) during the registration process, but this is secure and your SSN will not be released to any third parties.

After completing your FTCE registration and paying for the exam, you will need to select a location and time for your test. There are testing centers located throughout Florida and around the United States. Appointments for the FTCE Physics 6-12 are available year-round, so you should have plenty of options to select from. Once you've chosen the time and date for your FTCE test, you're set until exam day.

On test day, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled session to ensure plenty of time to check in. You will need to bring two pieces of original identification with you. One of these (your primary document) must be some form of government-issued ID such as:

  • Driver's License
  • State ID
  • Military ID (with visible signature)
  • Passport
  • US Permanent Resident Card (with visible signature)

Secondary documents can include any form of valid ID, including a social security card, work ID, or student ID.

FTCE Physics Policies

In the testing room itself, most personal items are prohibited, including calculators, phones, watches, jewelry, purses, and food and drink. Because the FTCE Physics 6-12 exam is math-heavy, a scientific calculator will be provided to you by the test proctor, as well as a physics reference sheet and scratch paper.

At the start of the test, you will be required to sign a compliance agreement and complete a short tutorial on how to take the exam, after which your 2 hour, 30 minute-period to complete the exam will then begin. Bathroom breaks are allowed during this time, but the clock will not stop (these are considered unscheduled breaks). After the exam, you will hand in your exam materials and leave the testing site.

Preparing for the FTCE Physics 6-12 Test

Proper planning and FTCE test prep are the keys to success on the FTCE Physics 6-12. Here are a few ways you can study well and come to the exam well-prepared.

  1. Know the material. The exam is broken down into 7 competencies - become deeply familiar with each one and what you'll be asked to know. This stage can essentially be thought of as "scouting." You're simply trying to figure out what's on the exam.
  2. Plan your study course and stick with it. After you've examined the material and become familiar with the FTCE competencies, you can then begin to build your study plan. This will be your roadmap. One way to do this is to practice with Florida Teacher Certification Exam sample questions, then take note of where you excel and where you need additional preparation. As you identify your strengths and weaknesses, you'll be better able to fill in the gaps and prepare yourself more effectively.
  3. Take plenty of practice exams. One of the best ways to sharpen your knowledge and gauge your progress is by taking an FTCE Physics practice test. These tests (which are available online and in print) serve as a double-edged sword. We'll cover them in greater depth in the next section.

Practice Tests for FTCE Physics 6-12

Few things are as effective in study preparation as practice exams. FTCE Physics practice tests are available online and in print - often for free! When you take an FTCE practice test, you are actively engaging with the material and thus learning it more effectively. After completion, you can use your results to measure your progress and figure out where you need to improve.

Additionally, FTCE Physics practice tests allow you to simulate (at least partially) the test environment and the pace of timing. Exams often require a certain mode of thinking, and taking many practice tests can help you practice effective test-taking strategies.

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  1. Which of the following is true of an object at rest?

  2. If the mass of an object is 2 kg and it is accelerating at {eq}3 \ m/s^2 {/eq}, what is the force that is acting on the object?

  3. How much force is required to accelerate a 16 kg object at a rate of 5.5 m/s2?
    • Correct Answer
  4. An arrow is released horizontally from a bow, traveling at a velocity of 10.5 m/s. If the arrow is released from a height of 10 meters, determine how far the arrow travels in a horizontal direction before hitting the ground.
    • Correct Answer
  5. A mass of 8 kilograms is attached to a spring and has a spring constant of 5 N/m. What is the time period and frequency of the oscillation?
    • Correct Answer
  6. How many significant figures are in 54,050?
    • Correct Answer
  7. A junction of a circuit was drawn as shown. What is wrong with this drawing?
    A junction of a circuit was drawn as shown. What is wrong with this drawing?
    • Correct Answer
  8. What is the rate of change at the point B in the graph below (for y in relation to x)?

    (In other words, what is the slope of the line from x = 2 to x = 3?)

    <p>What is the rate of change at the point B in the graph below (for y in relation to x)?
</p><p>(In other words, what is the slope of the line from x = 2 to x = 3?)</p>
    • Correct Answer
  9. What do free-body diagrams represent?
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  10. Which of these does NOT relate to density?
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  11. What is electric flux a measure of?
    • Correct Answer
  12. Similar poles _____ and opposite poles _____.
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  13. Assuming pressure and temperature are held constant, then what happens to the volume of a non-rigid container when the number of molecules in the container is doubled?
    • Correct Answer
  14. What is a mirror?
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  15. What is conserved within any system?
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