What do we test?

Physics and Mathematics are extremely broad scientific disciplines, even at the high school level. Below is a guideline for what one would expect to find in the Physics and Mathematics Competition.

You may find that you may not be completely familiar with all of the content, as some of this may be a slight extension from what you learn in class, or new material completely.

Contents that are not covered in NCEA will be explained and expanded upon within the question, so as to not advantage any students.

Refer to Sample Questions or email contact.nzpmc@gmail.com to further clarify the difficulty of the tested concepts.

Following sections list the materials covered for physics. A handful of concepts listed here may be unfamiliar to most curriculums. For these concepts, only basic understanding is expected and required. Refer to Sample Questions or email contact.nzpmc@gmail.com to further clarify the difficulty of the tested concepts.

JUNIOR DIVISION

As junior science does not have a nationally standardised curriculum like the senior division, we will be testing Physics and Maths content that is typically covered in common textbooks such as the year 9 and year 10 ESA. Mastery of the junior division questions would imply a mastery of these common junior physics curriculums. Reasonable extension of concepts to year 11 is made.

For Junior division physics, we highly recommend that you study with NCEA level 1 Physics AME workbook or study guide, just because they tend to cover Year 9 and 10 much more comprehensively and at a greater depth.

SENIOR DIVISION

We assume your familiarity of physics contents up to NCEA level 3. However, certificates are awarded based on your performance against your year level, therefore it is still worth a try! You should be able to get through more than 70% of the competition with NCEA level 2 knowledge.

Mechanics

  • Translational Dynamics

  • Kinematics

  • Gravitation/Circular Motion

  • Energy

Mechanics content outside of NCEA:

  • Kinetic Friction

  • Basic Calculus methods in Kinematics

  • Vector Mechanics

Waves

  • Interference

  • Refraction

  • Optics

  • Doppler Effect

  • Diffraction

  • Standing Waves

Waves content outside of NCEA:

  • String Tension

Electricity and Magnetism

  • Basic Circuitry

  • Electric field/potential

  • Magnetic induction (generator, motor)

  • Capacitors (equations and hints given)

  • Inductors (equations and hints given)

We will not be testing any Electricity and Magnetism contents outside of NCEA.

Quantum/Modern Physics

  • Nuclear Reactions

  • Atomic Energy Levels

  • General/Special relativity

  • Photoelectric Effect

Quantum/Modern Physics content outside of NCEA:

  • Postulates of the Special Relativity Theory

  • Redshift

Following sections list the materials covered for mathematics. A handful of concepts listed here may be unfamiliar to most curriculums. For these concepts, only basic understanding is expected and required. Refer to Sample Questions or email contact.nzpmc@gmail.com to further clarify the difficulty of the tested concepts.

Junior Mathematics

Algebra

  • Sequence and general formula

  • Linear equation

  • Quadratic equation

  • Algebraic simplification

  • Intersection between two graphs

  • Simultaneous equations

Geometry

  • Angles

  • Shapes

  • Measurement

General skills

  • Exchange rate

Statistics

  • Chances of an/multiple event(s)

Senior Mathematics

Calculus

  • Differentiation of regular polynomials

  • Differentiation of trigonometric and logarithmic functions

  • Integration of regular polynomials

  • Integration by substitution method

  • Integration by parts method

Algebra

  • Evaluation of common logarithms, exponentials, and trigonometric functions

  • Complex number and locus

  • Parametric equations for common graphs

  • Matrix/determinant

  • Common modelling problems with exponential and hyperbolic graphs

  • Permutations and Combinatorials