Do you relate to physics in real-life scenarios? The answer may seem no, but the truth is you most likely do. Physics is often considered the most demanding subject because it is difficult to absorb its content structure and concepts.

At its core, physics is a scientific subject that offers a study of the universe's major constituents. It is a vast field that covers a wide range of topics. And once you get the basics of physics, you'll find its topics interesting and thought-provoking.

For starters, it's imperative to have a basic understanding of the subject matter. Learning physics will not only help you accomplish your academic goals, but it also strengthens your knowledge for physics SAT and supports your college applications in the long-term.

If you are one of those learners who find high school level physics overwhelming, we have come up with an all-encompassing guide to help you develop a clear understanding of physics.

The physics syllabus can also help you view the course outline at a glimpse. Physics lessons are offered by several educational institutes across the United States.

Grasp The Scientific Terminology

It is essential to know elementary scientific terms in order to be able to comprehend future concepts in physics.

Once you are fully equipped with the terms, you can begin to pick on key concepts. With proper understanding, you can easily prep for the SAT physics subject test.

One of the major parts of the physics test is the topic of forces.

Here we'll take an in-depth look into what students will learn while studying forces.

What Is Force?

Force is a measurable depiction of contact between objects that cause variation in their motion.

An object's responsiveness to a force can make them change direction, slow down, or speed up.

Non-Contact and Contact Forces

There are two main types of forces:

Contact Forces – Forces that occur when objects physically interact with each other.

Non-Contact Forces – Forces that occur without physical contact.

Contact forces can be divided into four types:

  • Tension: You can experience this force when an object stretches
  • Reaction: When an object rests on a surface, you can feel a reaction
  • Friction: You can feel friction when one object moves over another
  • Air Resistance: You will feel it between objects and air.

Non-contact forces consist of the following:

  • Electrical: It occurs due to the presence of electrical charges in two bodies
  • Magnetic: It takes place in response to magnetic properties
  • Gravitational: It occurs between any two bodies because of gravitational attraction

Let's look into how these different forces work in detail.

Gravitational Force

gravity in space
The feeling of weightlessness can be felt by astronauts circling the Earth's gravitational field. (Source: pixabay)

The gravitational force exists everywhere. It is a force that pulls objects towards the ground with energy or mass. Gravity is also present on the Moon. However, it's not as strong there as it's on Earth. Gravitational waves transport energy.

Furthermore, gravity keeps Earth and other planets in orbit around the Sun. When objects are close to each other, gravity is likely to be stronger.

Gravity And Weight

Weight refers to the force of gravity in plants and other objects in the Space. The gravitational field and matter are directly proportional.

Gravitational fields exist around every object with mass. The greater the object's weight, for example, Earth, the stronger the gravitational field. For instance, the Earth has a higher gravitational force as compared to the Moon.

The formula to compute the force of gravity force is as follows:

Weight: Mass × Gravitational Field Strength or W= M x G

The units to measure the following are:

  • Gravity Force – Newton (N)
  • Mass - Kilograms (KG)
  • Gravitational Force (g) - Newton per kg (N/kg)


It is a force that makes an object move to get work done. It's an activity that involves force and movement. There are many real-life examples of work done. For example, a person pushes a grocery cart on the road, or an individual lifts his backpack on his shoulder.

Typically, for a work to occur, a force is necessary to cause motion in an object. In the case of work done, the object must be displaced. Otherwise, there will be no work done, even if the force is used.

For example, if a person pushes himself next to a wall, no work will occur as the wall will not move at all.

The following formula is used to estimate the work:

W= F × d × cosθ


W – work done with the force

F – the force employed/applied

d – displacement due to force

θ – angle in the middle of the force and the displacement vector

However, if the force and movement are in a similar direction, then the following formula will compute the work.

W= F x d

Resolving Forces

Resolving forces are employed to find out to what extent a force moves in a particular direction. For example, it may be worth knowing what elements of an object's mass make movements down the slope.

In this physics problem, the math and your teacher would help you draw vector diagrams and ensure you understand the topic being explained.

Vector And Scalar Quantity

In physics, there are various measurement tools and different aspects to measure a thing. Vector and scalar quantities are two different types of measurement tools.

A magnitude or a single value only defines a scalar quantity. The following are the examples of scalar quantity:

  • Distance – calculated in miles, kilometers, or meters
  • Speed – assessed by kilometers per hour – (km/hr.) or meters per second – (m/sec)
  • Density – computed in kilograms per meter cube or grams per centimeter cube
  • Mass – measured in pounds or kilograms
  • Temperature – calculated in Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • Energy – gauged in joules

On the other hand, the vector quantity considers both the direction and the magnitude. It is imperative in the study of action. Some of the examples of vector quantities include the following:

  • Velocity – assessed in meters
  • Force - measured in Newton
  • Acceleration - gauged by meters per second
  • Momentum – calculated by kilogram meters per second
  • Displacement – determined by kilometers or miles

Resultant Forces

The resultant force generates a similar effect on an object as two or more than two forces affect an object. A resultant force is generated when multiple forces occur consecutively.

Furthermore, if an object travels with the same velocity or is at rest, the resultant force will be zero. You can understand resultant forces using velocity-time graphs and other relevant graphical illustrations by your physics teacher to grasp these theories better.

the acceleration of a car
The acceleration of a car can be described by the amount that velocity changes per unit of time. (Source: pixabay)

Elasticity and Forces

An object changes motion or shape due to force.

Change Of Shape

Objects often change their shape by compressing, bending, or stretching, or maybe when all three are combined due to a force's actions on an object. When a shape changes, it is called deformation.

Elastic deformation changes back to the previous shape once force is lifted. Inelastic deformation doesn't fully change when force is eliminated. It leaves an irreversible change in the shape of the object.

Hooke's Law

According to Hooke's Law, the strength required to stretch or compress a spring within some gap is proportional to the distance of the gap.

That's not it. Students also learn about the spring's energy and explore extension and force.

Gears, Moments, And Levers

levers and gears
Gears are wheels with toothed edges that circle around an axle or shaft.  (Source: pixabay)

Many everyday situations revolve around turning forces, which are crucial for the operation of equipment.


They are designed with sharp-edged wheels that rotate on a shaft or a hinge put together and known as gears. One gear's rims fit that of another, which lets a gear turn the other one. In short, one shaft can make the other shaft turn.


An object moves in the direction of the force due to the moment force. It is defined as a turning effect of pressure/force.


A lever consists of a load, a pivot, and an effort. It can be a strong shaft placed around a pivot. The action is then applied to turn one end, and the opposite end also rotates about the pivot.

Physics Subject Test

A physics test allows students to evaluate their ability to grasp concepts and their understanding of physics. There are different types of questions in the exam to assess students' practical as well as theoretical concepts.

Furthermore, the physics exam helps the student better learn and comprehend physics concepts and SAT prep or a SAT subject test.

Learning about various physics topics such as magnetism and electromagnetism will help you attain high SAT scores.


The topics mentioned above are just a glance at what Superprof has in store for you. It offers a wide range of other topics such as atomic structure to help you prepare for your SAT exam. You will get a great score with a dedicated SAT tutor from Superprof to help you prep up for your exam.

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