By Christopher Cocuzza
SC Staff Writer
Last semester, the ESU physics department administered the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Major Field Test. Several junior and senior physics students took the test, and the results have recently arrived.
The ESU physics department was in the 88th percentile, meaning that they scored higher than 88 percent of other schools that conducted the test.
The ETS Major Field Test is a comprehensive test designed for students who have studied for at least three years in their major. The Major Field Test for Physics consists of 70 multiple-choice questions and is designed to take two hours to complete.
The test aims to evaluate students’ knowledge of physical principles and their ability to apply them. By completing the test, colleges and universities can see how they compare to others and see if parts of their curriculum require improvement.
The test pulls questions from many subjects in physics, comprising five categories: classical mechanics and relativity; electromagnetism; optics, waves, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics; quantum mechanics and atomic physics; and special and miscellaneous topics.
The ESU physics department scored in the 85th, 90th, 31st, 92nd, and 90th percentiles respectively for these categories.
The areas that the ESU physics department did not perform adequately in, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, are courses that are not currently offered at ESU.
The five areas are also split into “introductory” physics and “advanced” physics. Introductory physics is comprised of the first three areas, while advanced physics is comprised of the last two areas. ESU scored in the 82nd percentile in the former, and the 92nd percentile in the latter.
Nearly 100 colleges and universities across the United States partook in the Major Field Test for Physics in 2014. East Stroudsburg University, being in the 88th percentile, performed better than 84 of the schools that took the test.
“These impressive scores are a direct reflection of the quality of ESU’s Physics Department,” said Nicholas Lukow, who received the highest grade among ESU students.
The ESU physics department will continue to administer the ETS Major Field Test in the future.
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