2020 PhysicsBowl

Statement regarding COVID-19

Dear members of the PhysicsBowl Community,

It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of the 2020 PhysicsBowl Exam.

Due to the fact that most schools are closed through the end of March, combined with the uncertainty of when schools will reopen, we could not find a time period in which to offer the exam. We understand and applaud the hard work that you put into the preparation for this exam and apologize for the inconvenience caused by its cancellation.

You will be contacted shortly regarding reimbursement of your registration fees. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility in these uncertain and rapidly changing times in which we find ourselves. Also, thank you for your support of AAPT!

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Jon Anderson
PhysicsBowl Academic Coordinator


How the Contest Works

Each year, approximately 10,000 students take a 40-question, 45-minute timed, multiple-choice test under their school’s supervision. The 2020 exam will be given between March 25 and April 10, 2020. Exam questions are based on topics and concepts covered in a typical high school physics course.

To enhance the distribution of awards, Division I is for first-year physics students and Division II is for second-year physics students. Each Division has 15 regions that have been established across the country to allow schools in each region to compete against one another. Specialized math and science schools compete in their own region.  PLEASE NOTE: Test Prep Centers and Educational Services will compete in their own region, and will be eligible for student prizes only.

We have established five regions specifically for China, regions 15 through 19.  Schools in China will register via ASDAN China.  For more information regarding registering in China, please contact physics@seedasdan.org, website http://www.seedasdan.org/aapt/

Note: School Team scores are determined by the sum of the scores of the top five students competing.

Proctoring Requirements for the PhysicsBowl Contest

The PhysicsBowl exam MUST be proctored. It is expected that competitors will take the exam at their local school.  Home schooled students should contact nearby high schools, community colleges, or universities to ask if they can take the exam there.

In order to verify the identity of exam proctors, we ask that email addresses be official school email addresses whenever possible, ideally associated with a school district or an accredited private school. If you are unable to provide an official school email, then you will need to provide additional contact information for your organization in order to verify your identity and the identity of the organization.

The requirements for the proctor are that they not be a relative of the student(s) taking the exam.  Proctors should have at least a 2 year degree, though this degree does not need to be related to physics.  Librarians would make a suitable proctor, and a student may take the test at a library, assuming that the librarian will be able to observe the test taking to ensure the integrity of the process. Parents may register and provide proctor information during registration.

Testing centers will need to acknowledge that they are a testing center, and provide a web address to verify their status. Unfortunately, the immediate parents of a home schooled student are not acceptable proctors; in such cases, parents will need to arrange for a non-relative proctor, preferably a teacher at a local school.

PLEASE NOTE: AAPT does not refer or arrange test centers, teachers or proctors for the PhysicsBowl Contest.




For more details and information about the PhysicsBowl, please contact AAPT's Programs department at 301-209-3340 or programs@aapt.org