<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Assessment Instrument Information Page
NC State University
Quick Link    
North Carolina State University Department of Physics   |  North Carolina State University


Assessment Instrument Information Page

Please do not allow students to keep copies of any of these tests. It takes years of development effort to create and validate a reliable assessment instrument. If it is released to the public domain, students will locate it and all that work will be for naught. In fact, you might not want to use the formal name of the test on the versions you have students take. None of these tests are to be incorporated into a web-based question delivery system without adequate security to prevent printing or other unauthorized access by students. Contact the authors for more details.

If you have any questions, please contact phone 919-515-7226 or e-mail  Robert J. Beichner, NC State Phy


Graphing, Measurement


TUG-K Beichner's Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Finnish, and Portugese by sending e-mail to beichner@ncsu.edu. A discussion of the test is in R. Beichner, "Testing student interpretation of kinematics graphs," Am. J. Phys., 62, 750-762, (1994).

For graphing also see the FMCE, below.

Deardorff & Beichner's Test of Measurement Uncertainty Concepts can be requested from beichner@ncsu.edu.

Force, Mechanics

FCI The Force Concept Inventory (1995 revision -- I. Halloun, R.R. Hake, E.P. Mosca, and D. Hestenes) is available (as.pdf) to educators. Visit <http://modeling.asu.edu> and click on "Research and Evaluation". It is available in the following languages:Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, English, Finnish (Suomi), French (Canadian), French (France), German (Deutsch), Greek, Italian (Italiano), Japanese, Malaysian (Bahasa), Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Espanol),  Swedish, Turkish (Turkce). Note: you will need the password to view any of these files. For the password, please e-mail David Koch <FCIMBT@verizon.net>. David is a retired physics teacher who kindly volunteered in August 2009 for this service. When you e-mail him, please use your SCHOOL email address, or provide the URL of your school so that we can confirm that you are a teacher, rather than a student.

R-FCI The Representational Variant of the Force Concept Inventory by Nieminen, Savinainen & Viiri is available from PER-CENTRAL. More details are in P. Nieminen, A. Savinainen and J. Viiri, “Force Concept Inventory-based multiple-choice test for investigating students’ representational consistency” Phys. Rev. ST Physics Ed. Research 6, 020109 (2010).

MBT The Mechanics Baseline Test (MBT; Hestenes & Wells) is available (as .pdf). Visit <http://modeling.asu.edu> and click on "Research and Evaluation". It is available in the following languages: English, Finnish (Suomi), French (France), German (Deutsch), Italian (Italiano), Malaysian (Bahasa), Persian, Portuguese, Spanish (Espanol), Turkish (Turkce.) For the password, please e-mail David Koch <FCIMBT@verizon.net>. David is a retired physics teacher who kindly volunteered in August 2009 for this service. When you e-mail him, please use your SCHOOL email address, or provide the URL of your school so that we can confirm that you are a teacher, rather than a student.

FMCE The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation was developed by Ron Thornton & David Sokoloff. Information can be see in R. Thornton, and D. Sokoloff, "Assessing student learning of Newton's laws: The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation and the Evaluation of Active Learning Laboratory and Lecture Curricula", Am. J. Phys., 66, Issue 4, 338-352 (1998).

RRMCS Rotational and Rolling Motion Conceptual Survey written by Chandralekha Singh and Lorenzo G. Rimoldini is available from PER-CENTRAL. This 30-question research-based multiple-choice test is designed to evaluate students' conceptual understanding of rotational and rolling motion.


EMCS The Energy and Momentum Conceptual Survey looks at concepts in energy and momentum, and was written by David Rosengrant and Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh. It is available from PER-CENTRAL. A Finnish version is available.

ECA The Energy Concept Assessment was designed to evaluate students’ understanding of various energy related topics. Although it was initially created for the Matter & Interactions mechanics course (a calculus-based introductory physics course), all items therein are suitable for a variety of introductory level physics courses. To obtain a copy and a grading spreadsheet, please send email to: lding@mps.ohio-state.edu


HCTE The Heat and Temperature Conceptual Evaluation is available from the Workshop Physics site. You'll need a password.

ITCE Introductory Thermal Concept Evaluation, developed by Shelley Yeo and Marjan Zadnik of Curtin University in Western Australia. Published in The Physics Teacher, vol. 39, p. 496-504 (Nov. 2001). S.Yeo@curtin.edu.au

TCI Midkiff created an upper division engineering thermodynamics concept test. Contact Clark Midkiff or visit the website.

TTCI Thermal and Transport Concept Inventor (separate surveys also exist for thermo, heat, and fluids). More info is at this website. Contact Ron Miller. A password is required to see survey questions and Ron will be happy to provide one.

Electricity and Magnetism

BEMA Chabay & Sherwood's Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment attempts to assess what students know about the most basic and central concepts of the calculus-based introductory E&M course. It is comprehensive, covering topics from the Coulomb force law to magnetic induction, but omitting radiation because it is so common for the intro course not to get that far. It has been used by various instructors in various settings and has been judged an appropriate and fair assessment of introductory E&M by physicists experienced in teaching E&M at various levels. It is not aimed at any particular curriculum but contains only those elements common to all calculus-based introductory courses. You will see on the cover page that some special grading can be imposed to make a more accurate measurement, and a spreadsheet is available from rwchabay@unity.ncsu.edu and basherwo@unity.ncsu.edu that performs these adjustments. Details about the test can be found in L. Ding, R. Chabay, B. Sherwood, and R. Beichner, "Evaluating an electricity and magnetism assessment tool: Brief electricity and magnetism assessment", Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 2, 010105 (2006).

CURrENT Colorado UppeR-division ElectrodyNamics Test is a free-response assessment on basic topics from junior-level electrodynamics, where the focus is on gauging student understanding of fundamental concepts, and whether they can complete basic advanced E&M tasks. The post-assessment can be completed by students in less than 50 minutes; the pre-instruction version can be done in less than 15 minutes. More info available.

CSEM The Maloney, van Heuvelen, Hieggelke, and O'Kuma Conceptual Survey in Electricity and Magnetism (along with a separate test on electricity and another on magnetism) is available from maloney@ipfw.edu. More info can be found at the Two Year College Physics website and from D. Maloney, T. O'Kuma, C. Hieggelke, and A. Van Heuvelen, "Surveying students' conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism", Am. J. Phys. 69, S12 (2001).

DEEM Marx and Wilson have developed an E & M test that is available by contacting Jeff Marx at jmarx@mcdaniel.edu.

DIRECT 1.2 Engelhardt & Beichner's test of simple resistive electrical circuit concepts is available in English, Spanish, Greek, and Finnish by mailing a request to Engelhar@tntech.edu. More details are in P. Engelhardt, and R. Beichner, "Students’ understanding of direct current resistive electrical circuits", Am. J. of Phys, 72, 98-115, (2004).

ECCE The Electric Circuits Conceptual Evaluation is available from the Workshop Physics site. You'll need a password.

SGLCE Symmetry and Gauss's Law Conceptual Evaluation written by Chandralekha Singh is available from PER-CENTRAL. This 30-question research-based multiple-choice test is designed to evaluate students' conceptual understanding of symmetry and Gauss's Law. The test may be administered to students in calculus-based introductory physics courses or upper-level undergraduate E&M courses.

MCS Magnetism Conceptual Survey written by Chandralekha Singh and Jing Li is available from PER-CENTRAL.This 30-question research-based multiple-choice test is designed to evaluate students' conceptual understanding of magnetism in algebra- and calculus-based introductory courses.

EMCI Notaros has created an instrument to assess learning in upper division E & M courses...the Electromagnetics Concept Inventory. Contact him at Branislav Notaros or visit the website.

CUE Colorado Upper Division Electrostatics (CUE) Asssessment was developed for upper division E&M I. It consists of a 17-item open-ended test with optional 9-item pretest. The test has good inter-rater reliability and has been validated using multiple measures. It tests student understanding of core learning goals in junior-level E&M, and allows one to probe common student ideas. Two papers have been published on the CUE: One on the preliminary validation and results, and another on common student ideas illuminated by the CUE. For more info, visit their info page. To receive a copy of the test to use in your course, contact Stephanie Chasteen at steven.pollock@Colorado.EDU.

Light and Optics

Light and Optics: Rumor has it that a light & optics test is in the works from the Workshop Physics site.

LSCI The Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory was developed by Erin Bardar. An article, including a link to the instrument, is available online.

An intermediate geometric optics test is described in this article: Mark F. Masters and Timothy T. Grove, "Active learning in intermediate optics through concept building laboratories," Am. J. Phys. 78, 485-491 (2010).

Quantum Mechanics

QMVI The Quantum Mechanics Visualization Instrument by Robinett is available.

QMS Quantum Mechanics Survey written by Chandralekha Singh and Guangtian Zhu is available from PER-CENTRAL. This 31-question research-based multiple-choice test is designed to evaluate students' conceptual understanding of quantum mechanics in junior-level courses.

QMCS The Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Survey is availbable from the authors, McKagan, Perkins, and Wieman. A paper describing the test is online.

QMAT Quantum Mechanics I: Quantum Mechanics Assessment Tool has been developed at the University of Colorado. The assessment was developed with three goals in mind: reflect faculty learning goals, provide an assessment of student learning difficulties, and act as a tool to help guide faculty efforts at improving QM instruction. A paper on the development of and initial results from the QMAT is available. To receive a copy of the QMAT to use in your course, contact Steve Pollock at Steven.Pollock@Colorado.EDU


ADT Mike Zeilik and others have developed an astronomy diagnostic test. It is available from Mike Zeilik at MZeilik@aol.com. (You can copy it directly from a web page, if you'd like.) A collection of classroom assessment instruments can be found at FLAG.

AMS Michael LoPresto and Steven Murrell present their Astronomical Misconceptions Survey in the Journal of College Science Teaching, Vol 40, 5, pp 14-22.

Gravity Concept Test Check out Student Understanding of Gravity in Introductory College Astronomy, Kathryn E. Williamson, Shannon Willoughby, Astronomy Education Review v. 11, n. 1 (December 2012) and Development of the Newtonian Gravity Concept Inventory, Kathryn E. Williamson, Shannon Willoughby, Edward E. Prather, Astronomy Education Review v. 12, n. 1 (December 2013)

LPCI Rebecca Lindell has created The Lunar Phases Concept Inventory, which is available from us.

TOAST Stephanie J. Slater and colleagues developed a next generation astronomy conceptual survey designed primarily for use with the introductory astronomy survey course, ASTRO 101. The test and its development are available at: Slater, S. J. (2015). The Development And Validation Of The Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST). Journal of Astronomy & Earth Sciences Education (JAESE), 1(1), 1-22.

SPCI The Star Properties Concept Inventory is based on the dissertation research of Janelle Bailey. See Bailey, J. M., Johnson, B., Prather, E. E., & Slater, T. F. (2012). Development and validation of the star properties concept inventory. International Journal of Science Education, 34(14), 2257-2286. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2011.589869

Another SPCI is the Space Physics Concept inventory, created through a collaboration of the University of Colorado, UCLA, and the University of Texas. it is available online.


WDT The Wave Diagnostic Test written by Michael Wittman is located here.

WCI Teri Rhodes and Ron Roedel have written a Wave Concept Inventory appropriate for upper division students

The Solomon & Felder Index of Learning Styles is available on the web. Information giving many details on the Felder & Silverman Learning Styles Model is also available.

Affect, attitudes

MPEX The Maryland Expectations Survey can be found at http://www.physics.umd.edu/perg/expects/index.html

VASS Views About Science Survey is available from http://modeling.asu.edu/R&E/Research.html.You'll need to request a password to open the file.

CLASS Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey and a scoring spreadsheet are available from http://CLASS.colorado.edu. Additional information can be found in W. K. Adams, K. K. Perkins, N. S. Podolefsky, M. Dubson, N. D. Finkelstein, and C. E. Wieman, "New instrument for measuring student beliefs about physics and learning physics: The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey", Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 2, 010101 (2006).

EBAPS The Epistomological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Sciences is a forced-choice instrument designed to probe students' epistemologies, their views about the nature of knowledge and learning in the physical sciences. It was initially developed and validated by Andrew Elby, John Frederiksen, Christina Schwarz, and Barbara White at the University of California, Berkeley.

VNOS The Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire is widely cited, and according to the authors, "provides authentic assessment of students' views of the nature of science." A paper describing the develoment and validation of the survey is available here.

VOSE The Views on Science and education has a high reliability and is available from here. There is a paper describing the development of the instrument here.


MMCE The Mathematical Modeling Conceptual Evaluation is available from the Workshop Physics site. You'll need a password.

Jerome Epstein has been working on the Calculus Concept Inventory for a long time.


Two tests related to collaborative teams are available by contacting Ted Powers.

RAPT Two parallel versions of Allain & Beichner's Rate and Potential Test is available by sending e-mail to beichner@ncsu.edu.

CINS Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection from Anderson DL, Fisher KM, Norman GJ. 2002. "Development and Evaluation of the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection". Journal of Research in Science Teaching 39(10): 952-978 (Dec. 2002). Also discussed in Nehm, R., & Schonfeld, I.S. (2008). Measuring knowledge of natural selection: A comparison of the C.I.N.S., an open-response instrument, and an oral interview. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45, 1131-1160.

GCI The Geosciences Concept Inventory by Libarkin and Anderson is a multiple-choice assessment instrument for use in the Earth sciences classroom. The GCI v.1.0 consisted of 69 validated questions that could be selected by an instructor to create a customized 15-question GCI subtest for use in their course. These test items cover topics related to general physical geology concepts, as well as underlying fundamental ideas in physics and chemistry, such as gravity and radioactivity, that are integral to understanding the conceptual Earth. Info is available at http://geoscienceconceptinventory.wikispaces.com/home

GECI The Greenhouse Effect Concept Inventory was developed by John Keller. Contact him for more information.

Density Survey, developed by Robert Yeend, is available on the website of Dr. Michael Loverude, a PER physics professor at Cal State - Fullerton. http://physics.fullerton.edu/~mloverud/papers.html

Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning is available from Anthony Lawson by e-mailing him directly. Tell him we sent you!

Folks at Purdue have assembled a list of engineering concept inventories that you may find useful. The Foundation Coalition has created a sizable number of additional engineering tests.

Some folks have expressed interest in tests of biology concepts. Info is available online or by contacting Mike Klymkowsky of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

There are several systematic approaches to observing what goes on in a classroom. The most popular of theseis the RTOP (Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol). Information about it and the training to use it is available from Dan MacIsaac at SUNY College at Buffalo. A more recent tool is COPUS (Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM). An article describing its use is available.


Since any funding test designers get for developing additional tests depends on showing our funding agencies that the tests are useful, all of us would really appreciate hearing about how you are utilizing them. The NCSU projects mentioned on this page were supported, in part, by the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the sponsors. P116B71905, P116B000659, DUE-9752313, DGE-9714546, DGE-9554526, DUE-9981107

FIPSE logoNSF logo

People   |   Projects   |   Facilities   |   Papers and Talks   |   Links   |   Contact Us   |   Home   |   NC State Physics Department
Copyright © 2015 NCSU Physics Education R & D Group. All Rights Reserved. Site designed by Academic Web Pages.