A common historical complaint in Course 8, and one loudly voiced in the
May 2006 general exam survey, has been that the
department gives students too little guidance on what to expect
from the general exams -- and almost none on how to prepare for
them. For years, students have asked for study guides, lists
of topics, and sample exams with clear solutions, but little
help has been forthcoming. Now, at long last, your
MIT Physics REFS
are spearheading an effort to aggregate this information.
But we need your help!
In addition to collecting here some useful exam-prep documents,
in the tables below we have compiled exams and solution
sets for as many back years as we can find. As you can see,
not all exams have solution sets, and some of the posted
solutions are messy or incomplete. If, in your preparation
for the general exams, you work out a solution to a problem,
please consider writing it up and
sending us a copy.
In addition to the warm, fuzzy sensation of knowing you
helped out your fellow exam-takers, and the fame and prestige
of having your insightful solution admired by future generations
of Course 8 students, the really important thing is that
this will earn you a free dinner. Every neatly
typeset and correct solution to a complete Part II problem, or
set of solutions to a complete section (four problems) of a Part I
exam, will be gratefully rewarded with a $10 gift
certificate redeemable at any restaurant in the MIT student center.
(This includes Anna's Taqueria, Alpine Grill, LaVerde's, any of
the restaurants upstairs in the Food Court, and even the
incoming Dunkin Donuts!) To qualify for the gift certificate,
the existing solution to the problem in the tables below must
be either (1) missing, (2) handwritten,
or (3) demonstrably incorrect (with the demonstrating
to be done by you).
Only submissions typeset in LaTeX will be accepted; you must send
us both the PDF and LaTeX source versions of your solution.
Send your submissions to