HomeIntegritas: Research Journal of the Philippine Military Academyvol. 1 no. 1 (2010)

Investigating PMA Cadets’ Misconceptions of Force in Newtonian Mechanics

Andrew L. Regualos



This study presents a comparison of the misconceptions of PMA cadets about force in Newtonian mechanics relative to their academic background. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) test was administered before and after instruction in an introductory physics course. The two hundred fifty-five (255) members of PMA “Laon Alab” Class of 2011 participated in the research study. Analysis of data showed that cadets have differences in their misconceptions of the force concept based on academic background prior to their entry into an introductory physics course. The pre-test mean scores of all academic backgrounds were below the 60% entry threshold to Newtonian physics. Analysis of the pre-test and post-test scores revealed that there was a significant improvement in the cadets’ understanding of Newton’s Third Law and their misconceptions in the other dimensions were not corrected significantly. Through Hake’s average gain formula, the overall gain of high school graduates is 9.7%, 4.8% gain for College Level One, 2.7% gain for College Level Two and 1.4% gain for college graduates. The gains of the four academic backgrounds all belong to the “Low-Gain” category classification.