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Force and Motion Concept Evaluation (FMCE)


The FMCE assesses students understanding of basic concepts in Newtonian physics.


The FMCE is commonly administered in introductory college mechanics courses (algebra-based and calculus-based) and high school physics courses.

Typical Performance

In our models, we have found that the FCI and the FMCE have very similar scores. The plot below contains pretest and posttest scores on the FCI and FMCE from 259 introductory physics courses that are either reported in the literature or collected with LASSO. The average effect size (Cohen’s d) is approximately 1.



Thornton and Sokoloff published the FMCE in 1998.

  • Thornton, R. K., & Sokoloff, D. R. (1998). Assessing student learning of Newton’s laws: The force and motion conceptual evaluation and the evaluation of active learning laboratory and lecture curricula. american Journal of Physics, 66(4), 338-352.

  • Thornton, R., Kuhl, D., Cummings, K., & Marx, J. (2009). Comparing the force and motion conceptual evaluation and the force concept inventory. Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research, 5(1), 1–8.


The research conducted with the FMCE is extensive. We recommend using Google Scholar and the citations listed under validation to find articles of interest.

Example LASSO Report

Please follow this link to our example report for concept inventories.

Similar Instruments

More Information

For more information, please visit the Physport webpage on the FMCE.