Item FM102001: A ball thrown into the air goes slower and slower on the way up, stops, and then moves faster and faster as it comes down.

A ball is thrown straight up into the air. What happens to the ball’s speed as it goes up and as it comes down?

  1. The ball goes up at a constant speed, stops, and then comes down at a constant speed.
  2. The ball goes up at a constant speed, stops, and then moves faster and faster as it comes down.
  3. The ball moves slower and slower as it goes up, stops, and then comes down at a constant speed.
  4. The ball moves slower and slower as it goes up, stops, and then moves faster and faster as it comes down.
Distribution of responses
Answer Choice
Overall
Grades
Gender
Primary Language
 
n = 902
6–8
n = 585
9–12
n = 313
Male
n = 416
Female
n = 465
English
n = 780
Other
n = 105
A. The ball goes up at a constant speed, stops, and then comes down at a constant speed. 16% 17% 15% 13% 19% 16% 18%
B. The ball goes up at a constant speed, stops, and then moves faster and faster as it comes down. 27% 31% 21% 22% 33% 27% 31%
C. The ball moves slower and slower as it goes up, stops, and then comes down at a constant speed. 11% 10% 12% 11% 10% 10% 15%
D. The ball moves slower and slower as it goes up, stops, and then moves faster and faster as it comes down. 46% 42% 52% 54% 38% 47% 35%