Item EG022003: A person will have the same amount of gravitational potential energy at the top of a mountain regardless of the path the person takes to get there.

Three hikers take three different paths to the top of a mountain, Paths 1, 2, and 3. The hikers are all the same height and weight.

When all of the hikers are at the finish point at the top of the mountain, which hiker will have the greatest amount of gravitational potential energy?

  1. The hiker who took Path 1
  2. The hiker who took Path 2
  3. The hiker who took Path 3
  4. The gravitational potential energy is the same for all of the hikers.

Distribution of Responses

Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item EG022003

Percent of students responding correctly

Grades 6–837%
Grades 9–1251%
Primary Language is English43%
Primary Language is not English37%

View data table

(Modified from New Hampshire EIAP, 1998)