A series of interviews with second year electronics engineering students showed several problems with understanding first-order RC filters. To better explore how widespread these problems are, a questionnaire was administered to over 150 students in Belgium. One question asked to rank the output voltage of a low-pass filter with an AC or DC input signal while a second asked to rank the output voltages of a high-pass filter with doubled or halved resistor and capacitor values. In addition to a discussion of the rankings and students' consistency, the results are compared to the most common reasoning patterns students used to explain their rankings. Despite lecture and laboratory instruction, students not only rarely recognize the circuits as filters, but also fail to correctly apply Kirchhoff's laws and Ohm's law to arrive at a correct answer.

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