A few words on SAT Subject Tests

October 10, 2006 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Posted by Dee

The SAT Subject Test, once known as the SAT II: Subject Test, is an application requirement for most, if not all, top schools. See the post titled, “Standard list for colleges’ standardized testing requirements,” for specifics on SAT Subject Test needs for each top school.

The Basics: At each SAT sitting (with the exception of the March test date; see “SAT exam dates for the 2006-2007 testing season“) you have the option either to 1) take the SAT or 2) take SAT Subject Tests. If you need to do the Subject Tests, you have the option of taking one, two, or three SAT Subject Tests on a given testing date. Each Subject Test is one hour long.

The Subjects: According to the College Board, the exams fall under five general topics: English, History/Social Studies, Math, Science, and Languages. Here is the list of exams under each category:

English (1): Literature
History/Social Studies (2): U.S. History, World History
Math (2): Mathematics Level 1, Mathematics Level 2
Science (3): Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics
Languages (12): French, German, Spanish, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Chinese with Listening, French with Listening, German with Listening, Spanish with Listening, Japanese with Listening, Korean with Listening

The Format: Each test is exclusively multiple choice. The Biology E/M is special in that there are 60 “core” questions and then you get to choose if you want the last 20 questions to have an Ecological emphasis or a Molecular emphasis. (Tomorrow we’ll write a post on choosing between the two options, so check back!) The Math Subject Tests are written with the expectation that you have a calculator. (See the post titled, “But, what if I don’t have a graphing calculator?” for more on calculators.) And, the Languages with Listening Subject Tests require you to bring a CD player and headphones. (More on this on Thursday.)

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Entry filed under: Biology, Calculator, CD player, Chemistry, Chinese, College Board, French, German, Headphones, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Mathematics, Physics, SAT, SAT II, Science, Spanish, Subject test, Testing, US history, World history.

But, what if I don’t have a graphing calculator? Biology E vs. Biology M

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