The SAT offers 20 different subject tests in addition to the general SAT exam. These subject tests are usually taken by students depending on their various interests and are designed to demonstrate a student’s proficiency in a specific area of academia. Some colleges may recommend one or more of these tests and some may require a specific test as part of their program prerequisites. It is recommended to take these tests only if you have taken or are currently taking courses in the respective subject area. It is also recommended that non-native speakers of the English language take one or more of the subject tests depending on the program for which they wish to apply. This allows ESL and international students the opportunity to perform well in subjects that may not fall under the general content of the SAT. Students who have been homeschooled may be recommended to take one or more subject tests so colleges have additional information pertaining to the skills and knowledge they learned outside of the traditional classroom setting.
The subject tests consist of multiple-choice questions and a student is allowed one hour per subject test, up to a maximum of three tests at one time. For more general information about SAT Subject Tests, click here.
The Biology-E and Biology-M Subject Tests are intended to assess a student’s knowledge of the information learned in high school biology classes. The Biology-E (Ecological) test focuses on biological communities, energy, and biological populations. The Biology-M (Molecular) test is more focused on biochemistry and the activities that occur on a cellular level, like photosynthesis. There are 80 multiple-choice questions on either of the tests and students are allowed 60 minutes to complete either test. Sixty of the questions are related to general biological concepts, while the other 20 are more specific to the test (either E or M) being taken.
The SAT Biology-E and Biology-M Subject Tests assess a student’s understanding of the fundamental concepts of biology, biological applications, and interpretation of various biological questions. A student should have the ability to understand major biological concepts and apply these tools to solve problems. Students should also have knowledge of basic algebraic equations as they relate to problems in biology. They should have an understanding of the metric system and also have the ability to analyze data with the purpose of making conclusions about different hypotheses and/or experiments. A student may take both the Biology-E and Biology-M Subject Tests, but may not take them on the same testing date. More information and practice questions specific to the Biology-E and Biology-M Subject Tests may be found by visiting the official SAT website or clicking here.
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