McGraw-Hill Education SAT Subject Test Chemistry, Fifth Edition
What Are the SAT Subject Tests?
The SAT Subject Tests (formerly called the SAT II tests and the Achievement Tests) are a series of college entrance tests that cover specific academic subject areas. Like the better-known SAT, which measures general verbal and math skills, the SAT Subject Tests are given by the College Entrance Examination Board. Colleges and universities often require applicants to take one or more SAT Subject Tests along with the SAT.
SAT Subject Tests are generally not as difficult as Advanced Placement tests, but they may cover more than is taught in basic high school courses. Students typically take an SAT Subject Test after completing an Advanced Placement course or an Honors course in the subject area.
How Do I Know if I Need to Take SAT Subject Tests?
Review the admissions requirements of the colleges to which you plan to apply. Each college will have its own requirements. Many colleges require that you take a minimum number of SAT Subject Tests—usually one or two. Some require that you take tests in specific subjects. Some may not require SAT Subject Tests at all.
When Are SAT Subject Tests Given, and How Do I Register for Them?
SAT Subject Tests are usually given on six weekend dates spread throughout the academic year. These dates are usually the same ones on which the SAT is given. To find out the test dates, visit the College Board Web site at www.collegeboard.org. You can also register for a test at this Web site. Click on the tabs
marked “students” and follow the directions you are given. You will need to use a credit card if you register online. As an alternative, you can register for SAT Subject Tests by mail using the registration form in the SAT Registration Bulletin, which should be available from your high school guidance counselor.
How Many SAT Subject Tests Should I Take?
You can take as many SAT Subject Tests as you wish. According to the College Board, more than one-half of all SAT Subject Test takers take three tests, and about one-quarter take four or more tests. Keep in mind, though, that you can take only three tests on a single day. If you want to take more than three tests, you’ll need to take the others on a different testing date. When deciding how many SAT Subject Tests to take, base your decision on the requirements of the colleges to which you plan to apply. It is probably not a good idea to take many more SAT Subject Tests than you need. You will probably do better by focusing only on the ones that your preferred colleges require.
Which SAT Subject Tests Should I Take?
If a college to which you are applying requires one or more specific SAT Subject Tests, then of course you must take those particular tests. If the college simply requires that you take a minimum number of SAT Subject Tests, then choose the test or tests for which you think you are best prepared and likely to get the best score. If you have taken an Advanced Placement course or an Honors course in a particular subject and done well in that course, then you should probably consider taking an SAT Subject Test in that subject.
When Should I Take SAT Subject Tests?
Timing is important. It is a good idea to take an SAT Subject Test as soon as possible after completing a course in the test subject, while the course material is still fresh in your mind. If you plan to take an SAT Subject Test in a subject that you have not studied
recently, make sure to leave yourself enough time to review the course material before taking the test.
What Do I Need on the Day of the Test?
To take an SAT Subject Test, you will need an admission ticket to enter the exam room and acceptable forms of photo identification. You will also need two number 2 pencils. Be sure that the erasers work well at erasing without leaving smudge marks. The tests are scored by machine, and scoring can be inaccurate if there are smudges or other stray marks on the answer sheet.
Any devices that can make noise, such as cell phones or wristwatch alarms, should be turned off during the test. Study aids such as dictionaries and review books, as well as food and beverages, are barred from the test room.
The SAT Chemistry Test
What Is the Format of the SAT Chemistry Test?
The SAT Chemistry test is a one-hour exam consisting of 85 multiple-choice questions. According to the College Board, the test measures the following knowledge and skills:
• Familiarity with major chemistry concepts and ability to use those concepts to solve problems
• Ability to understand and interpret data from observation and experiments and to draw conclusions based on experiment results
• Knowledge of laboratory procedures and of metric units of measure
• Ability to use simple algebra to solve word problems
• Ability to solve problems involving ratio and direct and inverse proportions, exponents, and scientific notation
The test covers a variety of chemistry topics. The following chart shows the general test subject areas, as well as the approximate portion of the test devoted to each subject
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