to the SAT II
The SAT II Subject
Tests are created and administered by the College Board and the Educational
Testing Service (ETS), the two organizations responsible for producing
the dreaded SAT I (which most people call the SAT). The SAT II Subject
Tests were created to act as complements to the SAT I. Whereas the
SAT I tests your critical thinking skills by asking math and verbal
questions, the SAT II Subject Tests examine your knowledge of a particular
subject, such as Writing, U.S. History, Physics, or Biology. The
SAT I takes three hours; the Subject Tests take only one hour.
In our opinion, the SAT II Subject Tests are better tests
than the SAT I because they cover a definitive topic rather than
ambiguous critical thinking skills that are difficult to define.
However, just because the SAT II Subject Tests do a better job of
testing your knowledge of a useful subject doesn’t mean the tests
are necessarily easier or demand less studying. A “better” test
isn’t necessarily better for you in terms of how easy it will be.
- Because SAT II Subject Tests
cover specific topics such as Grammar, Chemistry, and Biology, you
can study for them effectively. If you don’t know the structure
of DNA, you can look it up and learn it. The SAT IIs are therefore
straightforward tests: if you know your stuff, you’ll do fine.
- Often, the classes you’ve taken in school have already
prepared you well for the SAT IIs. If you’ve taken a Chemistry class,
you’ve probably covered most of the topics that are tested on the
SAT II Chemistry test. All you need is some refreshing and refocusing,
which this book provides.
- Because SAT II Subject Tests quiz
you on specific knowledge, it is much harder to “beat” or “outsmart”
an SAT II test than it is to outsmart the SAT I. For the SAT I, you
can use all sorts of tricks and strategies to figure out an answer.
There are far fewer strategies to help you on the SAT II. Don’t
get us wrong: having test-taking skills will help you on an SAT
II, but knowing the subject will help you much, much more. In other
words, to do well on the SAT II, you can’t just rely on your quick
thinking and intelligence. You need to study.