The Biology SAT Subject Tests are hour-long tests administered by the College Board. SAT II Subject Tests demonstrate your comprehension of a particular subject in high school, and can enhance your college application tremendously. A student may choose to take the SAT Biology Subject Test in order to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of biological processes. These scores may help you get into a prestigious college (most top ranked universities require a minimum of two SAT subject tests just for admission) or a competitive major (such as biomedical, pre-med, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and mad scientist/evil super-villain degrees).
The SAT II Subject tests are administered in October, November, December, January, May and June of each calendar year.
There are two types of Biology SAT subject tests, the Biology-E (Ecological) and Biology-M (molecular).
Of the 80 total questions, 60 questions are common to both the Biology-E and Biology-M and 20 are specialized questions for the subject that you select. You must decide on the test date which Biology SAT subject test you are going to take; College Board will not allow you to take both tests on the same test date. Due to differences in high school biology curriculum, it is very likely you may see questions concerning topics you have not learned about. Don’t Panic! It’s actually possible to get a perfect score on the SAT II Subject Tests without answering every question correctly. Also, calculators are not permitted. Any and all math problems can be solved in a timely manner (and you should be warned that all measurements on the exam are expressed in the metric system).
So how do you choose between the Biology-E and the Biology-M? Each test has questions that cover different concepts:
Remember the bulk of the questions (60 out of 80) will be the same for both; the ‘specialized’ portion of the exam is intended to help you demonstrate a talent for the particular program you are applying to. For example, if you are interested in pursuing an MD after undergrad, you should probably take Biology-M; if you are more interested in the natural sciences and environment, then you should probably take the Biology-E.
According to the College Board SAT-Biology website, the student is tested on three main skill sets within the Biology-E and Biology-M:
Check out the Test Masters SAT Biology Subject Test course sample video below: