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 straightforwardtests: if you know your stuff, you’ll do fine.
Often, the classes you’ve taken in school have already prepared you well for theSAT IIs. If you’ve taken a Chemistry class, you’ve probably covered most of thetopics that are tested on the SAT II Chemistry test. All you need is somerefreshing 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 farfewer strategies to help you on the SAT II. Don’t get us wrong: having test-takingskills 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 yourquick thinking and intelligence. You need to study.
Colleges and the SAT II Subject Tests
We’re guessing you didn’t sign up to take the SAT II just for the sheer pleasure of it. Youprobably want to get into college and know that the only reason for taking this test is thatcolleges want or require you to do so.Colleges care about SAT II Subject Tests for two reasons. First, the tests demonstrate your interest, knowledge, and skill in specific subjects. Second, because SAT II tests arestandardized, they show how your knowledge of Chemistry (or History or Math)measures up to that of high school students nationwide. The grades you get in high schooldon’t offer such a measurement to colleges: some high schools are more difficult thanothers, and students of equal ability might receive different grades, even in classes with arelatively similar curriculum. When it comes down to it, colleges like the SAT IIs because the tests make the colleges’ job easier. SAT II tests allow colleges to easily compare you to other applicants andprovide you with an excellent chance to shine. If you got a 93% on your Chemistry finaland a student at another high school across the country got a 91%, colleges don’t know how to compare the two grades. They don’t know whose class was harder or whoseteacher was a tougher grader. But if you get a 720 on the SAT II Chemistry and that otherkid gets a 650, colleges
recognize the difference in your scores.
Occasionally, colleges use SAT II tests to determine placement. For example, if you do very well on the SAT II Chemistry, you might be exempted from a basic science class. It’s