About the SAT II Subject Tests

Some US colleges require the SAT II Subject Tests for admissions or course placements. The SAT II Subject Tests allow candidates to showcase their knowledge and competencies in specific subjects. Candidates can take Subject Tests for Mathematics, Languages, Sciences, History and/or Literature.

Mathematics Math Level 1, Math Level 2
Sciences – Biology Ecological, Biology Molecular, Physics, Chemistry
Languages – French, French with Listening, German, German with Listening, Spanish, Spanish with Listening, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Chinese with Listening, Japanese with Listening, Korean with Listening
History – US History, World History
Literature – Literature

Generally, candidates take 2 or 3 SAT II Subject Tests, especially if one is applying to highly competitive colleges. Most colleges expect at least a 750 or higher SAT II score. It is greatly recommended that candidates sit for subject tests that they are proficient in. Taking SAT II subject tests relevant to their intended majors, would act as an advantage.

SAT II Subject Tests are not be available on all test dates. Language-based tests, especially, can be offered as infrequently as once a year. This can make choosing SAT II Subject Tests particularly tricky, it is best to consult a professional before finalising your choice of subjects.

SAT II Math Subject Test

The SAT II Math Subject Tests measures your knowledge of math through the first three years of college preparatory maths for SAT II Math Level 1 and through precalculus for SAT II Math Level 2.

Test format

Both tests share the same format.

  • Duration – 1 hour
  • No. of questions – 50 multiple-choice questions
  • Calculators – Allowed

Course Curriculum

Math Level 1 Topics

  • Number and Operations – Operations, ratio and proportion, complex numbers, counting, elementary number theory, matrices and sequences
  • Algebra and Functions – Expressions, equations, inequalities, representation and modelling, Properties of functions (linear, polynomial, rational, exponential)
  • Plane Euclidean and Measurement (*)
  • Coordinate Geometry – Lines, parabolas, circles, symmetry, transformations
  • Three-dimensional – Solids, surface area and volume (cylinders, cones, pyramids, spheres, prisms)
  • Trigonometry – Right triangles, identities
  • Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability – Mean, median, mode, range, interquartile range, graphs and plots, least- squares regression (linear), probability

Math Level 2 Topics

Math Level 2 tests on more advanced content, in addition to Math Level 1 topics, here are the additional topics tested in SAT II’s Math Level 2.

(*) All Math Level 1 topics are tested in Math Level 2 except for Plane Euclidean and Measurement

  • Number and Operations – Series, vectors
  • Algebra and Functions – Properties of functions (logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, periodic, piecewise, recursive, parametric)
  • Coordinate Geometry – Ellipses, hyperbolas, polar coordinates
  • Three-dimensional – Coordinates in three dimensions
  • Trigonometry – Radian measure, law of cosines, law of sines, equations, double angle formulas
  • Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability – Standard deviation, least square regressions (quadratic, exponential)

SAT II History Subject Tests

The SAT II History Subject Tests measures your level of understanding on historical events, terms, concepts and its significance on a college preparatory level.

Test format

U.S History

  • Duration – 1 hour
  • No. of questions – 90 multiple-choice questions

World History

  • Duration – 1 hour
  • No. of questions – 95 multiple-choice questions

Course Curriculum

SAT II U.S. History Topics

  • Material Covered(*) – Political history, Economic history, Social history, Intellectual and cultural history, Foreign policy
  • Periods Covered – Pre-Columbian history to 1789, 1790–1898, 1899 to the present

(*) Includes social science concepts, methods, and generalizations

SAT II World History Topics

  • Geographical Material Covered – Global or comparative, Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, South and Southeast Asia, East Asia, Americas
  • Periods Covered – Prehistory and civilizations to 500 C.E., 500 to 1500 C.E., 1500 to 1900 C.E., Post-1900 C.E., Cross-chronological

SAT II Literature Subject Test

The SAT II Literature Subject Test measures your ability to interpret literary texts from a variety of historical periods and genres.

Test format

  • Duration – 1 hour
  • No. of questions (*) – Approximately 60 multiple-choice questions

(*) Six to eight reading selections followed by sets of 4 to 12 questions

Course Curriculum

SAT II Literature topics

  • Source of Questions – English literature, American literature, Other literature written in English
  • Chronology – Renaissance and 17th century, 18th and 19th centuries, 20th and 21st centuries
  • Genre – Poetry, Prose, Drama and other

SAT II Chemistry Subject Test

The SAT II Chemistry Subject Test measure the candidate’s ability to understand and apply major chemistry concepts at a college preparatory level.

Test format

  • Duration – 1 hour
  • No. of questions – 85 multiple-choice questions
  • Calculators – Not allowed

Course Curriculum

SAT II Chemistry Topics

The following topics will be covered during your SAT II Chemistry Individual Prep Course.

  • Structure of Matter – Atomic Structure, Molecular Structure, Bonding
  • States of Matter – Gases, Liquids and Solids, Solutions
  • Reaction Types – Acids and Bases, Oxidation-Reduction, Precipitation
  • Stoichiometry – Mole Concept, Chemical Equation
  • Equilibrium & Reaction Rates – Equilibrium Systems and Rates of Reactions
  • Thermochemistry
  • Descriptive Chemistry
  • Laboratory

SAT II Physics Subject Test

The SAT II Science Subject Tests is a good indicator to show colleges that you are interested in pursuing Science. The Physics Subject Test measures your level of understanding on major concepts of physics and its application to solve specific problems.

Test format

  • Duration – 1 hour
  • No. of questions – 75 multiple-choice questions
  • Calculators – Not allowed

Course Curriculum

SAT II Physics Topics

  • Mechanics – Kinematics, Dynamics, Energy and Momentum, Circular Motion, Simple Harmonic Motion, Gravity
  • Electricity and Magnetism – Electric Fields, Forces, and Potentials, Capacitance, Circuit Elements and DC Circuits, Magnetism
  • Waves and Optics – General Wave Properties, Reflection and Refraction, Ray Optics, Physical Optics
  • Heat and Thermodynamics – Thermal Properties and Law of Thermodynamics
  • Modern Physics – Quantum Phenomena, Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Relativity
  • Miscellaneous – General, Analytical Skills and Contemporary Physics

SAT II Biology E/M Subject Test

The SAT II Science Subject Tests is a good indicator to show colleges that you are interested in pursuing Science. The Biology E/M Subject Test measures your level of understanding on major biology concepts learnt during high school.

Test format

The SAT II Biology Subject Tests consists of 60 common questions followed by 20 specialized questions based on either Biology E or Biology M.

  • Duration – 1 hour
  • No. of questions – 80 multiple-choice questions
  • Calculators – Not allowed

Course Curriculum

SAT II Biology E/M Topics

Biology Ecological (Biology E) & Biology Molecular (Biology M)

Both Biology E and Biology M consists of the same topics. At the beginning of the SAT II Biology E/M test, there will be 60 common core questions followed by 20 questions for the specialised section (Biology E or Biology M)

  • Cellular & Molecular Biology – Cell structure and organization, mitosis, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, enzymes, biosynthesis, biological chemistry
  • Ecology – Energy flow, nutrient cycles, populations, communities, ecosystems, biomes, conservation biology, biodiversity, effects of human intervention
  • Classical Genetics – Meiosis, Mendelian genetics, inheritance patterns, molecular genetics, population genetics
  • Organismal Biology – Structure, function, and development of organisms, animal behavior
  • Evolution & Diversity – Origin of life, evidence of evolution, natural selection, speciation, patterns of evolution, classification and diversity of organisms

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