SAT II Biology – E or M?

Leave a comment

Before taking any SAT Subject Tests – be sure you need to! Some colleges will accept the ACT in lieu of an SAT Subject Test – while others insist on particular exams. Search the colleges you are interested in to find out.

Biology E and Biology M refer to types of subject matter tests offered by The College Board, the same folks who administer the SAT, PSAT, and AP exams. These subject-specific exams, previously called the SAT II, are now called SAT Subject Tests.

Biology E and Biology M are two of 21 SAT subject tests offered.

You can elect to take Biology E or Biology M on a specific test day, but not both. They are both offered six times a year: October, November, December, May and June. The Biology E and M tests are both 60-minute, 80-question exams, scored on a 200 to 800 scale. On a specific test day, Biology E and Biology M test-takers will take 60 identical questions, while the other 20 questions will be E- or M-specific. Taking Biology E on one test date does not preclude you from taking Biology M on another test date.

The M in Biology M corresponds to Molecular, and the 20-question specific section will be based around the molecular build-ups, including cell structure, human anatomy and compounds; both organic and inorganic. The Princeton Review did an extensive review of past Biology M tests, and the extra 20 questions came from seven areas: enzymes, mitosis, cellular respiration, DNA, RNA, biochemistry, and cells.

The E in Biology E refers to Ecology, and 20-question section specific to Biology E will center on ecology topics, including populations and ecosystem behaviors. An analysis by The Princeton Review laid out seven areas of ecology most tested on the Biology E. Those focus areas include biomes, nutrient cycles, ecosystems, succession, food and energy pyramids, population growth, and community interactions
.

Be sure to note that no matter if you elect E or M, 12 percent of the shared part of the questions will be made up of whichever subject you do not choose. So you will have 37 percent of the questions on the E or M you choose, 12 percent on the other, and the other 51 percent come from three areas: Classical Genetics, Evolution and Diversity, and the biology of organs.

To register for the tests, visit The College Board website.

What’s the deal with the SAT essay?

Leave a comment

Excerpted from Professor Dave’s Owner’s Manual for the SAT and ACT Essays…

 

About the SAT Essay

 

The SAT essay was added in 2005 at the behest of colleges and universities that wanted to see writing samples from prospective students.

 

The entire SAT was re-vamped in 2005 to include the writing section, which is made up of two multiple-choice question sections and the SAT essay.

 

The SAT essay is always the very first section of the SAT. Bright and early on a Saturday morning, (or Sunday if you’re a Sunday test-taker) you are told to “Begin!” The first thing you will see is that wonderful essay prompt.

 

The SAT essay asks you to take a position on a philosophical issue. Do we need more privacy in our lives? Are people a product of their environment? Is a strict government helpful or harmful to the growth of a society?  It is always a question that can be answered by anyone, it is never specialized knowledge such as how to build a house or drive a car.

 

You are given twenty-five minutes to write an essay on the ASSIGNMENT given on the essay page. It may not sound like a lot of time, but if you are prepared, it will be more than enough.

 

The essay will be graded by two individuals on a scale of 0-6. The scores are then added together to give you a final score of 0-12. The graders must agree on score or vary by no more than one point or the essay is given to a supervisory grader for final assessment.

 

The only important part of the essay assignment page is: Assignment:

 

You can ignore the rest, it is just fluff, and usually does nothing to add to your understanding of the issue. It is better to come into the assignment thinking process with a “clean slate.”

 

The SAT essay makes up approximately 28%-33% of your Writing score on the SAT. Your multiple choice score will be calculated, then your final Writing Section score determined by your essay score. For example, based on your scaled writing score on the multiple choice questions, the following chart will show you what final Writing Section score you would receive based on your essay score.

 

Writing Raw Score              12               10                     8                       6                       4                       2                          0

 

25

370

340

300

270

240

210

200

30

420

390

350

330

290

260

230

35

460

430

390

350

330

300

280

40

500

470

430

400

370

340

330

45

540

510

470

430

410

380

360

50

590

560

520

480

460

430

410

55

630

590

550

520

490

460

440

60

670

640

600

560

540

510

490

65

710

680

640

610

580

550

530

70

750

710

670

640

610

580

560

75

800

770

730

690

670

640

620

80

800

800

790

750

720

690

680

 

 

 

You can clearly see what a major impact your essay score has on your final writing score. A good essay can move you from the 400’s to the 600’s!

 

It is a vital component to an excellent writing score. It also does what it says – gives colleges and universities a writing sample from you, the prospective student. It’s important.

 

This section is only a brief introduction to the SAT essay. We will explore every aspect of it, and how to write great essays, in later chapters.