SAT ii and Who Should Take It
SAT is a standardized aptitude, reading and writing test that is the basis of selection for colleges in the United States.Admissions to almost all under-graduate programs are done through this test. SAT ii is also known as the SAT subject test. These are the only national level domain oriented tests that help you in showcasing your skills and knowledge in a particular field.
What is SAT ii?
They act as complimentary results to your original SAT score when you have to apply for a particular major. By submitting your SAT ii scores along with your other credentials like recommendations, high school records, general SAT scores etc. your chances at being admitted to a particular domain increase greatly. They send a strong message to the admission council along regarding your interests and readiness to take up a specific program.
SAT ii is a one hour test and overall there are five general areas in which you can take a SAT ii-
- Languages and
These five domains are further divided into 20 subjects- Literature, US History, World History, Math level 1, Math level 2, Biology/EM, Chemistry, Physics, French, French with listening, German, German with listening, Spanish, Spanish with listening, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Chinese with listening, Japanese with listening and Korean with listening.
How is it scored?
The SAT ii tests are scored in a very similar manner to that of SAT. The scoring scheme is as follows-
- If you get an answer correct, you will get a +1 on your overall score.
- -1/4 is deducted for each incorrect 5-choice question, -1/3 for each incorrect 4-choice question and -1/2 for each incorrect 3-choice question.
- No points are deducted for leaving the questions.
For German, French, and Spanish with Listening tests, the reading sub-score counts twice as much as the listening sub-score. However for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tests, sub-scores are weighted equally. To make sure that there is no difference in scores due to different venues or variations in difficulty levels, these scores are processed through a statistical analysis. Apart from this to make sure that there is no differentiation in the paper levels, all the questions are thoroughly examined before they appear on the test.
Why should you take SAT ii?
You have complete freedom to choose which subject you want to take. You also have the option to change the subject on the day of exam. There are many reasons for taking SAT ii-
- Some of the colleges recommend SAT subject test scores in one or more subjects as a part of your application. So if you are interested in a particular major, then visit the college website and find out about their requirements.
- Even those colleges that don’t require SAT ii as a part of application will consider your subject test scores in allotting you a particular domain. This will help you to differentiate yourself from the other applicants.
- For foreign students, displaying their multi lingual skills is very important. So if you are not very good at English, you can always give your subject tests in other languages and a lot of colleges consider this to be a big asset.
- For home schooled students this is a great opportunity to show your skills in the domains of your interest. It is also a platform where you will get exposure as to where you stand compared to others of your age.
- SAT ii scores will help you in getting placed in the right course. Some of the colleges even offer some credit for good SAT ii scores.
Which subject should you take?
Although this is completely your choice, you can look at the following guidelines to help you decide-
- Based on which college you want to take admissions into and what they recommend for your application.
- The subjects that you consider to be your strengths. The ones you are truly interested in.
- Even if the college you want to consider don’t need any SAT ii scores, you should still take the test in the subject of your interest because they will consider these scores and place you in the right programs.
- If you are still confused, take a look at some of the mock tests and the questions there. Then follow the subject that you are most comfortable with.
SAT ii is generally offered six times in a year. However, all subjects may not be offered each time. They are conducted along with the regular SAT tests, however you are free to take them separately. For more details on availability in your area and schedule of the exams, visit the official SAT website www.collegeboard.org. This website also provides books and practice materials and college information along with lots of tools to help you prepare for SAT ii, so register for it before you start your preparation. All the best!!
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