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About Research & Education Association
Research & Education Association (REA) is an organization of educators, scientists, and engineers specializing in various academic fields. Founded in 1959 with the purpose of disseminating the most recently developed scientific information to groups in industry, government, high schools, and universities, REA has since become a successful and highly respected publisher of study aids, test preps, handbooks, and reference works.
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INTRODUCTION: PREPARING FOR THE SAT II: BIOLOGY E/M SUBJECT TEST
Who Takes the Test and What Is It Used For?
Students planning to attend college should take the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test if:
(1) Any of the colleges they apply to require the test for admission;
(2) The student wishes to demonstrate proficiency in Biology.
The SAT II: Biology E/M exam is designed for students who have taken one year of college preparatory biology (either a general survey course or one with emphasis on Ecology or Molecular Biology), a one-year course in algebra, and have laboratory experience. However, due to the variation in high school biology courses, most students will encounter questions that test material with which they are not familiar.
Who Administers The Test?
The SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test is developed by the College Board and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test development process involves the assistance of educators throughout the country, and is designed and implemented to ensure that the content and difficulty level of the test are appropriate.
When Should the SAT II: Biology E/M be Taken?
If you are applying to a college that requires Subject Test scores as part of the admissions process, you should take the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test toward the end of your junior year or at the beginning of your senior year. If your scores are being used only for placement purposes, you may be able to take the test in the spring of your senior year. For more information, be sure to contact the colleges to which you are applying.
When and Where is the Test Given?
The SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test is administered six times a year at many locations throughout the United States; most test centers are at high schools. For more information on specific testing dates and locations, consult the registration bulletin or your high school guidance counselor.
To receive information on upcoming administrations of the exam, consult the publication Taking the SAT II: Subject Tests, which may be obtained from your guidance counselor or by contacting:
College Board SAT Program
P.O. Box 6200
Princeton, NJ 08541-6200
Phone: (609) 771-7600
Is There a Registration Fee?
Yes. There is a registration fee to take the SAT II: Biology E/M. Consult the publication Taking the SAT II: Subject Tests for information on the fee structure. Financial assistance may be granted in certain situations. To find out if you qualify and to register for assistance, contact your academic advisor.
Can I Use a Calculator?
Calculators are not permitted on the SAT II: Biology E/M. The metric system of units is used, so review of metric units may be helpful.
The Biology E/M is a one-hour exam consisting of 80 multiple-choice questions. Each question has five possible answer choices, lettered (A) through (E). The common core, which appears on both the Biology-E and the Biology-M Tests, consists of 60 questions. It covers Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Classical Genetics, Organismal Biology, and Evolution and Diversity. Its emphasis is on Organismal Biology.
In addition to the common core, you will be required to take a specialty section comprised of 20 questions, making 80 the total number of questions you will be answering on any form, or in any administration, of the SAT II: Biology E/M. One of these specialty sections is the Biology-E Test, which covers principles and applications of Ecology. The other specialty section is the Biology-M Test which covers concepts and principles of Molecular Biology. Remember, these specialty sections are taken in addition to the common core. However, you will not be able to take both the Biology-E and the Biology-M Tests in the same administration.
The following chart summarizes the distribution of topics covered on the SAT II: Biology E/M exam:
Topics Covered in Core Section / Percentage of Test /Number of Questions
Cellular and Molecular Biology / 12% / 9-10 questions
Ecology / 12% / 9-10 questions
Classical Genetics / 10% / 8 questions
Organismal Biology / 30% / 24 questions
Evolution and Diversity / 11% / 8-9 questions
Ecology (Biology-E Test) / 25% / 20 questions
Molecular Biology (Biology-M Test) / 25% / 20 questions
Note: Every administration of the Biology E/M Test includes 60 common core questions.
This book will provide you with an accurate and complete representation of the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test. Inside you will find a course review designed to provide you with the information and strategies needed to do well on the exam, as well as six full-length practice tests based on the actual exam. Three of our model tests are aimed specifically at students taking the Biology-E Test, and three are geared toward those taking the Biology-M Test. REA's practice tests contain every type of question you can expect to encounter on the SAT II: Biology E/M Test. Following each test, you will find an answer key with detailed explanations to help you master the test material.
What Do I Study First?
Remember that the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test is designed to test knowledge that has been acquired throughout your education. Therefore, the best way to prepare for the exam is to refresh yourself by? thoroughly studying our review material and taking the sample tests provided in this book. They will familiarize you with the types of questions, directions, and format of the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test.
To begin your studies, read over the review and the suggestions for test-taking, take one of the practice tests (Biology-E if you are studying Ecology, or Biology-M if you are studying Molecular Biology) to determine your area(s) of weakness, and then restudy the review material, focusing on your specific problem areas. The course review includes the information you need to know when taking the exam. Be sure to take the remaining practice tests to further test yourself and become familiar with the format of the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test.
When Should I Start Studying?
It is never too early to start studying for the SAT II: Biology E/M test. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to sharpen your skills. Do not procrastinate! Last-minute studying and cramming is not an effective way to study, since it does not allow you the time needed to learn the test material. The sooner you learn the format of the exam, the more comfortable you will be when you take the exam.
TEST TAKING TIPS
Although you may be unfamiliar with standardized tests such as the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test, there are many ways to acquaint yourself with this type of examination and help alleviate your test-taking anxieties.
Become comfortable with the format of the exam. When you are practicing to take the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test, simulate the conditions under which you will be taking the actual test. Stay calm and pace yourself. After simulating the test only a couple of times, you will boost your chances of doing well, and you will be able to sit down for the actual exam with much more confidence.
Know the directions and format for each section of the test. Familiarizing yourself with the directions and format of the exam will not only save you time, but will also ensure that you are familiar enough with the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test to avoid nervousness (and the mistakes caused by being nervous).
Do your scratchwork in the margins of the test booklet. You will not be given scrap paper during the exam, and you may not perform scratchwork on your answer sheet. Space is provided in your test booklet to do any necessary work or draw diagrams.
If you are unsure of an answer, guess. However, if you do guess - guess wisely. Use the process of elimination by going through each answer to a question and ruling out as many of the answer choices as possible. By eliminating three answer choices, you give yourself a fifty-fifty chance of answering correctly since there will only be two choices left from which to make your guess.
Mark your answers in the appropriate spaces on the answer sheet. Each numbered row will contain five ovals corresponding to each answer choice for that question. Fill in darkly, completely, and neatly the circle that corresponds to your answer. You can change your answer, but remember to completely erase your old answer. Any stray lines or unnecessary marks may cause the machine to score your answer incorrectly. When you have finished working on a section, you may want to go back and check to make sure your answers correspond to the correct questions. Marking one answer in the wrong space will throw off the rest of your test, whether it is graded by machine or by hand. When taking the test, you may want to occasionally check your answer sheet to be sure that you are filling in the oval that corresponds to the question you are answering. This is especially important for those taking the SAT II: Biology E/M Test. For the Biology-M Test, you will need to fill in ovals 81-100, therefore, ovals 61-80 on your answer sheet will remain blank. Be sure to pay close attention to this when you begin the Biology-M Test.
You don't have to answer every question. You are not penalized if you do not answer every question. The only penalty results from answering a question incorrectly. Try to use the guessing strategy, but if you are truly stumped by a question, remember that you do not have to answer it.
Work quickly and steadily. You have a limited amount of time to work on each section, so you need to work quickly and steadily. Avoid focusing on one problem for too long.
Taking the practice tests in this book will help you to learn how to budget your time and pace yourself.
Keep track of your scores. By doing so, you will be able to gauge your progress and discover general weaknesses in particular sections. You should carefully study the reviews that cover your areas of difficulty, as this will build your skills in those areas. To help you budget your time for studying, we have provided for you a detailed study schedule.
The SAT II: Biology E/M Test, like all other Subject Tests, is scored on a 200-800 scale.
Before the Test
Make sure you know where your test center is well in advance of your test day so you do not get lost on the day of the test. On the night before the test, gather together the materials you will need the next day:
• Your admission ticket
• Two forms of identification (e.g., driver's license, student identification card, or current alien registration card)
• Two No. 2 pencils with erasers
• Directions to the test center
• A watch (if you wish) but not one that makes noise, as it may disturb other test-takers
On the day of the test, you should wake up early (after a good night's rest) and have breakfast. Dress comfortably, so that you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the test. Also, plan to arrive at the test center early. This will allow you to collect your thoughts and relax before the test, and will also spare you the stress of being late. If you arrive after the test begins, you will not be admitted to the test center and you will not receive a refund.
During the Test
When you arrive at the test center, try to find a seat where you feel most comfortable. Follow all the rules and instructions given by the test supervisor. If you do not, you risk being dismissed from the test and having your scores canceled.
Once all the test materials are passed out, the test instructor will give you directions for filling out your answer sheet. Fill this sheet out carefully since this information will appear on your score report.
After the Test
When you have completed the SAT II: Biology E/M Subject Test, you may hand in your test materials and leave. Then, go home and relax! You should receive your score report which includes your scores, percentile ranks, and interpretive information about three weeks after you take the test.