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Passing the SAT United States History Subject Test
About This Book and TESTware®
If you’re planning to take the SAT United States History Subject Test, this book and the accompanying software are for you. REA provides an accurate and complete representation of the test in six full-length practice exams based on official exam questions released by the College Entrance Examination Board.
Our practice tests present every type of question that you can expect to encounter on the actual exam. Practice Tests 1 and 2 are also included on the enclosed TESTware® CD. The software provides the benefits of instantaneous, accurate scoring and enforced timed conditions. Beyond just giving you good practice, however, we also provide context. All of our answers are followed by detailed explanations that will enable you to zero in on your strengths and weaknesses—a surefire confidence booster! But we don’t stop there. This book also contains an extensive topical review that will help you make better use of your study time by reinforcing your command of the subject matter.
About the Test
Developed by the College Board and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the SAT United States History Subject Test is a one-hour examination that features 90 to 95 multiple-choice questions. To do well on the test, you need to be familiar with United States history from pre-Columbian times to the present. The majority of the history questions fall in the post-1763 period and cover all major facets of United States history: political, economic, social, diplomatic, intellectual, and cultural.
The test is offered throughout the year, usually in January, May, June, October, November, and December. You can obtain registration forms and specific test date information at your school’s guidance or counseling office, or by contacting the
College Board as follows:
SAT Subject Test in United States History
College Board SAT Program
PO Box 6200
Princeton, NJ 08541-6200
Phone: (609) 771-7600
The test’s proportional coverage can and does vary from one edition of the exam to another, but this breakdown gives you a good idea of what to expect:
Political History (including Political Science and Law) 32–36%
Economic History (including Geography) 18–20%
Social History (including Sociology, Anthropology, and
Social Psychology) 18–22%
Foreign Policy (including International Relations) 13–17%
Intellectual and Cultural History 10–12%
The periods covered are as follows:
Pre-Columbian History to 1789 20%
1790 to 1898 40%
1899 to present 40%
Theoretically, the only necessary preparation for the test is a thorough course in American history at the college-preparatory level, although information tested on the exam may be found in courses such as American government, economics, and problems of democracy. Keeping up with national news by regularly reading a major daily newspaper (e.g., the Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, or New York Times) or, at the very least, one of the newsweekly magazines, can only help you. The test seeks to measure many types of abilities. Sometimes there’s overlap; in other words, an individual question may test more than one type of ability within its scope.
The types of abilities measured include the following:
• Knowledge of facts, terms, concepts, and generalizations; recall of basic information.
• Analyzing and interpreting presented materials.
• Selecting or relating hypotheses, concepts, principles, or generalizations to given data.
• Judging the value of data for a given purpose, either by assessing internal evidence (proof and logical consistency) or external evidence (comparison with other works, established standards, and theories).
Scoring the Practice Tests
The SAT Subject Test is scored by crediting each correct answer with one point and deducting only partial credit (one-fourth of a point) for each incorrect answer. You will neither gain nor lose credit for questions you skip. The resulting value is the “raw score.” The accompanying practice-test scoring conversion table on the following page enables you to convert your raw score on each of our full-length practice tests into a total scaled score, which allows you to simulate where your performance places you on the College Board’s 200–800 scale. To get your raw score, add up all your correct responses. Then add up all the incorrect answers and divide this number by four. Subtract this number from the first number and round the result to the nearest whole number (0.5 is rounded up to the next-highest whole number; 0.4 is rounded down to the next-lowest whole number).
Now find this number on the scoring table to determine your scaled score. Here’s a worksheet for figuring your practice-test scores:
__________ – (______ x 0.25) = __________
number right* number wrong* raw score†
* Do not count answers that you left blank.
† Round to the nearest whole number.
SSD Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Many students qualify for extra time to take the SAT Subject Tests, and our TESTware® can be adapted to accommodate your time extension. This allows you to practice under the same extended-time accommodations that you will receive on the actual test day. To customize your TESTware® to suit the most common extensions, visit our website at www.rea.com/ssd.