Tuesday, November 5, 2019

SAT 1 vs SAT 2 Whats the Difference

SAT 1 vs SAT 2 What's the Difference SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips You might have heard of something called the SAT II (or SAT 2) and wondered what it could be. A secret, harder version of the SAT, perhaps? The reality is less dramatic: the SAT II is just an old name for the SAT Subject Tests. This guide will explain the current form of the SAT II, outline the differences between the SAT 1 vs SAT 2, and help you determine which of the tests you should take. Feature Image:Matthias Neugebauer/Flickr What Are the SAT 1 and the SAT 2? As I touched on above, these aresimply out-of-date monikers: the SAT I is now known as just as the SAT and the SAT II is more descriptively referred to as the SAT Subject Tests.Colleges sometimes still refer to the tests as the SAT I and SAT II, so don't worry if you see those terms. The SAT started out as a military IQ testand was administered as a college admissions assessment for the first time in 1926. Since then, it's undergone a series of changes to make it less focused on innate ability and more on testing concepts and skills students learn in school. It's weathered a few controversies, but it's still considereda decent predictor of how students will do in college. The SAT Subject Tests are almost as old as the SAT proper. Officially called Scholarship Tests but known colloquially as the Achievement Tests,the Subject Testsstarted in 1937and were basically the same thing they are now: one-hour tests on specific subjects,like biology andworld history. There are currently 20 different Subject Tests, and you can sign up for up to three per test date. Here is an overview of all SAT Subject Tests: Humanities Math and Science Literature Math Level 1 US History Math Level 2 World History Biology (E/M) Chemistry Physics Languages (No Listening) Languages (w/ Listening) French French with Listening German German with Listening Spanish Spanish with Listening Modern Hebrew Chinese with Listening Italian Japanese with Listening Latin Korean with Listening What’s the Difference Between the SAT 1 and the SAT 2? Originally, the SAT I was meant to test aptitude and the SAT II was meant to test achievement. That is to say, one tested what you were capable of, and the other tested what you knew. But when the College Board moved away from the idea of the SAT I testing innate ability, they reframed it as a reasoning test, making the difference between the two SATs less well defined. With changes in 2016, the SAT I (now just the SAT) is more focused than ever on testing knowledge rather than logic. At this point, I'd say that the SAT tests general knowledge and the SAT Subject Tests assess topical knowledge. There arealso some key ways the two tests differ in structure.For one, although the questions on both tests are primarily multiple choice, SAT questions have four answer choices, while SAT Subject Test questionstypically have five answer choices. This means that you'll have a slightly higher probability of guessing the correct answer on the SAT (25% chance) than you will on the SAT Subject Tests (20% chance). In addition, SAT Subject Tests have a guessing penalty for incorrect answers, whereas the SAT does not (though it used to). Note that you neither gain nor lose points for questions left blank on both tests. Here's how the guessing penalty works on the SAT II: 1/4 point deducted for every incorrect five-choice question 1/3 point deducted for every incorrect four-choice question 1/2 point deducted for every incorrect three-choice question Take a look at the chart below for a rundown of the basic differences between the two types of SAT tests in their current forms: SAT SAT Subject Tests Other Names SAT 1, SAT I, SAT Reasoning Test SAT 2, SAT II, SAT Achievement Tests Format 3 hr 50 min multiple-choice test (with one essay question) 1 hr multiple-choice test Subject Matter Reading, Writing, Math 20 different topics (listed above) Guessing Penalty? No Yes Which Schools Require It? Almost all colleges Only some very selective colleges Also note that because of the timing of each test, you cannot take the SAT and any SAT Subject Tests on the same testing day. How to Determine Whether You Need to Take the SAT, the SAT Subject Tests, or Both A good rule of thumb is that you'll almost certainly have to take theSAT I (or the ACT), but you'll probablyonly need to take the SAT II if you're applying to highly selective colleges. Nonetheless, you should check the testing requirements for each school you're applying to since they can differ quite a bit. The majority of collegeshaveone ofthree basic policies on the SAT Subject Tests. Let's go through them one at a time. Policy 1: They Only Ask For the SAT (or ACT) Most schools, including the majorstate universities, don't require applicants to submit Subject Test scores. However, some colleges will consider SAT II scores,so they can be a helpful way to show your mastery of a certain subject area (as long as you dowell). Policy 2: They Ask For the SAT (or ACT) and SAT Subject Tests A handfulofvery selective schools,includingHarvard and Rice,require applicants to submit scores from both the SAT I and between one and three (usually two) SAT II tests. Some collegeshave more specific guidelines regarding which Subject Tests you need to take. For example,MIT requires one Math SAT II and one Science SAT II. Other schools- including McGill, Tufts, and Duke- will waive the Subject Tests requirement if you submit ACT scores.These schools will still look at SAT Subject Test scores if you send them, however. Policy 3: They Ask For the SAT orSATSubject Tests A growing subset of schools have adopted atest-flexiblepolicy, which means they allow students to choose which scores they'd like to submit from a numberof different tests.Examples of schools that allow students to submit SAT II results in place of SAT I or ACT scores include NYU, Colorado College, and Middlebury. Recap: Should You Take SAT I or SAT II? The SAT I is the standard SAT test format, which you will need to take for most college applications. The SAT II tests are subject-specific tests that might or might not be required, depending on where you plan to apply. As you can see above, colleges' SAT II policies vary widely. Be sure to look up the testing requirements for every school you’re planning to apply to, and determine what you need to do well in advance. You might want to start by checking outour complete list of schools that require SAT Subject Tests. That said, don't forget to confirm colleges' policies on their official websites! What's Next? If you've determined that you need to take the SAT II,the next step is figuring out which Subject Tests you should takeand what scores you need to shoot for. You might also want to take a look at our SAT Subject Test study guides for US Historyand Physics. Ifyou're applying to Ivy Leagueschools,check out our guides on what SAT score you need, what their average SAT II scores are, and exactly how you can get in. Need a little extra help prepping for your Subject Tests? We have the industry's leading SAT Subject Test prep programs (for all non-language Subject Tests). Built by Harvard grads and SAT Subject Test full or 99th %ile scorers, the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through advanced statistics, then customizes your prep program to you so that you get the most effective prep possible. Learn more about our Subject Test products below:

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