SAT II Biology

SAT - II Biology is one-hour multiple choice test which evaluates test takers ability to apply Biological concepts to solve the questions given on the test. The test is administered by the College Board. Almost all colleges in USA and almost all reputed colleges arround the globe require that an applicant to their program related to Biological and Life Sciences msut have atleast a base line score in SAT Subject Biology.

The Biology E/M test is the only SAT II that allows the test taker a choice between the Ecological or Molecular tests. A set of 60 questions is taken by all test takers for Biology and a choice of 20 questions is allowed between either the E or M tests.

Test Takers Responses

A large number of test takers gave impressions that the test is not what has been taught to them in F.Sc. or in intermediate level. The test requires a clear picture of every concept. Some extra stuff is required for the success on the test. Special techniques and some short methods and tips also play an important role.

Time Pace

More than 80% of the test takers also mentioned that time pace is a great problem while taking the test. An ordinary test taker cannot maintain pace during the test. He/she waste most of the time in selecting the right answer.

Note: The contents on the SAT Biology are not similar to the topics you have learnt during your studies at college level. You must study extra knowledge from some extra books specifically written for SAT Biology.

It is a timed test so the pace for solving each question is an important factor.

Subject Topics

The College Board provides the list of topics included in the SAT Biology test. The percentages given here are approximate.

Topic Number of Question
Cellular and Molecular Biology8–12
The Cell and Cell Structure 4–6
Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry3-5
Cell Processes1-3
Mendelian and Molecular Genetics8-10
Evolution and Diversity8-10
Organismal Biology20-26
Animal Structure, Function, and Behavior9-13
Plant Structure and Function9-13
Prepare SAT II Biology

SAT Biology Format

The SAT Biology comprised of total 80 questions and time allowed to solve all the questions is one hour irrespective of whether you take Biology E or Biology M. The whole test has been divided into two parts. The first part is Core Questions which comes first. The second part is specialty Questions comes after core questions. The core questions contribute 60 questions and specialty questions contribute 20 questions. The core section of the test usually consisted of Classification questions (first 10–12 questions), while the last 48–50 questions of the core are multiple choice questions.

Classification Questions

This category provides you with five possible options and then a sequence of three to five questions to which those response options are answered. The options are usually either charts or the group of five relevant biological laws or principles. Because they allow for several choices on the same subject, this category questions will ask you to demonstrate a complete knowing of the subject at side.

The level of problems within any set of choices is usually very random: you cannot anticipate the first choice in a set to be simpler than the last. However, each set of category choices is usually a bit more complicated than the one that came before. In the primary question, for example, you should anticipate question 10–12 to be more complicated than question 1–3.

Completion Questions

These are the multiple-choice questions we all know and really like, and the core of any multiple-choice examination. They ask a question and provides you five possible response options, then you choose the best one.

Diagramic Group Questions

Diagramic group questions present you with an illustration or graph and ask you to identify the structures or functions represented. The questions are all five-choice mcq.

Experiment-Based Group Questions

The SAT II Biology uses group questions based on experiments, natural phenomena, and information to evaluate your biological thinking and skills. There is no conventional overall look for the experiments; the information can be provided in sentences, illustrations, and/or charts.

Some MCQ Sample Questions for SAT Biology


You earn a point for each correct answer and you loses 0.25 for each wrong answer. You loses or gains nothing for the answer left blank. The aggreagte of these score is the raw score. ETS adjusts your raw score to a scaled score of 200 to 800, using a curve tailored to the particular test you take.

Raw Score Scaled Score Raw Score Scaled Score Raw Score Scaled Score
80 800 49 600 18 420
79 800 48 590 17 410
78 790 47 590 16 410
77 780 46 580 15 400
76 770 45 580 14 390
75 770 44 570 13 390
74 760 43 560 12 380
73 760 42 560 11 370
72 750 41 550 10 360
71 740 40 550 9 360
70 740 39 540 8 350
69 730 38 540 7 350
68 730 37 530 6 340
67 720 36 520 5 340
66 710 35 520 4 330
65 700 34 510 3 330
64 700 33 500 2 320
63 690 32 500 1 320
62 680 31 490 0 310
61 680 30 490 -1 310
60 670 29 480 -2 300
59 660 28 480 -3 300
58 660 27 470 -4 290
57 650 26 470 -5 280
56 640 25 460 -6 280
55 640 24 450 -7 270
54 630 23 450 -8 270
53 620 22 440 -9 260
52 620 21 440 -10 260
51 610 20 430
50 600 19 420

This table clearly shows you that your score doesn’t increase with each correct answer. You can do well on the test without answering every question. You must follow an effective strategy that ensures your success.

For example, on an 80 question test, you could score:

  • 800 if you answered 79 right and left 1 blank
  • 750 if you answered 73 right, 4 wrong, and left 3 blank
  • 700 if you answered 67 right, 8 wrong, and left 5 blank
  • 650 if you answered 60 right, 12 wrong, and left 8 blank
  • 600 if you answered 54 right, 16 wrong, and left 10 blank

Average Scores

The average score obtained by test takers for Molecular Biology is 630 while Ecological Biology it is 591.

Guessing on SAT Biology

Guessing on MCQ based tests is a key element in performing well. If you encounter a question whose two or three options are not eliminated and are competing choices, then you can make an educated guess. As the negative marking is 1/4 in SAT Biology, guessing yields positive results by improving your overall score.

A computer will check your SAT II Biology Test. It does not care how you answered the question it just check whether it is correct or not. So whether you knew the correct answer or just took a guess, you will be awarded one point.

At the Test Center

The test taker is not allowed to use notes, textbooks, or a calculator on this test, even though there are questions that involve math difficult to perform mentally. Although logarithms typically are very difficult to do without a calculator, the usage of a calculator is not necessary as the logarithms are very basic. The only resource a student may use is a periodic table which is provided with the test booklet.


Biology is a Theoratical Subject

Biology is a theoratical subject which relies on concepts. Your preparation must focus the learning and less in practicing.

Prep Coaching

Coaching is necessary. You must join some online preparation course.

Be Calm During Test

You must be calm throughout the whole test. If you encounter some hard questions make educated guess but dont be panic. It is not necessary that other questions will also be hard. Maximize your correct answers.

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