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Do your HS classes always align with SATII topics?

am9799am9799 1019 replies30 threads Senior Member
edited November 2013 in SAT Subject Tests Preparation
Does your honors/ap class fully prepare you for SATIIs or are they always some gaps (although small) that you need to fill out yourselves?

My question is specially for subjects such as biology, chemistry, history etc. NOT the math.
edited November 2013
35 replies
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Replies to: Do your HS classes always align with SATII topics?

  • halcyonheatherhalcyonheather 8774 replies212 threads Senior Member
    No, they don't.
    For example, my high school divides chemistry into Chem I and Chem II. Chem I basically just teaches atomic structure and the periodic table, but the College Board says you just need one year of chemistry to do well on the test. Some of the stuff on the chemistry test I didn't learn until AP Chem.
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  • am9799am9799 1019 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Would you say that this has to do with the "quality" of the high school? For example a "good" high school with a good teacher will make sure you are fully prepared?
    Or sometimes they will be SATII topics not covered in class independently of the rigor and quality of the school?
    Do you believe that an A in your honors class but not a great SATII score automatically shows that your class was not rigorous or "worthy" ?
    Just wondering.
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  • LoveArtForeverLoveArtForever 1095 replies39 threads Senior Member
    I'm wondering the same thing. I took AP US History and I felt like I learned a lot, but I'm pretty sure I bombed the SAT 2. I did well in the class though, so I hope my bad score won't discredit all my grades... My school is viewed as a good quality school, but I don't think that being "good quality" means that you just teach for the test. It means that you teach for the learning of it, and not necessarily the exact same topics. Personally I felt like the SAT 2 was kind of a bunch of random facts. I mean, it was relevant, but not necessarily the same things that my class stressed. I hope that my score doesn't reflect poorly on the class, but idk. I should've done more prep instead of assuming I'd be prepared from taking AP.
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  • sharkersharker 461 replies11 threads Member
    Simple answer... No. Even if you go to the best high school in the country, I HIGHLY doubt that your class can teach you every single topic covered on the test because frankly, SAT subject tests can ask some really obscure questions. However, a good class can teach you how to infer and help you eliminate answer choices, an extremely helpful skill on all of the tests you mentioned.
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  • HarrovianHarrovian 546 replies9 threads Member
    Oh god no. I'm attending probably the best state school in a 100 mile radius and I took Chemistry with an amazing teacher. There is loads that we covered but SAT doesn't and there's loads that the SAT covered but we didn't.
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  • satman1111satman1111 943 replies48 threads Member
    most of the stuff on the SAT subject tests should be covered in the corresponding AP courses, but I know that all of it is not. I know that if you take an AP physics course, you would still need to study a lot of topics that are not taught, like those for Electricity and Magnetism, Mechanics, etc. I know for bio too that all the material isn't covered. The ap sylibus was changed to not cover a lot of plants, but you need to know those for SAT. If you take a history AP course, you should be pretty prepared for the SAT test, but the SAT puts more emphasis on the earlier and later periods of history than the AP test does, so that may have to be studied more. I'm not sure about chem. though.
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  • HarrovianHarrovian 546 replies9 threads Member
    They're also in the process of revamping the AP exams and that will bring them even further away from the Subejcts.
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  • samcmanussamcmanus 44 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I think it depends on both the class and the school. For example, I took SAT II Chemistry, which not every school has. As one might imagine, that prepared me rather well for the subject test. (Although I did not take it.) On the other hand, I took US History right before the AP. While I knew much of the correlation, I wasn't as used to the questions, because in class we get AP questions on tests, opposed to the SAT II questions I used to get in SAT II Chem. So while I knew all the information, I had to get used to the angle that the questions were posed for American History
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threads Senior Member
    AP subject courses do strive to match whatever the current format of the AP exam is. For example, my son's AP Bio class did the last dissection this year. They are not including dissection at all in the future due to the AP Bio format change.

    The subject tests for Bio is very different than the AP Bio test. There are a lot more application type questions on the AP Bio test, and more recall type questions on the subject test.

    My son was very disarmed by the breadth of knowledge that was needed for the Bio subject test, was happy to get a 600. His school has the best students take only AP Bio and there is no Honors Bio.

    It's better to buy study guides early (note: with the format change, the new AP Bio study guides were only available in February!!!), preferably in the first quarter, so you can study for the AP test and the subject tests as the school year progresses.

    Take the subject test before the AP test, even if it is not a good match, it is a test run of your knowledge.
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  • billcshobillcsho 18315 replies91 threads Senior Member
    My D took AP Chem at school. For SAT2, she just use Barrons to prepare for it. There are really nothing more than her AP class syllabus. Indeed, the subject test is a lot easier. I would suggest to take the subject test in June right after the AP test. The subject test would not help much for your AP test preparation but the other way around. In addition, you don't want to take another test a week or two before AP tests. You would be busy in preparing for all the AP exams. Taking the subject test in April is also not ideal as there are some topics still not covered in class.
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  • kiwiasiankiwiasian 60 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I feel that the biology and chemistry classes at my high school covered all the content on the SAT. Only physics was an issue because my class did not cover relativity, and a few other random topics (fractals? that was on the most recent test)
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  • cosmogonycosmogony 201 replies11 threads Junior Member
    I'm taking IB classes and barely align AT ALL with SAT II's. I had to set aside an extra month for teaching myself the material on the SAT Physics exam. Taking AP classes would have been much more helpful (SAT II tests-wise). Some tests (like Math) is more like you know it or you don't so I did really well without having to study.
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  • darkaerogadarkaeroga 332 replies115 threads Member
    I took AP Chem and got a 5 on the Chemistry test and 780 on the SAT II. I would say my class covered every single topic possible, and I only missed the 800 mark because I doubted my self when I shouldn't have. But one thing I did notice is that it focused a bit more on chemistry 1 material (but you better study both) than the chemistry 2 material.
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  • saif235saif235 1040 replies8 threads Senior Member
    If you are taking the corresponding AP class then you should have covered most, if not all of the material. However you should probably read a Prep Guide just in case.
    I've found that honors and regular classes don't cover all of the SATII material.
    IB HL classes cover way more than you need to know for the SATII, but you'll have to teach yourself since HL classes are two years long. SL classes cover a little less than AP and should prepare you for the SATII.
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  • techlover10techlover10 31 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Is Barrons the best brand for SAT II guides? I need to take the SAT II for Chemistry soon and it's been a year since I took an honors (not AP) course, so I definitely need to review it. I like to think that my chemistry class was pretty advanced considering our teacher treated it as a serious course and proudly called it "the hardest class you will take in high school" but I don't know how well he aligned it with the SAT standard.
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  • Legacy2277Legacy2277 47 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I've had a contrasting experience with chem. I enjoyed my chemistry teacher and we only covered stuff you could find as AP content. I never studied once for the chem test assuming AP background would be sufficient. I got an 800 without a problem. Similar thing happened for biology with one exception being the sat biology test also had some basic anatomy of a human and plant questions on there I didn't learn from AP Bio but was able to reasonably guess and the curve gave me the score I wanted. Math 1 and 2 don't correspond to any exact math course but most of the problems can be solved without having practiced them in class before so not too much of an issue.

    I had a different experience with world history where I did not score as well as I'd have wanted from AP World but I'm not sure if that was because of what we should have gone over in class (since I know missed quite a bit of the AP material) or a difference between the AP material and the subject II material.

    As for what to study for sat II chemistry I'd expect Barron's book to be fine. Their AP chemistry one ignoring a few typos prepared me well. The important thing when you select a book is to make sure it has at least 2 practice tests and some problems with its chapters so you can review the areas you need by working the stuff in the corresponding chapter.
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  • jenceejencee 160 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Definitely not. And it really annoys me. :(
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  • screamingpumpkinscreamingpumpkin 111 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I hope my AP chem class does. Ideally, I would only have to take the SATII test once, be satisfied with my score, and then call it a day. I'm going to study some for the chem test, though.
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  • am9799am9799 1019 replies30 threads Senior Member
    From what I understand AP classes generally align with SAT II tests and most of the students take the SAT II immediately after their AP class. Honors classes usually are not in alignment unless the teacher knowing that a lot of the students will take the SAT II offers some supplementary classes. Of course there are exceptions. That makes me wonder though. What is the point of taking both the SAT II and AP test on the same subject? I assume the AP test shows fluency on the subject.
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  • MITer94MITer94 4728 replies19 threads Senior Member
    If all my HS classes aligned with SAT II topics, that would be awful.
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