My sophomore took SAT Bio last month and got a 750. She wants to retake it to get 790+. She was consistently getting 790/800 at the home practice tests. Any tips or suggestions to improve her score.
I found Barron’s prep guide to be much, much more helpful than the Princeton Review as it goes more in-depth. You can probably find copies at your local library or on Amazon etc. The practice tests tend to be much, much harder than the actual test, so don’t focus as much on the score but learning the content.
Also, I would recommend buying or borrowing the official SAT subject test for Bio review guide made by CB (available on Amazon etc.) as it has official tests that are helpful to use for review near test day.
Hope that helps!
Thank you for your input.
She has used
1.SAT Subject Test Biology E/M with Online Tests (Barron’s Test Prep)
2. SAT Subject Test Biology E/M Flashcards
3. Cracking the SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M, 16th Edition: Everything You Need to Help Score a Perfect 800 (College Test Preparation) (Princeton Review)
4. The Official SAT Subject Test in Biology Study Guide (College Board Official SAT Study Guide)
She was getting 790/800 in the CB practice tests, multiple tests, the week before taking the SAT. But the nerves got the better of her I guess! She says that she took more time on a chart question which ended up with her skipping a couple of questions and rushing through a couple more!
Any other test taking strategies or tips that she should remember?
Unlike the SAT, you’ll lose points if you answer incorrectly, so only make EDUCATED guesses, don’t just bubble in questions randomly. Other than the resources in my original comment, the main advice I have is to not try to hard to study the night before, as that’s more likely to make you anxious and stressed on test day.
Has your daughter taken AP Bio? If not, I would recommend waiting until she has before taking the test—while the course doesn’t cover everything, it DOES provide a helpful foundation.
Thank you so much again. No, she hasn’t taken AP Bio. She will be taking it next year only as her school didn’t offer it to her as a sophomore. But as a freshman, she had taken Pre-AP Bio. She is worried that it will be a long gap if she waits a year to retake it and hence wants to take in in December. Well, will leave it to her call. Thank you again!
I think a 750 on bio is a very good score and she would be better off focusing her energy elsewhere.
She really wants to go for BS/MD. Hence she is very upset with her score. Is this a good score for those programs?
Since she was getting those high scores on the practice tests, this doesn’t seem to be a content issue. When my son took the Math II subject test, he was very surprised with how different the test conditions felt than when he was preparing. This is always the case with standardized tests, of course, but he said with the subject test it felt even more different for some reason. During practice tests he was finishing with 15 minutes to spare and in the real test he barely finished. So I would say see if there are ways she can more closely mimic real test conditions when she is practicing. Maybe have her go to another location, maybe have a friend of yours fake proctor it? Maybe even remove 10 minutes from her time alloted during practice tests?
Thank you. This really makes sense. It was exactly as you said. She had 10-15 mins to spare at home in the practice tests…but there she finished it just on time! Thank you for the suggestions, we will try to do something like that.
One SAT II score may not decide a BSMD admission by itself. It is a toss-up with SAT BIO 750 score. Most schools require at most two SAT II scores. A SAT II Chemistry test is another alternative instead of retaking SAT II BIO, IMO. Is she an ORM (read Asians).?
Yes, we are Indians. She is planning on taking Math2 and Chem SATs as well. She is planning to take her SAT end of 10th and the other SAT IIs in 11th fall, so that she can start prepping for her essays in 11th spring/summer.