Biology SAT Subject Test

Deciding whether to take the ecological or molecular test depends on your expertise.

The Biology SAT Subject Test is unique in that it offers students a choice between two concentrations: ecological or molecular.
The former is conveniently known as Biology E, while the latter is Biology M. Each test contains 80 questions, 20 of which are specialized for either an E or M focus.
As with all other SAT subject tests, you are given one hour for completion.

Similarities & Differences Between Biology E & M

The format of both Biology SAT Subject Tests are the same; only their emphases vary. Both, for example, assess your ability to perform basic tasks, including:

  • Recalling and understanding major biological concepts, terminology and practical applications
  • Solving simple algebraic equations
  • Interpreting data from charts, graphs and word problems
  • Demonstrating knowledge of metric system units, as well as ratios and proportions

The difference lies in what kind of information each test expects you to know. Biology E measures your grasp of biological communities, populations and energy flow. Biology M measures your grasp of biochemistry, cellular structure and cellular processes.
There are topics common to both: evolution, for instance, plays a critical role in ecological and molecular development. You should explore these “common areas” and understand the impact they have on each division.

SAT Subject Tests: Study Strategies & Score Results

Each Biology SAT Subject Test receives a score between 200 and 800. It’s your responsibility to grid the E or M test code on the answer sheet. Only questions pertaining to your chosen test will be scored.
In 2011, the average (mean) score for Biology E was 604, while Biology M was 635. (Do not conclude, however, that Biology M is therefore easier).
Whether you choose to take Biology E or M, it’s important to first prepare for the SAT. Implementing a solid study strategy can pay off in a high score.
And a high score can evolve into an acceptance letter from a top university!

Other SAT Subject Tests You Can Take: