SAT Chemistry Test: Content, Format & Scoring

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Learn what topics are covered on the SAT Chemistry subject test and familiarize yourself with how the exam's multiple-choice questions are formatted. You'll also get information on how test results are determined and find resources that can help you prepare for your exam.

SAT Chemistry Test Content

Content on the SAT Chemistry subject test covers eight areas, including the structure and states of matter, reaction types, equilibrium and reaction rates, stoichiometry and thermochemistry, descriptive chemistry and lab techniques.

You'll be required to use your knowledge of these topics to solve quantitative problems or analyze relationships between the information you're given. You will also need to recall key chemistry terms and basic concepts.

Test Format

All 85 questions on the SAT Chemistry subject test are multiple choice. You will have 60 minutes to complete the exam. You cannot use a calculator during the test, but a periodic table will be provided for you. Questions on the exam consist of three types:

  • Classification questions provide you with a lettered list of items, such as chemical formulas or atomic symbols. You'll be asked to read a series of descriptive statements and choose the option that's the best fit for each.
  • Relationship analysis questions ask you to examine two related statements and assess whether each one is true or false. You must also determine if the cause and effect relationship between them is accurate.
  • The remaining questions present you with a statement and ask you to choose the best option for completing it. You'll be given five choices.

Scoring Info

Your score on the SAT Chemistry subject test is determined in a two-step process.

First, your raw score is determined by calculating the number of questions you got right as well as the number and type of questions you got wrong. You'll receive one point for a correct answer. Any questions you answered incorrectly will lose between a quarter and a half a point, depending on whether they had three, four or five answer choices. You don't gain or lose any points for unanswered questions.

Once your raw score is calculated, it's adjusted into a scaled score that falls between 200 and 800 points.

Preparing for the SAT Chemistry Exam

You can review the chemistry topics appearing on the exam with this SAT Chemistry test-prep course. It includes several self-paced video lessons in addition to interactive quizzes and tests that allow you to gauge your progress. The course also enables you to contact chemistry experts with any questions you have.

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