SAT Subject Test Practice

Biology E/M

Register Next Tests:
12/5 , 1/23


Planning to major in or focus on the sciences (e.g., pre-med, pharmacy, veterinary medicine) in college? By taking the Biology-E or Biology-M Subject Tests, you can indicate this interest as part of your application. The Biology Subject Test assesses your understanding of the major concepts of biology typically learned in high school and is an excellent way to showcase your achievements.

  • Biology Ecological (Biology-E)
    Leans more toward biological communities, populations and energy flow
  • Biology Molecular (Biology-M)
    Geared toward biochemistry, cellular structure and processes, such as respiration and photosynthesis

Test Basics

Scoring, Timing, Number of Questions

Points Minutes Questions
200–800 60 80
    Multiple Choice
60 of the 80 questions are common to both Biology E and M, followed by 20 specialized questions for each section

Important Notes

  • Offered in Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, May and June
  • Calculator use not permitted
  • Problem solving requires simple numerical calculations
  • Measurements are expressed in the metric system

Getting Ready for the Test

Anticipated Skills

SKILLS (for both E and M) Approximate % of Test
Fundamental concepts and knowledge 30%
Application 35%
Interpretation  35%

  • Ability to recall and understand the major concepts of biology and to apply the principles learned to solve specific problems in biology
  • Understanding of simple algebraic concepts, including ratios and direct and inverse proportions, and the ability to apply such concepts to solving word problems
  • Ability to organize and interpret results obtained by observation and experimentation and to draw conclusions or make inferences from experimental data, including data presented in graphic or tabular form or both
  • Familiarity with the metric system of units
Recommended Preparation

  • One-year introductory college preparatory course in biology
  • One-year course in algebra
  • Experience in the laboratory
Topics on the Test

Free Downloadable Practice Resources

Additional Things to Know

How to Choose between Biology-E (Ecological) and Biology-M (Molecular)

  • Take Biology E if you feel more comfortable answering questions about biological communities, populations and energy flow.
  • Take Biology M if you feel more comfortable answering questions about biochemistry, cellular structure and processes, such as respiration and photosynthesis.
  • Indicate choice of Biology E or Biology M by filling in the appropriate circle on your answer sheet for the test you have chosen to take on test day. You must indicate Biology E or Biology M on your answer sheet on test day for the test to be scored correctly
  • You cannot take both tests on the same test date, but you can take them on two different test dates.

Please note that this test reflects what is commonly taught in high school. Due to differences in high school classes, it’s likely that most students will find questions on topics they’re not familiar with. This is nothing to worry about. You do not have to get every question correct to receive the highest score (800) for the test. Many students do well despite not having studied every topic covered.

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