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SAT Chemistry Instructor Samantha shows an overview of the SAT Chemistry Subject Test including structure, format, and pacing.

Overview of SAT Chemistry Subject Test

Today, we’re going to give you an overview of the structure, format, and pacing of the SAT Chemistry Subject Test.


The first thing we’ll talk about is structure. The test is going to have 85 multiple-choice questions, and you’ll have to do these in 1 hour. You’ll be given a periodic table, but you won’t be given any formula sheets or a calculator. So, you’ll need to memorize all of your formulas and rules for the test.

The third type of question is the relationship analysis question, and this is the least common question on the test. In this question, you’ll be given two statements, and you’ll have to determine whether each is true or false. If you have one false statement or two false statements, you can move on to the next question. But if you have two true statements, you’ll have to then determine if the second statement is the correct explanation for the first statement.


For the format of the exam, you’ll have three types of questions. You’ve probably already encountered the first two. The first type is the five-choice multiple-choice questions. The second type is the classification set; you will be given a series of questions and an answer bank. You’ll have to choose your answers from the answer bank, and each answer can be used once, multiple times, or not at all. Each of these is equally possible. So don’t worry if you’re using some more than others. Just answer the questions as best you can.


The last thing we’re gonna talk about is pacing. You have to move through the tests quickly because, on average, you have less than 45 seconds to answer each question. Some questions are only going to take a few seconds, and others may take more time.

Triage your questions; if you see something that’s a subject you don’t know or you think it’s going to take a while, move on; you can always come back. If you’re working on a problem and it’s taking more than 90 seconds, and you don’t have an answer yet, move on; come back to it later when you can. Pacing can be hard to get a feel for. So, the more practice tests you do, the more comfortable you’ll be with them.

What was your biggest takeaway from these strategies? Do you have any SAT chemistry questions for Samantha and Alexis Avila?

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