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Hi all,

 

What can anyone tell me about your kids' experiences with taking the SAT physics subject test?  We are looking at registering for the one in June.  Ds tried some of the practice tests at the College Board website, and we are getting a subject test study guide from the library.  But I'd love to hear about real experiences. 

 

Thanks!

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I am not sure what exactly you are asking.

The most important advice would be to take it immediately after the physics course, not wait a year (ask me how I know).

Other than that: be careful about of free online resources for practice! There was a thread on this board listing free resources about 1.5 years ago, and we checked out some of the links. Some of the materials contained severe conceptual mistakes and poorly worded problems. If you search the archives, you may find the thread; I am pretty sure I posted about our experience.

Unfortunately, the blue Subject SAT book from the college board only had one practice test.

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I am not sure what exactly you are asking.

The most important advice would be to take it immediately after the physics course, not wait a year (ask me how I know).

Other than that: be careful about of free online resources for practice! There was a thread on this board listing free resources about 1.5 years ago, and we checked out some of the links. Some of the materials contained severe conceptual mistakes and poorly worded problems. If you search the archives, you may find the thread; I am pretty sure I posted about our experience.

Unfortunately, the blue Subject SAT book from the college board only had one practice test.

 

I guess I wasn't really sure what I was asking either, lol.

 

I guess I just want to hear stories (positive and negative) about kids who have taken this test. Also, has anyone else used these subject tests to back up "mommy grades?"  A local uni. science professor/homeschooling father advised me to do this.  He is doing it for his teens, too.

 

Yes, he will be taking it at the end of this school year in which he has been studying physics.  I saw this advice on the College Board website, and it makes sense.  I'm planning to have him take the chemistry one and the biology one, too, when he completes those courses.

 

Thanks for letting me know, too, about the free online sources.  I'm always skeptical about free online sources anyway - I'd rather use books. :D  I checked the blue subject SAT book out of the library today, so we'll have a look.  Thanks for letting me know it only has one practice test (strange!).

 

Can I please hear from some more people?  Thank you, all!

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I guess I just want to hear stories (positive and negative) about kids who have taken this test. Also, has anyone else used these subject tests to back up "mommy grades?"  A local uni. science professor/homeschooling father advised me to do this.  He is doing it for his teens, too.

 

Can I please hear from some more people?  Thank you, all!

My kids will each take at least two SAT II's because some schools require them for admissions.

 

My junior took the SAT II in Physics the weekend before he took the AP Physics B exam.  There were a few topics tested on the SAT II that were not covered in the Physics B course.  In addition to taking the lone Physics Subject Test in the Bluebook, he prepped with Barrons and Sparknotes online (which was free). 

 

My younger two will use the same approach to prep for the SAT II.

 

Good luck!

 

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My dd took the SAT Physics subject test right after she finished a Physics class at her tutoring program (2 days/week, rest done at home, using BJU Physics book).  This was the only subject test she took, and she took it because one of the universities she was applying to (Florida) required a sub. test of homeschoolers IF there were not accredited grades in various subject areas.  The virtual school and dual enrollment classes she had taken counted as "accredited" in other subject areas, but she didn't have any of these for science.  Since she was currently taking Physics, that's the test she took.  I think she did an online practice test, but she did not do any outside preparation other than that.  She was taking it only to fulfill Florida's requirement of homeschoolers, and not to get the high 700 or even 800 scores that most kids taking that test are looking for.  She only needed a 550 which she didn't have a problem surpassing.

 

The interesting thing is that there is SUCH a different population of students taking this test, that her score was quite low percentile-wise.  I think it was in the 30's for a score in the mid-600 range.  Lots of high-achievers taking this particular test, I guess.  She just needed a score above the school's benchmark, they didn't even ask for an official score report. 

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The interesting thing is that there is SUCH a different population of students taking this test, that her score was quite low percentile-wise.  I think it was in the 30's for a score in the mid-600 range.  Lots of high-achievers taking this particular test, I guess.  She just needed a score above the school's benchmark, they didn't even ask for an official score report. 

I think the reason for the bolded is that many of the highly selective STEM schools ask for the Math Subject Test and a science subject test.  Some of these schools also specify that the science subject test must be either physics or chemistry.

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My kids will each take at least two SAT II's because some schools require them for admissions.

 

My junior took the SAT II in Physics the weekend before he took the AP Physics B exam.  There were a few topics tested on the SAT II that were not covered in the Physics B course.  In addition to taking the lone Physics Subject Test in the Bluebook, he prepped with Barrons and Sparknotes online (which was free). 

 

My younger two will use the same approach to prep for the SAT II.

 

Good luck!

 

Thank you - I will look for the Barron's for physics, as I didn't know it existed.

 

My dd took the SAT Physics subject test right after she finished a Physics class at her tutoring program (2 days/week, rest done at home, using BJU Physics book).  This was the only subject test she took, and she took it because one of the universities she was applying to (Florida) required a sub. test of homeschoolers IF there were not accredited grades in various subject areas.  The virtual school and dual enrollment classes she had taken counted as "accredited" in other subject areas, but she didn't have any of these for science.  Since she was currently taking Physics, that's the test she took.  I think she did an online practice test, but she did not do any outside preparation other than that.  She was taking it only to fulfill Florida's requirement of homeschoolers, and not to get the high 700 or even 800 scores that most kids taking that test are looking for.  She only needed a 550 which she didn't have a problem surpassing.

 

The interesting thing is that there is SUCH a different population of students taking this test, that her score was quite low percentile-wise.  I think it was in the 30's for a score in the mid-600 range.  Lots of high-achievers taking this particular test, I guess.  She just needed a score above the school's benchmark, they didn't even ask for an official score report. 

 

Hmmm....this is something I didn't even think about.  Of course I hope ds does well on the test, but a high score is not my ultimate goal - I was just looking for validation of knowledge he is acquiring during high school.  So, what does the score range represent?  What is high?  average?  low?

 

We just registered for the June 7 test.  Wow, I can see why people here talk so much about all the ins and outs of all these tests, applications, scholarships - what a LOT of administrative work this is going to be!!!  The other day I sat down and mapped out a plan for various tests/test dates/deadlines for registrations/uni. app. dates/deadlines/scholarship apps/etc.  And I think we in Canada don't have nearly as much to do as you all in the States - yikes!!

 

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My son took the test almost a year after finishing the physics course (as regentrude said, it's a bad idea!).  He prepped using the Barron's book.  He was consistently scoring 800 on the Barron's tests and when he took the official practice test he also scored 800, but on the real test he only scored 700 (his error rate doubled).  I'm not sure if there was a huge difference between the practice and the real test or if he was just nervous in the actual testing situation and that lowered his score.

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My son took the test almost a year after finishing the physics course (as regentrude said, it's a bad idea!).  He prepped using the Barron's book.  He was consistently scoring 800 on the Barron's tests and when he took the official practice test he also scored 800, but on the real test he only scored 700 (his error rate doubled).  I'm not sure if there was a huge difference between the practice and the real test or if he was just nervous in the actual testing situation and that lowered his score.

 

Yep.....I don't know if I should admit this here, but this will be ds's first test-taking experience...but he doesn't seem worried about all that, so he might be relaxed when he goes in.  I hope.  We can only try, right?

 

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Colleen, my kids both took the SAT2 Physics test after working through the Giancoli text (AP physics B level, but they didn't take that AP test).

 

We had a difficult time finding an appropriate SAT2 Physics prep book, but Barron's came closest to meeting our needs. It was a bit of overkill, but at least it wasn't full of errors. Avoid the REA book at all cost!

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Colleen, my kids both took the SAT2 Physics test after working through the Giancoli text (AP physics B level, but they didn't take that AP test).

 

We had a difficult time finding an appropriate SAT2 Physics prep book, but Barron's came closest to meeting our needs. It was a bit of overkill, but at least it wasn't full of errors. Avoid the REA book at all cost!

 

Thanks!  And what is the REA book?

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Thanks!  And what is the REA book?

 

REA is just another brand of review book, like Barron's or Princeton Review or Kaplan. It was our first experience with SAT2 testing & I was unaware of which brand to buy, so I just picked one off the shelf. It seemed to cover all the topics & had lots of practice tests, but boy, was it chock full of errors.

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