SAT Physics Subject Test

5 minute read
SAT Physics Subject Test-

SAT is a standardized global test that is undertaken by a high school student or wishing to pursue a bachelor’s degree from abroad. SAT Subject Tests have been created to measure the amount of knowledge a person has in specific areas or subjects. A variety of different tests are conducted on a wide range of subjects. It includes Biology, Maths, History, and Physics amongst others. The scores are measured separately on different scales. In this blog, we will explore comprehensive information in pretext to SAT physics subject test.

What is the SAT Physics Subject Test?

The SAT physics subject test is called SAT II or is known by another name, which is simply the Physics SAT. The syllabus of SAT Physics covers mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, heat and thermodynamics, modern physics, and other concepts. It is an hour-long multiple-choice test on Physics conducted by the College Board. The intended purpose of the SAT physics subject test is to evaluate and determine the extent of the candidate’s grasp and understanding of the fundamental principles associated with Physics. The test at the same time gauges the candidate’s ability in the application of these principles to solve different problems.

Looking for Online Test Prep for SAT? Register for Leverage Live!

SAT Physics Subject Test Exam Pattern

Now let’s get to know the exam pattern of SAT physics subject test below:

  • The SAT physics subject test is one hour or 60 minutes long. The test constitutes of  75 multiple-choice questions.
  • A question carries options,  each having five possible answers to choose from. It is important to note that questions are often asked in varied forms.
  • Some are independent questions while some other questions are incorporated in a group type.
  • A person taking the SAT Physics subject test can’t use a calculator during the test under any circumstances. A very short amount of time is available to the examinee. The time for each question amounts to less than a minute or merely a few seconds.
  • Since time is a luxury in this test, the test doesn’t come with excessively difficult questions. A person doesn’t have to go through a cumbersome process of solving complicated calculative questions.

Questions for SAT II Test

There are three types of questions that are mainly asked in the SAT II test. It is imperative for you to know and understand them in order to prepare for the test. This helps in guiding your energy in the right direction by focusing on them. Find the types here.

    • The first one among them is the recall questions. They deal in determining the candidate’s understanding of the concepts of physics. These form one-third of the paper.
    • Another type of question is concept problems. Here you will be tested for your ability in the application of formulas and equations associated with the concepts of ratios, trigonometric, and algebraic relationships. These questions form a major part of the test.
  • The last type of questions to be asked are those that deal with multiple problems. You’ll be tested to apply more than one formula, equation, or a relationship. How well you perform in this section will depict your understanding and ability to solve problems. It accounts for less than a third of the test.

SAT Physics Syllabus

SAT Physics syllabus mainly assesses first-year Physics knowledge along with logical and problem-solving skills. The syllabus includes:

  • Mechanics
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Waves and optics
  • Heat and thermodynamics
  • Modern physics
  • Miscellaneous Questions

Physics SAT Subjects

Having already understood the format of the test, let’s now move to the next section which will deal with the syllabus of SAT II.

Major areas covered in the Test Subject-1 under the area  Subject-2 under the area Subject-3 under the area
Mechanics: 36% to 42% Kinematics and Dynamics Energy and Momentum Circular motion, Simple harmonic motion, and Gravity
Electricity and Magnetism: 18% to 24% Electric fields, Forces and Potentials Capacitance, Circular Elements, and DC Circuits Magnetism
Waves and Optics: 15% to 19% General Wave Properties Reflection and Refraction Ray Optics and Physical Optics
Heat and Thermodynamics: 6% to 11% Thermal Properties Thermal Expansion and Heat Transfer Laws of thermodynamics
Modern Physics: 6% to 11% Quantum Phenomena Atomic Energy levels Nuclear and particle physics Relativity
Miscellaneous: 4% to 9% History of Physics and General Questions Analytical Skills Contemporary Physics

Also Read: Top Universities Accepting SAT Scores

SAT Physics Question Types

SAT Physics paper includes three types of questions including:

  • Recall questions- This covers 12-20% of the SAT Physics questions and requires fundamental knowledge
  • Single concept questions- This covers 48-64% of the questions and requires subjective knowledge
  • Multiple concept questions- This covers 12-20% of the questions and requires ability to connect ideas of different concepts

Test Details

Score 200-800
Time 60
Questions 75 multiple questions

SAT II Marking Scheme

Let’s have a look at the marking scheme of the SAT physics test. Mentioned in pointers, it will help you understand the scheme more comprehensively.

  • One point is added for each correct answer.
  • A fraction of a point is subtracted for each wrong answer as follows:
    • 1/4 point is subtracted for five-choice questions.
    • 1/3 point is subtracted for four-choice questions.
    • 1/2 point is subtracted for three-choice questions.
  • No points are deducted for unanswered questions.
  • If the resulting score is a fraction, it is rounded to the nearest whole number — 1/2 or more is rounded up; less than 1/2 is rounded down.

Important Points to Remember

Here are some of the important points that you need to remember for the SAT Physics course:

  • SAT Physics test is conducted during the months of August, October, November, December, May and June.
  • Calculator is not allowed
  • Problem solving needs to be in simple numerical calculations
  • Measurements will be followed under Metric system

Tips for Physics Subject

The SAT Physics exam can be tough but here are some of the tips that will help you through the process:

  • Use the class materials for preparation
  • Focus on time management while preparing
  • Learn all the formulas
  • Analyse your answers and double check them


Is SAT physics subject test difficult?

The idea of difficulty is relative; what may be challenging for me may be simple for you. After all, the SAT Physics Test is meant to gauge how well you comprehend fundamental ideas, so you don’t need to memorise complicated formulas or practise really challenging questions.

Does the SAT test physics?

The SAT II in Physics Test, according to the College Board, covers mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, heat and thermodynamics, modern physics, and other ad hoc ideas. Over half of the test is made up of questions on mechanics, electricity, and magnetism.

Does 3 weeks of SAT preparation suffice?

Although it’s possible to prepare for the SAT in a month, it’s advised that you put in 10 to 20 hours per week over the course of two or three months.

Also Read: SAT Study Material

We hope this blog on the SAT Physics subject test has provided you with all the details necessary to appear in the test. Do you want to attain your dream SAT score? Then what are you waiting for? Let the professionals at Leverage Edu take care of your academic journey. You can book an online demo session with the team. Our team will guide you throughout your SAT preparations. Book your free 30 minutes of e-counselling now and discover new educational possibilities like never before!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *