SAT II World History

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Things to beware about the SAT II Subject Test: World History exam are as follows.

  1. It tests "pre-history", which is unproven and often implausible speculation about a time period prior to historical records. This could be 5-10% of the exam.
  2. It uses "B.C.E." instead of "B.C." and "C.E." instead of "A.D.", even though no one denies that the dating system is based on the birth of Jesus.
  3. It is likely to credit humanism for the Renaissance, and credit the Enlightenment for more than it deserves. Christianity will receive little or no credit on the exam.
  4. Only 25% of this exam is about Europe. 10% is on EACH of Africa, Southwest Asia, South and Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Americas (areas other than the United States)
  5. The format of the test is one hour long, consisting of 95 multiple-choice questions. Many questions are written in a convoluted manner, and some students may run out of time.
  6. Questions that are "Global or Comparative" make up 25% of the exam.
  7. The CLEP exams on Western Civilization is a much better test of relevant historical knowledge. But the CLEP is more expensive than the SAT II (About $75 plus administrative fees for the CLEP compared with about $25 for the SAT II). However, a CLEP score actually confers college credits when administered in accordance with the requirements of a given college. The SAT II shows what a student knows before admission and is generally required as part of the admission process. Taking a CLEP test is informally known as "testing out" of a subject.

Tips for taking the exam

  1. Beware these words in answers, because these words are so sweeping that the answer is probably wrong: "only", "never", "always", "every" and "none".
  2. These words in an answer suggest that the answer may be the correct choice because they are not so sweeping: "rarely", "sometimes", "often" and "generally".