The General Scholastic Ability Test (GSAT) evaluates student’s basic skills and knowledge while the AST evaluates students’ advanced learning outcomes and potential in the subject. Therefore, the AST is more advanced than the GSAT.
The AST Chemistry evaluates students’ learning outcomes through different assessment tasks. Although different subjects usually have different teaching goals, most teachers strive to achieve the following outcomes: to impart knowledge of a certain subject, to train the ability to think and deduce, to teach the skills to do experiments or implement knowledge, to train the ability to understand certain subjects and express their ideas, and to raise interest and cultivate the right attitude toward certain topics. The AST Chemistry is designed to evaluate students’ capability in the following four areas:
- Basic knowledge and concepts
- Skills of conducting experiments
- Ability to think and make inferences
- Ability to apply knowledge
The AST Chemistry also aims to evaluate students’ ability on the following areas:
1. To evaluate basic knowledge of chemistry
- 1a. Basic terms, definitions and phenomena in chemistry
- 1b. Basic principles, theories, and laws in physics
2. To evaluate ability to conduct basic experiments in chemistry
- 2a. Skills to operate chemistry equipment and devices
- 2b. Ability to observe, document, analyze, and interpret chemistry experiments
- 2c. Ability to conduct experiments in a safe, clean, and environmentally friendly way
3. To evaluate ability to think and make inferences
- 3a. Ability to understand information of chemistry
- 3b. Ability to do calculations in chemistry
- 3c. Ability to analyze, organize, deduce, and create in chemistry
- 3d. Ability to design experiment and solve problems
4. To evaluate students’ ability to apply their knowledge of chemistry
- 4a. Understanding the relations between chemistry and life
- 4b. Understanding the relations between chemistry and other subjects
- 4c. Solving problems using chemistry principles
Questions on the AST Chemistry are based on materials covered in Elementary Chemistry I, Elementary Chemistry II, Elementary Chemistry III, Elective Chemistry, and Elective Chemistry Experiment.
Focus of the Questions
The focus of AST Chemistry:
- Basic chemistry knowledge in four areas: state, properties, structures, and change of matter. Questions will cover and connect key concepts in these four areas.
- Ability to calculate in chemistry. Calculation is an integral part of studying chemistry. Previous AST Chemistry exams have included calculation questions as an important part of the test.
- Students’ ability to conduct experiments in chemistry. Studying chemistry requires conducting chemistry experiments. Questions on the AST Chemistry cover various aspects of conducting an experiment such as understanding experiment principles, procedures and methods as well as organizing data and conducting experiments safely.
- Students’ ability to apply chemistry knowledge in their daily lives. Chemistry is a basic science of matter that is closely related to phenomena and scenarios in daily life. Understanding how to apply chemistry knowledge in everyday life is also a trend in chemistry education.
- Students’ ability to read, analyze, and integrate information and statistics in chemistry. Like the GSAT Science, the AST Chemistry evaluates not only knowledge of basic chemistry but also skills in the subject. Questions that come in sets are included to see if students can connect the dots in their chemistry knowledge.