What Is A SAT Subject Test And Should You Take It?

All students know about the importance of taking the SAT test for college applications but not many know about SAT subject tests and others mistakenly use the term interchangeably with SAT tests. The two are not the same. SAT subject tests are distinctly different from SAT tests.

A brown pencil against a white piece of paper.

What is a Subject Test?

An SAT subject test is an hour-long test that gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in a specific subject. There are a total of 20 subject tests and students can choose which ones they would like to take, depending on the college program they are applying to.

Not all colleges require applicants to compulsorily take the subject test and those that do, will generally not ask for more than three subject test scores. If you are applying to a college that asks for subject test scores, then you have no choice but to do the test. However, if the college does not state this as a requirement, you have a choice.

How To Decide Whether Or Not To Take The SAT Subject Test

Experts suggest that you should take the subject test in a particular subject only if you are especially knowledgeable in that subject and if you perform well on these tests. Getting high scores in a subject test may give you the edge with your application in some colleges. On the other hand, doing poorly in the test could have the opposite effect and may undermine your solid academic grades. You must give this some thought and definitely do several practice tests if you decide to sit for an SAT subject test.

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