SAT Subject Tests: Languages

Are you fluent in another language? Maybe even two? Impress your future school by taking one of the SAT Subject Tests dedicated to a language. The tests are available in a variety of different languages. Here’s what you need to know about the available exams.

Languages Overview

The SAT Subject Tests in Languages has 12 different options. They include Spanish, Spanish with Listening, French, French with Listening, Chinese with Listening, Italian, German, German with Listening, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Japanese with Listening, and Korean with Listening.

The listening exams are separate tests. If you’re confident in Spanish for example, you may want to take both the Spanish test and the Spanish with Listening exam. You will need to bring a CD player for your test day if you plan on taking the Listening portion.

Languages Breakdown

For the Subject Tests without the listening, each exam is 60 minutes long. The number of questions varies slightly from test to test, but you can expect 70 multiple choice questions for Latin and 80 to 85 questions for the other subjects. The scores can range between 200 and 800.

The Subject Tests with Listening are also 60 minutes long. You get 20 minutes for the listening portion and 40 minutes for usage and reading. Most of the exams have between 80 and 85 multiple choice questions, but Chinese with Listening has 70 to 75.

For each of these tests, you should have a strong grasp on the second language, understand structure and grammar, know vocabulary, and be able to translate. Some of the questions will contain passages that you would run into on any given day. Overall, you should be confident in listening comprehension, usage, and reading comprehension when it comes to the language you are taking an exam in.

Prepping for the Test

One of the best ways to have a study session for these tests is to use the same resources and tools that helped you become fluent in the language in the first place. This could be listening exercises, flashcards, or just speaking with someone else. However, don’t stick to just those. You will definitely want to find a partner or tutor to help you prepare so you don’t get rusty and to ensure you’re on track. It’s suggested that you have several years of practice in the specific language through high school courses.

Practice tests are also a must. You can see sample questions, read passages, and get an idea on what to expect for the listening portions. Now is the time to create a study schedule.

Regardless of which language you choose, learning a new language is tough, but if you’re confident in your reading or listening abilities of the language, this might be the test for you. Be honest with yourself when it comes to your skill in the language, but also know that if you don’t want to send your test scores in, you don’t have to. It may be worth the chance! Also note that these exams are only available during specific months, so make sure you’re planning ahead and creating a schedule that works for you.

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Hilary Cairns

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