All About SAT Subject Tests

You know about the SAT, but have you ever heard about the SAT Subject Tests? They’re another way to help your admission chances with colleges. Here’s everything you need to know:

What are the SAT Subject Tests?

Rather than testing you on a number of subjects like the SAT or ACT, the SAT Subject Tests are narrowed down into 20 different subjects, and how many you take is up to you. Each individual test is on one particular subject (you won’t see US History on your Biology test). An hour long, you’ll be asked to complete a series of multiple choice questions. The number of questions depends on the test.

Your results can provide a huge boost to your college acceptance odds and they can be a great supplement to your SAT or ACT results and high school transcripts. Some colleges also use these results to help you select courses or decide what level placement you should be in.

What Subjects Are Included?

The five main topics are Math, English, Science, Languages, and History. Math, Science, Languages, and History have various subjects for you to choose from.

Math includes Math Level 1 and Math Level 2. Level 2 will test you on tougher aspects of the subject, such as precalculus, so you want to think carefully about your math skills if you’re planning on taking one of these. However, your results on this exam could help the school decide what math course in college you should be taking. Some schools will even allow you to skip math completely as a general requirement if you score well enough.

The English test quizzes you on literary concepts, English terms, and other aspects of literature. There is only one English subject exam.

Science provides three choices for subjects: Biology E/M, Physics, and Chemistry. If you’re planning on majoring in one of these subjects or something similar, these can be a great way to show off your talent and passion for science.

Languages has the most tests and these absolutely are used by schools to help decide your level of proficiency in foreign language courses for your freshman year. The languages included are Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Latin, Korean, Japanese, and Italian. Some of these languages also either require listening sections or allow the option of taking it with or without a listening portion.

And History provides you with two options of this social study: US History and World History. If you’re planning on majoring in history, these tests are your opportunity to show off your knowledge.

How To Sign Up

Signing up for a SAT Subject test is as easy as signing up for the SAT. They’re usually held in the same locations as the SAT, but the dates may not always be available. Some subjects are also only offered for a few weeks each year.

At registration, you’re welcome to take up to three subject tests in a single day. Make sure you’re taking the exams that matter to your college degree. If you excel in history, but it has nothing to do with your intended major, you may want to skip it and take another exam that shows off your skills.

Before you sign up or head to the exam, ensure you’re following the proper procedure. Some tests do not allow the use of calculators, for example. This information can also come in handy: The Chemistry Subject Test will provide each student with a periodic table, so you don’t have to think about memorizing it.

If you’re planning on taking an SAT Subject Test, treat it as you do the SAT! It’s important to prepare, know what to expect, and study before you sit down to take the exam.

Check out how your SAT scores affect your acceptance odds with College Raptor’s free match tool!


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