What Are the SAT Subject Tests?


studyingWhen you think about the SAT, you most likely think about the standardized test that many students take before entering college. But what you might not have heard of are the SAT Subject Tests. Here’s a quick rundown of what they are and how they’re beneficial.

What are SAT Subject Tests?

The SAT Subject Tests are 20 different exams in specific subjects, including math, science, English, history, and various languages. Formatted with multiple choice questions, they test your ability to comprehend high-level content in the given subject.

SAT Subject Tests cost $26 to register for one to three tests on one test date plus $22 per additional test. If you are taking a language test with listening, you will be asked to pay $26 instead of $22. The date of your exam and the number of questions on the test depend on the subject you’re taking.

What Do the SAT Subject Tests Include?

With 20 exams, each one-hour SAT Subject Tests offer a wide variety of options for students. Here’s what they include:

· Math Test Options

◦ Level 1: tests on three years of math, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry.

◦ Level 2: includes algebra and geometry along with trigonometry and precalculus.

· Science Test Options

◦ Biology

◦ Chemistry

◦ Physics

· English

· History Test Options

◦ U.S. History

◦ World History

· Languages Test Options

◦ Spanish (with or without Listening)

◦ French (with or without Listening)

◦ Chinese with Listening

◦ Italian

◦ German (with or without Listening)

◦ Modern Hebrew

◦ Latin

◦ Japanese with Listening

◦ Korean with Listening

Why Are the SAT Subject Tests Important?

Not every student will have to (or should) take an SAT Subject Test, but they can be a good boost to your college applications in general. In fact, some schools may actually require you to take a Subject Test for admittance to competitive or difficult programs. Quite a few colleges and universities use them for placement within the program as well as admission. They may also be useful for course selection.

If you’re confident in a particular subject or want to make your college application look more attractive, even if they’re not required by a school, taking a SAT Subject Test can be impressive.

SAT Subject Tests may not be required for college acceptance, but they can be a good addition to you college application. If you’re considering taking one of these, you can learn more and sign up on CollegeBoard. It’s important to note that certain Subject Tests are only available a few days out of the year, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. When you’re ready to start preparing for your exam, Method Test Prep also offers subject tutoring.

A Note About the Level of the Tests

Subject Tests are difficult: the content they test as written at essentially AP level. You should consider taking a Subject Test only if you have excelled in an AP- or IB-level course, or in an honors course designed specifically to prepare students for the Subject Test in its area. Be careful with honors classes: there is no standard "honors" curriculum, so the content and level of material in, say, an honors chemistry course varies widely across school districts. Many honors classes simply skip over too many topics or don't go into the depth necessary for preparing students for the Subject Test. If you're not sure whether your honors class curriculum will prepare you sufficiently, speak with your teacher to see how much material, if any, you'd have to cover on your own to get ready for the Subject Test.

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