Test Info: SAT Subject Tests

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SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests, previously named the SAT II Subject Tests, are standardized tests that assess students’ knowledge and skills in particular subject areas. They give students the opportunity to display mastery of specific subjects to prospective colleges and universities and allow schools to make more informed decisions based on a student’s current level of education. Subject tests may also allow students to skip introductory classes and/or satisfy distribution requirements otherwise mandated by a college or university. Subject Tests are offered six times every school year on the same dates as the SAT with the exception of the March SAT date, on which only the SAT Reasoning test is offered. Students may take up to three Subject Tests on the same date but may not take the SAT on that same test date.

Every year, approximately 500,000 students take one or more SAT Subject Tests, which are available in 20 different subjects from five broader subject areas: English, History, Mathematics, Science, and Foreign Language. However, some Subject Tests, such as World History and certain Foreign Language tests, are not offered on all of the testing dates. Subject Tests are given in a multiple-choice format and are each one hour long. They are scored on a scale ranging from 200 to 800 points. Because schools vary widely with regard to SAT Subject Test requirements, students should check individual college and university websites for information on each school’s requirements.

Satisfying some or all of the potential SAT Subject Test requirements in the first and/or second year of high school can be instrumental in successfully managing the pressures of junior and senior year. Accordingly, we recommend that students consider taking Subject Tests closely tied to the coursework they’re covering in school beginning in the ninth grade. SAT Subject Test requirements may represent a substantial part of a student’s overall standardized test-preparation strategy and should therefore be contemplated and anticipated from the beginning of the standardized test-preparation process.

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