What Are SAT Subject Tests?

What are SAT Subject Tests?

SAT Subject Tests, also sometimes known as SAT II Tests, are multiple choice exams that test a high school student’s knowledge on a particular subject matter.  There are a total of 20 subject tests in the following 5 areas: Math, English, Science, History, and Languages.

Why Should I Take SAT Subject Tests?

Some students are required to take SAT subject tests as part of the application process for some colleges.  Other students choose to take SAT subject tests for specific subjects they excelled in during high school, like Biology. These tests provide you with another opportunity to show colleges what you know.  Your scores will be considered in the admissions process, however for most schools, they are not required.

What Should I Expect on Exam Day?

Students are allowed to take up to three SAT Subject tests per testing day.  You should expect to receive a fairly large testing booklet, containing the questions for all of the subject tests available on that date, and an answer sheet.  You do not have to take the tests in any particular order.  You will receive a 5 minute break in between the first and the second test, and a 1 minute “stretch” break in between the second and the third test.

How Does the Scoring Process Work?

Each individual SAT Subject Test is scored on a scale of 200 to 800.  However, some of the tests are scored on a curve, so it impossible to receive a 200 even if you get every question wrong.

How Do They Factor Into the Admissions Process?

Some of the more selective schools will require applicants to take 2-3 SAT Subject Tests, in addition to the SAT.  You should visit each school’s website to find out more information about their specific SAT Subject Test requirements.

Also, some schools are more lenient with SAT Subject Test requirements if the student also submits scores for the ACT in place of (or in addition to) the SAT.  Again, check the school’s official website to find out their specific test requirements.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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