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SAT Subjects Offered on the SAT Subject Tests

Dec 31

What subjects are offered on the SAT Subject Tests?

Students and parents alike are usually anxious to find ways to prepare for the process of applying to college.  One of the most beneficial aspects of the process is to be familiar with the standardized testing options.    In addition to the SAT or ACT, students may choose to take the SAT Subject Tests.  These tests can be done anytime from the freshman through the junior year.

So, what are the SAT Subject Tests?

The College Board administers the SAT Subject Tests which are one hour long content-based tests that are designed to assess a student’s abilities and knowledge in specific subject areas.  It varies with the school, but in some cases these scores are used for admissions or advanced placement.

Tests are scored by giving students one point for each correct answer.  A fraction of a point is deducted for an incorrect answer.  No points are assessed or removed for questions that are not answered.  There are a possible 800 points on the exam and scores range between 200 and 800.  The College Board website gives more information about how each of the tests are scored.

The SAT Subject Tests are generally offered six times a year on the same dates as the SAT in the months of January, May, June, October, November and December.  Students may take up to three SAT Subject Tests in one day.  However, not all tests are offered on each date.  Check the College Board website for schedules and availability.

What subjects do the SAT Subject Tests cover?

There are 20 possible SAT Subject Test selected from the five subject areas of mathematics, science, English, history and foreign languages:

Math

  • Math Level 1
  • Math Level 2

Science

  • Biology E/M
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

English

  • Literature

History

  • U.S. History
  • World History

Foreign Languages

  • Chinese with Listening
  • French
  • French with Listening
  • German
  • German with Listening
  • Modern Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese with Listening
  • Latin
  • Spanish
  • Spanish with Listening

The College Board provides more information about the content and format of the SAT Subject Tests on their website.

When to take the SAT Subject Test.

Students may want to consider taking the SAT Subject Tests at the end of their sophomore year.  Things to consider include:

  • Has the student taken, or is the student currently taking course in the subject areas offered by the SAT Subject Tests?  It may be beneficial to take those tests right after the course work is completed so that the material is still fresh and new.
  • That doesn’t work for every subject for things such as math or foreign languages which require several years of study.
  • Students may select the individual scores they would like to have sent to colleges.
  • If the student is performing well in a particular subject course that may be a good indication that it’s time to take the SAT Subject Test in that particular area.  This will give the student the chance to highlight their academic strengths.
  • Taking the tests during the sophomore year will also allow the student more flexibility in taking the other standardized tests during their junior year or early part of their senior year.

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