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SAT Subject Tests: What You Need to Know

College Board Will No Longer Offer SAT Subject Tests or SAT with Essay

Introduction to SAT Subject Tests

Are you a high school student wondering how to stand out in the college admissions process? Look no further than SAT Subject Tests! These specialized exams can help showcase your knowledge and skills in specific subject areas, giving you an extra edge when applying to colleges. In this blog post, we’ll dive into what SAT Subject Tests are all about, why they matter, and how you can best prepare for success. So let’s get started on this exciting journey of test-taking excellence!

Why are SAT Subject Tests important?

SAT Subject Tests, also known as SAT II tests, play a significant role in the college admissions process. While the regular SAT measures general knowledge and skills, these subject-specific exams allow students to showcase their expertise in particular academic areas.

One key reason why SAT Subject Tests are important is that they provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their strengths in specific subjects. Colleges often use these scores as an additional piece of information when evaluating applicants’ academic abilities. A high score on a relevant subject test can strengthen your application and set you apart from other candidates.

Additionally, certain colleges may require or recommend SAT Subject Test scores for admission into specific programs or majors. For example, if you’re planning to study engineering or computer science, taking Math Level 2 and Physics subject tests could be advantageous.

Another advantage of taking SAT Subject Tests is that they can potentially earn you college credit or advanced placement at some institutions. Scoring well on a subject test could exempt you from introductory-level courses in college and give you the opportunity to enroll directly in more challenging classes.

Moreover, performing well on these tests demonstrates your dedication and commitment to learning beyond what is required by your school curriculum. It shows that you have taken the initiative to explore subjects deeply and can handle rigorous coursework.

While not all colleges require or consider SAT Subject Test scores during the admissions process, earning good marks on these exams can boost your chances of acceptance into competitive schools and highlight your academic prowess in specific areas of interest. So if you have strong aptitude in any particular subjects covered by the tests, it’s wise to give them serious consideration when preparing for college applications.

Also Read: Mastering SAT Subject Tests: Your Key to College

What subjects are covered in the SAT Subject Tests?

SAT Subject Tests cover a wide range of subjects, allowing students to showcase their knowledge and expertise in specific areas. Whether you excel in mathematics, science, history, literature, or foreign languages, there is likely a SAT Subject Test that aligns with your strengths.

In the realm of sciences, you can choose from Biology (Ecological or Molecular), Chemistry, or Physics tests. These exams assess your understanding of key concepts and problem-solving skills within these disciplines. For those interested in Mathematics and its applications, there are Math Level 1 and Math Level 2 tests available.

If humanities are more your forte, SAT Subject Tests offer options such as U.

S History World History Literature tests. These exams evaluate your comprehension of historical events or literary works while gauging critical thinking abilities.

Additionally, language enthusiasts have the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency by taking Language Subject Tests in French German Spanish Chinese Japanese Korean Italian Latin even Hebrew!

Each subject test has its own unique format and content focus. It’s important to research the specific requirements for each exam you plan on taking so that you can tailor your preparation accordingly.

It’s clear that SAT Subject Tests provide an avenue for students to highlight their academic strengths beyond just general knowledge. By focusing on specific subjects relevant to their interests or intended major field of study colleges gain valuable insights into applicants’ capabilities making these tests an essential part of the college admissions process!

How are the tests structured?

SAT Subject Tests are multiple-choice exams that measure your knowledge and skills in specific subject areas. Each test is 60 minutes long, except for the Language with Listening tests which are slightly longer. The number of questions varies depending on the subject, but generally, you can expect around 50 to 85 questions.

The structure of each test focuses on assessing your understanding of core concepts and application of knowledge. Questions range from straightforward recall to more complex problem-solving scenarios. It’s important to note that these tests do not include an essay section.

One key feature of SAT Subject Tests is that you have the flexibility to choose which subjects you want to take based on your strengths and interests. You can take one or multiple tests on a single test date, as long as they don’t overlap in time.

To maximize your score potential, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the content and format of each test beforehand. Official practice materials provided by College Board can help you gain confidence and improve your performance.

Remember, while studying for these exams is essential, developing effective test-taking strategies such as time management and process-of-elimination techniques will also greatly contribute to your success.

So now that we’ve covered how SAT Subject Tests are structured let’s delve into some tips for studying and preparing for these exams! Stay tuned!

Tips for Studying and Preparing for the Exams

  1. Start Early: It’s never too early to begin preparing for SAT Subject Tests. Give yourself ample time to review the material and practice answering questions.

    2. Know the Test Format: Familiarize yourself with the structure of each subject test you plan to take. Understand how many sections there are, how much time you have per section, and what types of questions to expect.

    3. Create a Study Plan: Develop a study schedule that allows you to cover all necessary topics without feeling overwhelmed. Break down your study sessions into smaller, manageable chunks and allocate specific times for each subject.

    4. Utilize Resources: Take advantage of online resources, such as practice tests, study guides, and video tutorials related to your chosen subjects. These materials can help reinforce concepts and provide additional practice opportunities.

    5. Practice Time Management: During your preparation phase, focus on improving your speed while maintaining accuracy. Set timers during practice tests or timed sections to simulate real exam conditions.

    6. Review Past Exams: Get familiar with past exams or sample questions from official College Board resources or reputable prep books in order to gain insight into question styles and content areas that frequently appear on the tests.

    7. Seek Help if Needed: If you’re struggling with certain subjects or concepts, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from teachers, tutors, or classmates who may be able to offer guidance and clarification.

    8. Cultivate Effective Study Habits: Identify which studying techniques work best for you—whether it’s making flashcards, creating outlines, or participating in group discussions—and incorporate them into your routine.

When should you take SAT Subject Tests?

When should you take SAT Subject Tests? This is a common question that many students have as they navigate the college admissions process. The answer really depends on your individual circumstances and goals.

One factor to consider is when you will have completed the necessary coursework for each test. Since SAT Subject Tests are designed to assess your knowledge in specific subjects, it’s important to take them after you’ve covered the material in class. For example, if you’re taking AP Biology during your junior year, it may make sense to take the corresponding SAT Subject Test at the end of that school year while the information is still fresh in your mind.

Another consideration is timing in relation to other standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT. It’s generally recommended to focus on one set of exams at a time so that you can dedicate enough time and energy to prepare effectively. If possible, try not to schedule all of your tests back-to-back; spacing them out over several months can help prevent burnout.

Additionally, think about how much time you’ll need for preparation. Some students may feel confident with their subject knowledge and only require minimal review, while others might benefit from more intensive studying. Consider factors such as extracurricular commitments and academic workload when deciding when to take these tests.

Keep in mind any application deadlines set by colleges or universities that require or recommend SAT Subject Tests. Some schools may want scores submitted by a certain date, so plan accordingly and give yourself enough time before those deadlines.

How do colleges use SAT Subject Test scores?

Colleges and universities consider SAT Subject Test scores as a valuable component of the admissions process. These scores provide a more specific measure of your knowledge and skills in particular subjects, allowing colleges to assess your academic strengths.

High SAT Subject Test scores can demonstrate proficiency in certain subject areas that align with your intended major or field of study. For example, if you’re applying for an engineering program, strong Math Level 2 or Physics test scores would be highly beneficial.

Impressive performance on multiple SAT Subject Tests may give you an edge over other candidates by showcasing a well-rounded skill set. It shows dedication and commitment to learning across various disciplines.

Additionally, some competitive schools require or strongly recommend specific SAT Subject Tests for admission. They use these tests as criteria for evaluating applicants’ readiness for rigorous coursework within their chosen majors.

Moreover, colleges also use SAT Subject Test scores to compare students from different educational backgrounds or regions. These standardized test results level the playing field and provide a common benchmark for evaluation purposes.

While not all colleges require or heavily weigh SAT Subject Test scores in their admissions decisions anymore (due to recent policy changes), submitting strong results can still enhance your application and demonstrate academic prowess in specific subjects relevant to your college aspirations.

Alternatives to SAT Subject Tests

Are you considering alternatives to SAT Subject Tests? While these tests can be beneficial for some students, they are not the only way to showcase your academic strengths. Here are a few alternative options to consider:

1. AP Exams: Advanced Placement (AP) courses offer an opportunity to earn college credit while demonstrating mastery in a particular subject. Many colleges and universities accept AP exam scores as evidence of your knowledge and ability.

2. IB Diploma Program: The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is another rigorous curriculum option that includes exams in various subjects. Like AP exams, IB scores can carry weight with admissions officers.

3. Dual Enrollment Courses: Taking college-level courses at a local community college or university can demonstrate your ability to handle higher-level coursework and provide additional evidence of academic readiness.

4. Showcase Extracurricular Achievements: If you excel in extracurricular activities such as music, art, athletics, or community service, highlight these accomplishments on your college applications. Admissions officers often value well-rounded applicants who have pursued their passions outside of the classroom.

Remember that each college has its own specific requirements and preferences when it comes to standardized testing and evaluating applicants holistically. Research the schools you’re interested in to understand what alternatives they may accept or prefer instead of SAT Subject Tests.

Also Read: SAT Tips: Strategies for Excelling in the Scholastic Assessment Test


SAT Subject Tests can be an important part of your college admissions journey. These tests offer you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and skills in specific subjects, allowing colleges to gain a deeper understanding of your academic abilities.

By demonstrating expertise in certain subject areas, SAT Subject Tests can help differentiate you from other applicants. They provide a standardized measure that colleges can use to evaluate your strengths and potential as a student.

It’s important to carefully consider which subjects align with your interests, strengths, and future academic goals before deciding which SAT Subject Tests to take. Take advantage of the resources available online, such as practice tests and study guides, to prepare effectively for each exam.

When planning when to take the exams, remember that some colleges have specific requirements or recommendations regarding SAT Subject Test scores. Research the policies of the schools you are interested in applying to so that you can plan accordingly.

Keep in mind that while SAT Subject Test scores are just one piece of the college admissions puzzle, they can still play a significant role. Colleges may use these scores as additional evidence of your academic abilities and potential success at their institution.

If SAT Subject Tests aren’t feasible for you or don’t align with your strengths or interests, there are alternatives available. Some colleges accept Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores instead or have their own placement exams for certain subjects. It’s essential to research each individual college’s requirements and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Is it true that College Board is no longer offering SAT subject tests or SAT with essays?

A: Yes, College Board has announced that they will no longer offer SAT subject tests or SAT with essays after June 2021.

Q2: Why did College Board decide to discontinue SAT subject tests and SAT with essay?

A: College Board has stated that they made this decision to simplify the college application process and to better align with the needs of students and colleges.

Q3: How will this decision impact students who have already taken SAT subject tests or SAT with essays?

A: Students who have already taken these exams will still be able to send their scores to colleges and universities until their scores expire.

Q4: What should students do if they were planning on taking SAT subject tests or SAT with essays?

A: Students should talk to their guidance counselor or college admissions advisor to determine if they should take the SAT without an essay or explore other testing options, such as AP exams.

Q5: Will this change affect the difficulty or content of the SAT exam itself?

A: No, the discontinuation of SAT subject tests and SAT with essays will not impact the difficulty or content of the SAT exam. The SAT exam will continue to cover the same topics and skills as before.

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