Most US schools require you to write the SAT, but a few (including the highly competitive ones) require you to write two or three SAT Subject Tests as well. Be sure to review your prospective school’s application process for details. In general, subject tests are a great way to show your interest and skill in a certain subject and will help increase your chances of getting into a US college. Here is a quick rundown of SAT Subject Tests:
- 20 different subject tests are offered, but only some are offered on specific dates. Go over Subject Test Dates to find out when you can write your Subject Test.
- Consists entirely of multiple-choice questions.
- Each subject test is scored on a scale of 200-800.
- A subject test takes 1 hour to write.
- A base fee of $24.50 is required to write a subject test and any additional tests are $13, except for Language with Listening tests which are an additional $24.
- You can write up to three subject tests on one test date, but you cannot take a subject test and the SAT on the same day.
- Those applying for Early Decision or Early Action are recommended to take their Subject Test by October or November of Grade 12. Regular decision applicants have until January to take their Subject Tests.
- Some colleges determine placement based on your subject test scores and can exempt you from a class in that subject.
Similar to the SAT, subject test dates and registration information can be found on the College Board website. After registering, if you change your mind about which subject tests to take or how many you plan on writing, you can make the appropriate changes on the actual test day (except for Language with Listening tests).
SAT Subject Test Tips
- When choosing which subject test to write, identify any you may need for your college application. For your additional subject tests, play to your strengths and choose subjects that you are confident you will score well on. If possible, take tests from very different subjects to show that you are a well-rounded student. Never take a subject test on a subject you are not confident in.
- It’s best to write your test right after you’ve taken a course on the subject so that the content is still fresh in your head. However, languages should only be taken after having plenty of practice and study.
- Language with Listening tests are only administered once per year on the same day.
- Study! Just like the SAT, you will need to put in a lot of time and effort to ensure you get the best score.
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