SAT Subject Tests are college admission exams on specific subjects. These are the only national admission tests where you choose the tests that best showcase your strengths and interests.
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- There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics and science. See the subjects.
- Each Subject Test is an hour long. They are all multiple-choice and scored on a 200–800 scale.
- Subject Tests test you on your knowledge of subjects on a high school level. The best way to prepare is to take the relevant courses and work hard in them.
When, Where, and How
- SAT Subject Tests are generally given six times in any given school year, on the same days and in the same test centers as the SAT — but not all 20 tests are offered on every SAT date. Find out when specific tests will be given.
- The Language with Listening tests are offered in November. After 2020, tests are offered in May. Upcoming administrations are in November 2019, November 2020 (U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands only), and May 2021.
- You can take one, two, or three Subject Tests on any test date.
- You can’t take the SAT and an SAT Subject Test on the same day.
- Some SAT Subject Tests require you to bring special equipment — for example, CD players for Language with Listening tests.
- You choose what tests to take when you register, but on test day, you can add, subtract, or switch tests — with some limitations.
Because the SAT Subject Tests are based on high school course work, the best way to prepare for them is by learning the material taught in the corresponding classes and using the textbooks that you’re already using for those classes.
If you’re doing well in these courses or taking advanced level courses (such as honors, dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, IB), Subject Tests are an excellent opportunity for you to show your understanding of the subject area.
Think About Your Interests and Strengths
The SAT Subject Tests that you take should be based on your interests and academic strengths. The tests are a great way to show colleges your interest in specific majors or programs of study (e.g., engineering, pre-med, cultural studies), and to highlight your strong points.
Research College Requirements or Recommendations
You should also consider whether the colleges that you’re interested in require or recommend a specific Subject Test to enter a program or major. Remember, even if a college does not require Subject Test scores, submitting your scores may enhance your college application.