SAT Subject Tests

It is the time of the year to decide if you are going to take any SAT Subject Tests (SAT 2) in May or June. Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions in my office.

What are Subject Tests? According to the CollegeBoard, “Subject Tests are hour-long, content-based tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas where you excel. These are the only national admission tests where you choose the tests that best showcase your achievements and interests.” Subject tests are simply another way for colleges to gather academic information.

Do I NEED to take Subject Tests? The answer to this question completely depends on your college list and your major interests. You may have some schools that neither require nor use subject test scores. There are schools that will take an ACT instead of an SAT 1 and SAT 2 Subject Tests. Other schools strongly recommend SAT 2 Subject Tests for specific majors. For the 2012-13 school year, the Guidance Department at Radnor High School in Pennsylvania compiled a comprehensive list of schools requiring or recommending SAT Subject tests. Click here to download and view the list. For official school information, please visit each individual school website for the most current testing policies.

What subjects are offered? Literature, U.S. History, World History, Math Level 1, Math Level 2, Biology/EM, Chemistry, Physics, French, French with Listening, German, German with Listening, Spanish, Spanish with Listening, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Chinese with Listening, Japanese with Listening, Korean with listening.* Please note that not all exams are offered at every test date.

How many exams should I take? You can take up to three tests during one testing date. I recommend taking 2-3 subjects depending on your school list. If you are considering engineering or a hard science major, you should take a Math Level 2 and either chemistry, physics or biology.

When should I take SAT Subject Tests? The best time to take the exams in May or June of the year you took the same subject. Students typically take the tests at the end of junior year. Studying for finals will help you with your subject exams. Students who take SAT Subject Exams at the end of freshman or sophomore year tend to not score very well.

Can I study for SAT Subject Tests? Yes!!! You can go to the CollegeBoard for sample questions. You can also buy a guide for specific tests or ask us for a practice exam.

What can I do now to be prepared? At your next session, ask me to print out a testing requirement report for the schools you are considering. Then you will need to go to the website of each of the schools to which you are considering applying and check the testing policy. Simply put in the name of the college and SAT Subject Tests in a search engine to get to the information as easily as possible.