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.
SAT subject tests allow you to differentiate yourself in the college admission process or send a strong message regarding your readiness to study specific majors or programs in college. In conjunction with your other admission credentials (your high school record, SAT/ACT scores, teacher recommendations, etc.), they provide a more complete picture of your academic background and interests.
Some colleges also use subject tests to place students into the appropriate courses. Based on your performance on the test(s), you could potentially fulfill basic requirements or receive credit for introductory-level courses.
What Subject Tests are Offered?
- U.S. History
- World History
- Math level 1
- Math level 2
- Biology E/M [ecological versus molecular]
- French with listening
- German with listening
- Spanish with listening
- Modern Hebrew
- Japanese with listening
- Korean with listening
- Chinese with listening
How many Subject Tests do I need to take?
- Most schools that require subject tests want TWO subject tests.
- MANY schools do not require ANY subject tests.
- Occasionally, schools will ask for THREE subject tests.
The rule of thumb here is to make a list of all the schools to which you wish to apply, and write down next to each school what the individual testing requirements are. You may find out you don't even need subject tests, which is always great!
When Should I take the Subject Tests?
There is no one right time to take subject tests. You basically want to take the tests at a time that makes sense given your academic course load. If you are taking AP US History - you should take the US History subject test in May. If you are taking AP Biology, you could strongly consider taking the Bio subject test in May. If you are on the advanced math track, you can consider taking the Math 2 subject test in May or June of 10th grade.