Should I Take SAT Subject Tests?

In prepping for the SATs, ACTs, and everything else that comes with applying to college, you’ll likely come across a familiar but relatively lesser-known topic: SAT Subject Tests. But do these have much to do with the SATs? And do you need to include them in your preparation? Here’s everything you need to know if you’re wondering whether or not you should take SAT Subject Tests.

What are SAT Subject Tests?

SAT Subject Tests are legitimate college entrance exams offered by the College Board, the same organization that handles the SATs. These are shorter, multiple choice tests intended to gauge your familiarity with a given subject; those subjects include mathematics, biology, U.S. history, literature, and foreign languages.

Why Do People Take SAT Subject Tests?

There are a few reasons why people take SAT Subject Tests.

  • They can be a requirement. Sometimes, if you want to get into a specific program, a subject test is necessary. Some colleges may require SAT subject tests in unique knowledge areas as you apply to programs. The College Board can provide insight on whether your desired college requests you take a one of these tests.  
  • They can demonstrate strengths. If, for example, you perform exceptionally well in one area of the SATs, it may be beneficial to further demonstrate that strength. It’s important to give colleges as much information as possible about your academic qualities and abilities.
  • They aid with placement. You may need to “place” into a class that’s more advanced if you’re already proficient in a specific area. Colleges can use SAT Subject Tests to determine if your placement should be more advanced than the typical college entrant. It’s possible you may even get partial college credit for performing well on an SAT Subject Test.
  • Distinction. Taking an SAT Subject Test—such as one that demonstrates proficiency in a foreign language—helps highlight how you might make a stronger addition to the university than the average student.

What Can I Expect from the SAT Subject Tests?

Given the benefits listed above, there are a few key things to know about preparing for SAT Subject Tests. Here are the key takeaways from the College Board’s guide to subject tests.

  • There are 5 categories. These include languages, history, English, math, and science.
  • They are only multiple choice questions. Each test is multiple choice without essay questions.
  • Each test is an hour. This means you can calculate exactly how much time you have to spend on each question.
  • You’re graded on a 200-800 scale. 800 represents the best possible score.
  • You can take multiple tests. During a specific test date, you may be able to take multiple Subject Tests, but this is not a requirement. You can take one, two, or three tests of your choosing on the same day.

Prepare With An Expert

Now that you know if you should take SAT Subject Tests, it’s time to prepare. Consider SAT tutoring from an expert at Jantzi, who will help study for your subject of choice and sharpen multiple choice skills. We look forward to helping you ace your tests!