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SAT Subject Tests: The Key Details


Getting into your dream college isn’t always easy, especially as the competition grows each year. Students must stand out from the other applicants to guarantee they receive an acceptance letter. SAT Subject Tests are a great way for students to showcase their strengths and make their college application appear more astute. But passing SAT subject tests is a challenge in itself. Knowing the key details of SAT Subject Tests will help prepare students to earn scores that will surely impress college admission counselors.

SAT Subject Tests 101

The SAT Subject Tests are one-hour-long standardized exams that focus on one specific subject. These subjects include Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Sciences), History (World History, US History, European History, and Art History), Languages (French, Spanish, Latin, Italian, Chinese, German, and Japanese), Math (Calculus and Statistics), Computer Science, English Literature and Composition, Comparative Government and Politics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Psychology,

Taking the SAT subject tests grants students another opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills in a subject they excel in or express interest. Moreover, these tests measure how much students have learned in high school and predict their academic potential. These exams do not correspond to specific textbooks or teaching methods, but rather core concepts taught in typical high school classes. They can measure how familiar a student is with the subject in a broad sense as well focusing in on specific information.

If students perform well on SAT Subject Tests, it can enhance college applications, especially if the subject relates to the students intended major. Colleges that do not require subject tests often still consider the scores during the application process because they do help show student’s strengths. These test scores can also be useful for college course placement in certain classes or out of some introductory courses.

Students can sign up for any SAT subject test they want and can take up to three tests in one sitting. If a student is particularly strong in a few subjects, they should consider taking more than one test to best showcase them as a well-rounded student. If students change their mind, they can even decide to change the subject or amount of tests they take on the exam day. There is a lot of flexibility with these tests and they can only help student’s college process, so there is no harm in taking them.

Prepare for SAT Subject Tests

The best way to do well on SAT Subject Tests is to know what to expect. Students should review requirements and special instructions for the specific test they are taking. For example, having a calculator ready for the mathematics subject tests. It will help if students are familiar with the instructions before test day so that they do not run into any last minute confusion. Before tackling an SAT subject test, students should familiarize themselves with how the scoring works. Students aren’t penalized for unanswered questions; meanwhile, students will lose a fraction of a point for each incorrect answer. Students do not have to worry about having time to answer every single question since they can still receive a high score based on the amount answered correctly.

Students should make sure they know the date and time of their subject tests and come well rested and having eaten breakfast beforehand. It’s also essential that students pace themselves and do not guess on any question. Finally, high school students should consider taking SAT Subject Tests, even if they aren’t required, so that they can display their strengths and stand out to admission counselors. By knowing what to expect and familiarizing oneself with the structure of the exam, students can have test scores that will impress their dream schools.