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5 Facts about SAT® Subject Tests

Student writingIf you're in high school, it's important to look ahead to the college admissions process and start planning for each task you'll need to complete. One of the most important initial undertakings is to check admissions requirements at the colleges in which you're interested, as they can differ greatly from school to school. It can be useful to create a spreadsheet or use our College Application Manager to stay organized. As part of this task, you might learn that some colleges require SAT Subject Tests (also know as the SAT II). What are they and how do they fit into the overall admissions process? We've highlighted 5 important facts below about SAT Subject Tests.

  • Fact 1: SAT Subject Tests are not the SAT. They are hour-long, multiple choice exams that test you on your knowledge of subjects on a high school level. The best way to prepare is to take courses in those subject matters and work hard in them. You can ask your school counselor for help in selecting those classes.

  • Fact 2: You must take the SAT Subject Test if a college or university on your list requires the test for admission. This often occurs if you’re applying to take specific courses or enter a certain program. For example, applicants to the Cooper Union Engineering program must take SAT Subject Tests in both Math and either Physics or Chemistry.

  • Fact 3: There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general subject areas: English, History, Languages, Mathematics, and Science.

  • Fact 4: There are generally seven dates each year that offer SAT Subject Tests, but not every subject is available on every date. Be sure to reference the list of test dates and then check with your school counselor to confirm availability at your high school.

  • Fact 5: It is recommended that you take the SAT Subject Test right after you’ve completed the class in that subject area so the material will be fresh in your mind. For some students this could even be during freshman or sophomore year. Talk to your school counselor or teacher to figure out what timing works best for you.

Full additional information on SAT Subject Tests, including test dates, practice questions, and test-taking tips, visit the SAT Subject Test homepage.

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