What I Wish I Knew Before Taking SAT Subject Tests

You know about the SAT, but have you ever heard of SAT Subject Tests? Here's what one student wishes they knew before they took them.

CollegeXpress Student Writer

Originally Posted: Aug 3, 2017
Last Updated: Aug 3, 2017

Most students have heard of the SAT and ACT, but many don’t know about SAT Subject Tests. These standardized tests are one-hour long and focus on one specific subject such as math, history, English, science, or language. Before my junior year of high school, I had never heard of these exams. Here’s what I wish I had known before I took the SAT Subject Tests.

Related: Introduction to SAT Subject Tests

1. Many colleges require—or strongly recommend—SAT Subject Tests

The most crucial thing to know about SAT Subject Tests is that many colleges have policies regarding them. Make sure to research and find out whether schools you are interested in require these tests for admission and if so, how many they require. You can take up to three subject tests at a time, so make sure you know how many you should be taking to be considered for admission.

2. There are several options to choose from

There are 20 different subject tests that you can choose from, from Chemistry to Italian. These options are beneficial to you because you can choose to test in the subjects you feel most comfortable with. The large selection of subjects is also a key factor if you know what you want to major in. For example, if you want to major in Engineering, you may want to take one of the mathematics tests and maybe one of the science tests to show your dedication and enhance your application.

3. They are all multiple choice

Each of the 20 subject tests is one-hour long and full of multiple-choice questions. Depending on what kind of test-taker you are, this may or may not benefit you. But knowing that the tests are multiple choice, you can now begin to prepare for that exam style. Make sure to practice your time management skills as well as your bubble-filling strategies!

4. You can get college credit depending on your scores

By taking the SAT Subject Tests, you may be eligible to earn college credit. Some schools will take your SAT Subject Test scores into consideration when determining whether or not you have filled college requirements. Along with AP test scores, subject test scores may be helpful to you in the long run.

Now that you know the basics of the SAT Subject Tests, it’s time to start preparing! Think about which tests you want to take or how many you need to take, depending on what colleges you are applying to. The SAT Subject Tests are yet another score to be submitted along with your college applications, but these tests allow you to play to your strengths in order to get the best scores you can and improve your chances of admission. Good luck!

Related: Find study tips, articles, and exam advice in our Test Prep section

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About Hunter Freedman

Hi, I'm Hunter Freedman and I'm a junior at Phoenix Country Day School in Arizona! I've been writing for school newspapers for two years and I love to write about general news and the arts. I'm really excited to write for CollegeXpress and to share my college search and application process!


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