Test Prep

An Overview of the SAT Subject Tests

While the SAT test measures your critical thinking skills in a variety of subjects, the SAT Subject Test is a bit different. The SAT Subject Test is a measure of your knowledge in a specific subject. When applying to some colleges, they may require or suggest taking the SAT Subject Test. These tests can be useful to prospective colleges who want to measure your knowledge of subjects relating to the degree program for which you are applying. They can be useful for you if you want to set yourself apart from the competition by demonstrating to your prospective colleges what you know.

There are 20 different tests that fall into five main categories: English, foreign language, history, science and math. Each test takes one hour and you can take up to 3 tests in one day. The first test costs $26, with each additional test at $26 for language tests with listening and $20 for all other subjects. Below is a breakdown of the 20 different tests:

Math – 2 Subject Tests

There are two different math tests, math level 1, and math level 2. Math 1 tests you assuming that you took college prep math courses in high school, including algebra and geometry. Math 2 test the same as Math 1, with the addition of trigonometry and pre-calculus.

Language – 12 Subject Tests

The language subjects offered are: Spanish, Spanish with listening, French, French with listening, Chinese with listening, Italian, German, German with listening, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Japanese with listening, Korean with listening. All of these tests consist of multiple choice questions designed to help you demonstrate your mastery of the language. The “with listening” tests include a section with audio questions, so that you can demonstrate your ability to understand the spoken language as well as the written.

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History – 2 Subject Tests

The subject tests offered are World History and US History. The World History has 95 questions that deal with all eras and areas of the world. US History has 90 questions relating directly with the United States since pre-Columbian times.

English – 1 Subject Test

This subject relates to literature. During the test you will answer 60 multiple choice questions that will measure your ability to read and interpret literature from all genres and time periods. Typically there will be several questions related to one passage.

Science – 3 Subject Tests

The science tests relate to 3 main disciplines; biology, chemistry and physics. Biology has two subcategories that you can choose from; ecological or molecular. Ecological biology questions focus on ecosystems and communities while molecular biology focuses more on biochemistry and the structure and process of biology. The chemistry and physics tests can help someone interested in a science or engineering field demonstrate their knowledge and math skills as they relate to science.

The SAT Subject tests are a great way to prove what you have learned to your prospective college. This is true even if your college does not require you to take the test. For information on test sites near you, scheduling a test and deadlines to take the test, visit the college board website.

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