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What Is An SAT Subject Test?

Basic SAT Subject Test Information

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What Is An SAT Subject Test?

The SAT Subject Test Basics

If you've heard people refer to the SAT (a.k.a. SAT Reasoning Test or SAT I) then they are specifically not talking about an SAT Subject Test, also known as as an SAT II test.

An SAT Subject Test is one of twenty different multiple-choice tests created by College Board. Some colleges use the tests for admissions, course placement, or to get an angle on the ability of an incoming student. Prospective students can use the tests to showcase obvious skills.

SAT Subject Test Details

  • Each test is 60 minutes long.
  • Each test offers 200-800 points just like the SAT.
  • Many of the tests are offered on the same test dates as the SAT, although you can't take a subject test and the SAT on the same date.
  • You can take up to three SAT Subject Tests on the same date.
  • When you register for a subject test, you'll pay a registration fee of $22. Then, on top of that, you'll either add $11 if you're taking any test besides the languages with listening, or you'll add $22 if you're taking a language with listening test. So, if you just take one test like U.S. History, for example, you'll pay $33 ($22 registration fee plus the $11 test fee). If you took U.S. History and Spanish with Listening, you'd pay the $22 registration fee, $11 for the U.S. History, and $22 for Spanish with Listening = $55. Get it?

The SAT Subject Test Choices

The Bottom Line: Why Take An SAT Subject Test?

In some cases, you'll have to. For every college to which you're applying, see the admissions guidelines for your intended major. Some college departments will require specific subject tests.

If you're not required to take one, it may help get you in the door of your school if your GPA is lower than you'd like in a particular field.

A word of caution: Only take SAT Subject Tests you can master! If you're shaky in Mathematics and it isn't required, don't take the test. Your score may give an unfavorable impression to the admissions department if you don't do well, and that's definitely something you don't want to do!

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