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Taking the SAT Subject Tests

Friday, December 30, 2011
If you are already experiencing anxiety about taking the SAT, the last thing you probably want to do is take another assessment during the already hectic college preparation process. However, if you are applying to a highly selective college, the SAT Subject Test may be a required or at least a recommended part of your application packet.

According to Compass Education Group, a test preparation company, approximately 100 colleges and universities require students to take the SAT Subject Tests as a part of the admissions process. Many of these schools are considered to be among the nation’s most selective colleges and universities, so the additional materials help admissions officers at these schools make more informed decisions about the highly qualified students that make up their application pool.

The SAT Subject Test, like the more general SAT, is an assessment of a student’s knowledge. However, while the SAT tests your abilities in the broad areas of critical reading, writing and mathematics, the subject tests target specific academic disciplines. High school courses vary in difficulty from school to school.  Consequently, your subject test scores can give admissions officers a better sense of your knowledge of a particular topic. In total, nearly 500,000 students take these assessments on an annual basis.

According to, a higher education research organization, the SAT Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice assessments that cover one of 20 topics.

The SAT Subject Tests are available in literature, two levels of mathematics, U.S. and world history and the scientific areas of biology, chemistry and physics. Foreign language tests include Chinese, French, German, modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.

While most students take SAT Subject Tests during their junior year of high school, College Board states that the assessment’s topic should determine the best time to take the test. For instance, you are likely to do better on a foreign language test after at least two years of study, while you should consider taking a history or science test soon after finishing a class in the same subject. In this way, important information will be fresh in your mind.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800675063-ADNFCR - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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Taking the SAT Subject Tests
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