SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests can be a valuable added credential in the application process. They are one-hour tests given on the same dates as the SAT Test and as many as three can be taken on the same day.

There are Subject Tests in math, biology, chemistry, physics, literature, history and several languages. The first four add considerable value to the regular SAT Test for students intending to pursue a STEM major.

It is advisable to take Subject Tests soon after completing at least most of the related course (starting in the sophomore year). The scores are likely to be higher than waiting until the senior year to take the test.

A few highly competitive colleges require at least two Subject Tests. Many others recommend them and say they will be used in the admissions evaluation. Several others say the tests will be considered (without requiring or recommending them). Hence, in all cases, taking the tests increases a student’s options. At colleges where they are not required, if the scores are good, they can be submitted.

For instance, Yale does not require Subject Tests, but states: “You may wish to consider whether there are particular areas of academic strength you would like to demonstrate to the Admissions Committee. Subject Tests can be one way to convey that strength.” Many other colleges, in the words of Carleton College, feel that SAT Subject Tests “usually enhance a candidate’s credentials.”

Current SAT Subject Test policies of highly competitive colleges can be found here.