SAT Subject Tests FAQ


What is the SAT Test?

The SAT Subject Tests is the collective name for 20 multiple choice standardized tests given on individual subjects. A student typically chooses which tests to take depending upon college entrance requirements for the schools in which he or she is planning to apply. Most competitive colleges prefer to receive at least three SAT Subject Tests as part of your application.

  • If taking fewer than three subject tests, you may leave upon completion.
  • Only one SAT Subject Test can be taken at a time.
  • Between testing hours there will be breaks.
  • You can take a maximum of three Subject Tests on one test date.
  • You can change your mind on test day about which Subject Test you want to take so long as you are not substituting or adding tests with listening components.
  • Students taking Biology E or M cannot take both tests in one sitting. If you do, your scores may be rendered invalid.

What SAT Subject Tests are currently available?

  • SAT Subject Test in United States History
  • SAT Subject Test in World History
  • SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1
  • SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2
  • SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M
  • SAT Subject Test in Chemistry
  • SAT Subject Test in Physics
  • SAT Subject Test in Chinese with Listening
  • SAT Subject Test in French
  • SAT Subject Test in French with Listening
  • SAT Subject Test in German
  • SAT Subject Test in German with Listening
  • SAT Subject Test in Modern Hebrew
  • SAT Subject Test in Italian
  • SAT Subject Test in Japanese with Listening
  • SAT Subject Test in Korean with Listening
  • SAT Subject Test in Latin
  • SAT Subject Test in Spanish
  • SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening

Why should I take SAT Subject Tests?

The Subject Tests provide colleges with a standardized look at the content of your knowledge, not merely your ability to solve problems. This gives them a more holistic picture of you and your abilities.

When should I take the Subject Tests?

As after you finish the relevant coursework as possible so the material is still fresh.

If a college I'm applying to does not require Subject Tests for admissions purposes, should I still take the tests?

Colleges that don’t require Subject Test will often still consider the results. So if you feel prepared it may be in your best interest even if the colleges to which you apply to not require it.

How do I decide whether to take Biology E or Biology M?

The College Board offers two biology subject tests: Biology E (Ecological) and Biology M (Molecular). Which test you should choose depends on your high school preparatory curriculum.

If your coursework is ecologically oriented, e.g. biomes and populations and organisms' adaptation, then the E test is appropriate.

If your coursework has focused on DNA, viruses, and genetics, then the M test may be more suitable.

How do I decide whether to take Mathematics Level 1 or Mathematics Level 2?

Mathematics Level 1 is designed for students who have taken three years of college-prep mathematics, which includes two years of algebra and one year of geometry.

Mathematics Level 2 is designed for students who have taken more math: two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and elementary functions (precalculus) and/or trigonometry. If you have earned grades B or higher in classes with this coursework and know how to use a graphing calculator, then Math Level 2 is the appropriate course.

Can I use fee waivers for Subject Tests?

Yes, if you qualify, then you may use up to two per test date.

How do I decide whether to take a Language Subject Test as a reading test or a listening test?

Take whichever you are prepared for, though keep in mind that colleges may view the results of a listening test as more representative of your abilities.