SAT: Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests offer you an additional opportunity to differentiate yourself and provide a more complete picture about your academic abilities and interests. Many top universities use the SAT Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Some colleges specify the SAT Subject Tests that they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.

Some colleges require or recommend one or more SAT Subject Tests as part of the application. If you're interested in particular subjects or programs of study, subject tests allow you to highlight your strengths in these areas.

Some colleges and universities use SAT Subject Test scores to place students into the right courses. This can potentially include:

  • Placing out of introductory college classes; some colleges may even grant credit for good performance on the SAT Subject Tests
  • Satisfying basic requirements for certain majors or programs of study
  • Helping students select the course levels that are most appropriate for them

There are 20 SAT Subject Tests divided into five categories: English, history, mathematics, science and languages.

Here's a complete list of all the Subject Tests:

Things you should know about SAT Subject Tests

  • SAT Subject Tests are generally offered six times in any given school year. However, not all 20 tests are offered on every test date. 
  • SAT Subject Tests are generally offered on the same dates that the SAT is offered.
  • As administration of both the SAT and SAT Subject Tests are concurrent, students may not take both the SAT and SAT Subject Tests on the same test date.
  • SAT Subject Tests are administered at the same test centers as the SAT.
  • You may take up to three SAT Subject Tests on a single test date.
  • The Language with Listening tests is always given in the first hour of testing. Only one listening test can be taken per test date.
  • Calculators may be used only on the Mathematics Level 1 and Level 2 Subject Tests.
  • You cannot take the SAT Subject Tests and the SAT on the same test date.
  • You must indicate which SAT Subject Tests you plan to take when you register. However, you may change which test(s) you actually take on test day - except for Language with Listening tests.
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