SAT Subject Tests


SAT Subject Tests are 60-minute multiple-choice tests that are given in several different high school subjects. The most common time for students to take a Subject Tests is on the first Saturday in June, at the end of the year they study that particular subject. Consequently, PowerPrep offers its 4-week courses for Subject Tests in May and the first week of June. We offer courses for the Subject Tests in science (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), Math (Levels 1 and 2), and history (World History and U.S. History). Of course, in each course we review all of the important facts that students need to know for that subject, but equally important, we stress all of the test-taking tactics that students need to know to do their best and earn the highest possible scores.

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PowerPrep Answers All Your Questions about SAT Subject Tests

What are SAT Subject Tests?

SAT Subject Tests are 60-minute, multiple-choice exams that test your knowledge in a variety of high school subjects.

What is Score Choice?

Score Choice is the College Board’s policy of allowing students to take as many SAT Subject Tests as they like and reporting to colleges only those scores that they are happy with. 

Who should take SAT Subject Tests?

Not all colleges require applicants to submit SAT Subject Test scores, but all of the more competitive ones, and many less competitive ones, do. Since it is impossible for sophomores and juniors to know with certainty that they will not need them for at least some of the colleges to which they will apply, most students, and surely all students who are in any honors-level courses, should plan to take at least a few.

How many SAT Subject Tests should you take and when should you take them?

Although a few colleges require scores from three Subject Tests, the majority of them require only two. Most students, therefore, should plan to take SAT Subject Tests in at least two or three subjects. However, because of Score Choice, many students will take four, five, or even six tests and submit only their two or three best scores. Students can take up to three tests on any date, but cannot take them in the same month they take the SAT. Typically, students take Subject Tests in June, at the end of the year they study those subjects.

Which SAT Subject Tests should freshmen, sophomores, and juniors take? 

Some schools require that Math (Level 1 or 2) be one of your tests; most, however, will accept any tests. The list below, which indicates the tests that students can take each year, is intended as a general guideline. If you have specific questions about which tests you should take or when you should take them, please call us at 516-484-4468 for advice.

Freshmen:    

Ninth-graders rarely take more than one SAT Subject Test. 

  • Biology (or occasionally Chemistry or Physics) for freshmen who have been accelerated in science.

Sophomores

Tenth-graders can take up to three SAT subject tests, but usually take only one or two.

  • Math Level 1 for sophomores who are completing their third year of high school math.
  • Biology or Chemistry for sophomores in honors courses and for strong students in regular courses.
  • World History for sophomores with very good grades in honors Global Studies or in an AP history course.

Juniors:    

There are several SAT Subject Tests that are appropriate for eleventh-graders.

  • Math Level 1 for sophomores or juniors who have good grades in their third year of high school math.
  • Math Level 2 is often the better choice for those juniors who are in their fourth year of math (typically, a pre-calculus course). Call for advice on this.
  • Biology, Chemistry, or Physics for juniors who have good grades in their science course.
  • World History for sophomores in honors or AP courses
  • U.S. History and Literature for juniors in honors or AP courses.
  • Foreign Languages for students with excellent grades in honors-level courses.

How can a PowerPrep course help me prepare?

The way that all the PSAT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests are scored is totally different from the way any other exam is scored. As a result, it is imperative to learn the strategies that are unique to these tests. Of course, students in each of PowerPrep’s SAT Subject Test courses review the essential subject matter for that test; but equally important, they learn the critical test-taking tactics that can mean the difference between good scores and great scores. 

On some SAT Subject Tests, you can leave out or miss as many as one-third of the questions and still earn a score over 700; answering only 85% of the questions correctly might be enough to get an 800! But you need to learn which questions to answer, which ones to omit, and which ones to guess at. PowerPrep can help you do that successfully.

What if I still have questions?

If you have any questions about which tests to take, when to take them, or how to prepare for them, feel free to call PowerPrep anytime, at 516-484-4468.