SAT Subject Tests

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SAT Subject Tests are 20 multiple-choice standardized tests given by the College Board on individual subjects. They are typically taken to improve a student's credentials for admission to colleges in the United States.

Many colleges use the SAT Subject Tests for admission, 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. Students typically choose which tests to take depending upon college entrance requirements for the schools to which they plan to apply. From their introduction in 1937 until 1994, the SAT Subject Tests were known as Achievement Tests, and until January 2005, they were known as SAT II: Subject Tests. They are still commonly known by these names. Every test is now a one-hour timed test. Historically, the exception to the one-hour time was the writing test, which was divided into a 20-minute essay question and a 40-minute multiple-choice section. The writing test was discontinued in January 2005.

A student may take up to three SAT Subject Tests on any given date at a flat rate. There is a per-administration registration fee, plus a flat fee for each test the student plans to take. Students aren't required to take the same number of tests they signed up for, nor are they required to take the same tests they initially indicated when filling out the registration form (except for language with listening tests).[1] If one takes more tests than initially paid for, he/she will be billed later for the additional test(s). Students eligible for an SAT fee waiver are allowed to take up to six subject tests in up to two administrations free of charge.[2]

With the exception of the March test administration, SAT Subject Tests are offered on the same days as the regular SAT Reasoning Test; therefore, students cannot take both the SAT Reasoning Test and Subject Tests on the same day. In addition, not all Subject tests are offered on every test date. Most non-foreign language tests are offered in every administration, but World History and foreign-language tests are only available on certain dates. In particular, the language tests with listening are available only once a year, in November.

Typically, the subject tests are administered in August, October, November, December, May and June. A calendar of test dates and registration deadlines can be found on The College Board's official website.[3]

Current tests

There are currently 20 different tests, 12 of which are foreign language. Examinees are required to bring an acceptable calculator to take the Mathematics tests (calculators are not permitted on any other test), and a CD player to take the language with listening tests.[4][5][6]

Test Subject Mean score (2016)[7] Standard deviation (2016)[7] Number of Students (2016)[7] Notes
SAT Subject Test in Literature Literature 599 122 57,761
SAT Subject Test in United States History U.S. History 624 115 66,967 Formerly American History and Social Studies
SAT Subject Test in World History World History 615 109 15,542 Formerly European History and World Cultures
SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1 Mathematics 599 116 66,058 Formerly Math I or IC.Basic algebra and geometry such as Monomials, Polynomials and the Pythagorean theorem are assessed in the beginning of the exam before progressing into basic trigonometry, algebraic functions, elementary statistics and a few miscellaneous topics.[8]
SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2 Mathematics 690 101 145,140 Formerly Math II or IIC. Consists of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, functions, statistics and a few miscellaneous topics.[9]
SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M Biology 616 (E)

647 (M)

114 (E)

110 (M)

72,196 in total,
31,965 (E)
40,231 (M)
Students have a choice of taking either an ecological ("E") or molecular ("M") biology oriented test.
SAT Subject Test in Chemistry Chemistry 668 104 71,173
SAT Subject Test in Physics Physics 667 104 56,751
SAT Subject Test in Chinese with Listening Chinese 761 66 4,925
SAT Subject Test in French French 634 121 6,800
SAT Subject Test in French with Listening French 664 113 1,533
SAT Subject Test in German German 636 124 621
SAT Subject Test in German with Listening German 629 121 479
SAT Subject Test in Modern Hebrew Modern Hebrew 614 145 344
SAT Subject Test in Italian Italian 677 114 488
SAT Subject Test in Japanese with Listening Japanese 704 116 1,317
SAT Subject Test in Korean with Listening Korean 764 64 1,891
SAT Subject Test in Latin Latin 632 109 2,483
SAT Subject Test in Spanish Spanish 653 109 18,161
SAT Subject Test in Spanish with Listening Spanish 660 108 2,914
Other Languages