SAT Subject Test Guidelines
The SAT Subject Tests are hour-long, multiple choice, subject-based tests that allow students to showcase academic strengths in subject areas of their choice.
Many colleges ask students to submit two SAT Subject Test scores. Branson students should select SAT Subject Tests that best showcase their academic strengths. With the help of the teachers and college counselors and the guidelines set out below, students should develop an overall standardized testing plan for which tests to take as well as optimal dates.
As emphasized on the College Board’s website, students may do well on the tests without having studied every possible aspect of a subject: “If there are some practice questions or topics that you’re not familiar with because you haven’t studied them in your classes, don’t worry. The SAT Subject Tests are national tests meant to cover topics learned in the majority of high school classrooms across the country. However, what’s taught in one classroom is not necessarily the same as what’s taught in another classroom, even if both are teaching the same subject. As such, it is possible that you may not have covered every single topic on the test. Furthermore, you do not have to get every question on each test correct to receive the highest score (800) for that test. Many students do well on the tests despite not having studied every topic covered on the test”(http://sat.collegeboard.org/about-tests/sat-subject-tests/faqsat).
For information about test format and registration, please visit https://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-subject-test-dates. Students are responsible for registering themselves for SAT Subject Tests.
When is the optimal time to take the test?
Typically, students take the SAT Subject Tests in June of junior year. In some cases sophomores who perform exceptionally well in a course with a corresponding SAT Subject Test may take the test at the end of the sophomore year. Students who opt not to take the SAT Subject Tests at the end of the sophomore year will have ample time to develop a standardized testing plan during junior year.
Math, Science, or History: June is the optimal time to take these tests as students have just completed the related courses and synthesize the material as they study for final exams.
Literature: June of the junior year
Language: Students of Mandarin, Italian and Latin face limited test date options and must think strategically about when the test is available and how to fit the Language or Language with Listening test into an overall plan for standardized testing.
Which SAT Subject Tests should I take?
Math: Students who take Algebra II their junior year may take the Level I test. Students who take any level of Precalculus during the junior year or earlier should take the Level 2 test.
English: Students may take the Literature test.
History: Students may take the World History or US History tests.
Science: Students may take Biology, Chemistry, or Physics.
Language: Students may take Spanish, Latin, Mandarin, or Italian.
How do I know I’m prepared for the test?
Students should ask themselves three questions as they consider SAT Subject Tests.
1. Am I performing well in the corresponding academic class (earning a grade of B+ or higher)?
2. Does my teacher recommend that I take the test?
3. Have I taken and scored well on a practice test?
What else can I do to prepare?
Students may prepare by using an SAT Subject Test study guide to provide familiarity with the SAT Subject Test question style and format.