What are SAT Subject Tests?

Probably the majority of high school students haven’t heard of SAT subject tests which is as it should be since most won’t take any.

The SAT Subject Tests (previously called SAT 2’s) are one hour high school level subject tests that are given during the same time as the SAT. The tests are offered in the following subjects:






US History

World History



Modern Hebrew









Student can take up to three subject tests at one time. Not all subjects are offered each test date. The College Board lists the average test scores by subject and the percentile rankings.

SAT Subject Tests are often required by the more competitive colleges as part of the admissions process. They will generally require two subject tests although some will waive the subject test if the student submits ACT scores.

Some colleges only recommend SAT Subject Tests as part of the admissions process while others use them for placement purposed. Homeschoolers often take Subject tests as a way of providing outside validation of high school work.

The best time to take the subject test is immediately after finishing the high school course. Unfortunately, many students aren’t aware of the need of the tests until their junior year and will lose the advantage of having just covered the material before taking the test.

Students who take AP Exams should check with each school to see if they will allow the AP to be substitute for the Subject Test.

According to the College Board, there are approximately 160 institutions that require or recommend SAT Subject Tests. The following two sites provide the most complete that I have found:

Schools That Require, Recommend, or Utilize SAT Subject Tests in Admission or for Placement/Credit

College Admission Requirements-SAT Subject Tests

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