All of the SAT Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice tests. Scores are reported on a scale like the SAT I (Reasoning Test) categories, that is from 200 (lowest) to 800 (highest). However, usually the scores are also converted to percentiles based on the scores from all students who took the test. For example, the top 1% of the test takers will become the 99th percentile; if you are among the top 25% of those that take the test, then you will be in the 75th percentile. Sometimes schools compare your results on a national basis and others on a regional basis.
Subject tests are usually offered at the same time as the SAT Reasoning Tests except in the March test date, when they will not offer any Subject Tests. However, a student cannot take both the SAT I (Reasoning Test) and the Subject Tests at the same time. It is best if students take the Subject Tests after they have completed the course so that it is freshest in their minds. A good rule of thumb is to take Subject Tests that are strong subjects for the student and hopefully related to the field of study that they are considering. For example, a political science major might want to take a Subject Test in history, a future scientist might want to take a science Subject Test, or a linguist student might want to include a language test. Always think about how the performance on these tests will present the admission officers a different dimension that was not presented by the SAT or ACT tests.
According to the College Board, about 180 U.S. Colleges and Universities use SAT Subject Tests performance for course placement or to grant credit for certain courses. In some cases they are also used to prove competency on a specific subject required for admission.
Students can take anywhere from 1 to 3 subject tests per test date. Each Subject Test lasts one hour. Language tests with listening are only available in November for Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. Spanish and French Reading Language Tests are offered many times throughout the year. Latin and World History are ONLY offered in June and December, Italian is only offered in December, and German and Modern Hebrew are only offered in June. Another exception is World History, offered only in December and June. Check carefully your choice of Subject Tests taking into account your student’s aptitudes, preferences, and the schedules of tests published by the College Board.
Wondering how your student might perform? A practice test is a good way to identify your student’s readiness for any of the subjects below and determines whether he or she needs any review or added tutoring. We offer SAT Subject Practice Tests to help your student prepare; see our schedule for up and coming test dates. Call (480) 990-7374 for further assistance, or email Info@VogelPrep.com.
HERE IS A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFICIAL SAT SUBJECT TESTS AVAILABLE:
There are two biology tests. Each contains 80 general biology questions on cellular and molecular biology, ecology, classical genetics, organismal biology, and evolution and diversity. The E test has an additional 20 questions on ecology; the M test has an additional 20 questions on molecular biology.
There are about 60 questions on the literature test, based on six to eight passages. About 30% of the exam is focused on literature of the Renaissance and seventeenth century; 30% covers literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; 40% is focused on works written after 1900.
Math Level 1
The Math Level 1 exam contains 50 questions. The test covers the following material: algebra, geometry (plane Euclidean, three-dimensional, and coordinate), trigonometry, statistics/probability, and miscellaneous topics (logic, elementary number theory, and arithmetic and geometric sequences).
Math Level 2
There are 50 questions on the Math Level 2 exam. The test covers the following material: algebra, geometry (plane Euclidean, three-dimensional, and coordinate), trigonometry, functions, statistics (probability, permutations, and combinations), and miscellaneous topics (logic and proof, number theory, sequences, and limits).
This test contains 75 questions on the following material: mechanics; heat, kinetic theory, and thermodynamics; waves; electricity and magnetism; modern physics; and miscellaneous topics (measurement, math, laboratory skills, and the history of physics).
The US history test contains 90 questions. About 20% are based on history from pre-Columbian times through 1789, and 40% are from 1790 to 1898. The rest of the questions cover the period from 1899 to the present.
This test contains 95 questions that cover world history from ancient times through the present. About 25% of the test is on world history through 500 C.E.; 20% covers the years 500 through 1500 C.E.; 25% covers 1500 through 1900 C.E.; and 20% is on history from post-1900 C.E. The last 10% is cross-chronological.
The chemistry test consists of 85 questions. To do well, you should be familiar with the structures of matter, states of matter, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium and reaction rates, thermodynamics, descriptive chemistry, and general laboratory skills.
Chinese with Listening
The Chinese with Listening test contains 85 questions that measure your ability in listening comprehension, usage, and reading comprehension.
This test contains 85 questions that gauge your understanding of vocabulary in context, structure, and reading comprehension.
French with Listening
The French with Listening test includes about 20 minutes of listening questions and 40 minutes of reading comprehension questions. The listening section contains pictures, short dialogues, and long dialogues. The rest of the test covers vocabulary, structure, and reading comprehension.
This test contains 85 questions that measure reading ability only.
German with Listening
The German with Listening test features a 20-minute listening section, including long and short dialogues. There is also a 40-minute section that covers vocabulary in context, structure in context, and reading comprehension.
This test contains 85 questions that measure your reading comprehension skills, ability to understand vocabulary in context, and knowledge of structure and context.
The Italian test consists of 80 to 85 questions. To do well, you must understand vocabulary in context, successfully answer fill-in-the-blank questions, and demonstrate good reading comprehension skills.
Japanese with Listening
This test includes 80 questions and covers listening comprehension, usage, and reading comprehension.
Korean with Listening
The Korean with Listening test features 80 questions and includes a 20-minute usage section and a 40-minute reading comprehension section.
This test contains 70 to 75 questions. About 65% of the test measures your translation ability, 5% covers derivatives, and roughly 30% covers grammar and syntax.
The Spanish test consists of 85 questions. Test material equally covers vocabulary and structure, paragraph completion, and reading comprehension.
Spanish with Listening
This test features 85 questions, including a 20-minute listening section and a 40-minute reading section.
Do you need to take a practice test to decide which SAT Subject Tests to take? Send us a note of when you would like to take a practice test and we will be in touch. You will need one hour per practice test and about 15 minutes to allow for scoring.
Schedule a practice an SAT Subject Test Practice Test - available by appointment Monday through Friday in the afternoons after school.