All About the SAT Subject Tests /ix
What Are the SAT Subject Tests?
The SAT Subject Tests (formely called the Achievement Tests) are a series of collegue entrance tests that cover specific academic subject areas. Like the better-known SAT Reasoning Test, which measures general verbal and math skills, the SAT Subject Tests are given by the College Entrance Examination Board. Colleges and universities often require applicants to take one or more SAT Subject Tests along with the SAT Reasoning Test.
SAT Subject Tests are generally not as difficult as Advanced Placement tests, but they may cover more than is taught in basic school courses. Students usually take an SAT Subject Test after completing an Advanced Placement course or an Honors course in the subject area.How Do I Know If I Need to Take SAT Subject Tests?
Review the admissions requirements of the colleges to which you plan to apply. Each college will have its ơwn requirements. Many colleges require that you take a minimum number of SAT Subject Tests-usually one or two. Some require that you take SAT Subject Tests in specific subjects. Some may not require SAT Subject Test scores at all.When Are SAT Subject Test Given, and How Do I Register for Them?
SAT Subject Tests are usually given on six weekend dates spread throughout the academic year. These dates are usually the same ones on which the SAT Reasoning Test is given. To find out the test dates, visit the College Board website at http://www.colleboard.com
. You can also register for a test at the web-site. Click on the tabs marked "students" and follow the directions you are given. You will need to use a credit card if you register on line. As an alternative, you can register for SAT Subject Tests by mail using the registration form in the SAT Registration Bulletin, which should be available from your high school guidance counselor.How Many SAT Subject Tests Should I Take?
You can take as many SAT Subject Tests as you wish. According to the College Board, more than one-half of all SAT Subject Test takers take three tests, and about one-quarter take four or more tests. Keep in mind, however, that you can take only three tests on a single day. If you want to take more than three tests, you will need to take the others on a different testing date. When deciding how many SAT Subject Tests to take, base on your decision on the requirements of the colleges to which you plan to apply. It is probably not a good idea to take many more SAT Subject Tests than you need. You will probably do better by focusing only on those your preferred colleges requires. Which SAT Subject Tests Should I Take?
If a college to which you are applying requires one or more specific SAT Subject Tests, then, of course, you must take those particular tests. If the college simply requires that you take a minimum number of SAT Subject Tests, then choose the test or tests for which you think you are the best prepared and likely to get the best score. If you have taken an Advanced Placement course or an Honors course in a particular subject and done well in that course, then you should probably consider taking an SAT Subject Test in that subject.When should I Take SAT Subject Tests?
Timing is important. It is a good idea to take an SAT Subject Test as soon as possible after completing a course in the test subject, while the course material is still fresh in your mind. If you plan to take an SAT Subject Test in a subject that you have not studied recently, make sure to leave yourself enough time to review the course material before taking the test.What Do I Need on the Day of the Test?
To take an SAT Subject Test, you will need an admission ticket to enter the exam room and acceptable forms of photo identification. You will also need two number 2 pencils. Be sure that the erasers work well at erasing without leaving smudge marks. The tests are scored by machine, and scoring can be inaccurate if there are smudges or other stray marks on the answer sheet.
Any devices that make noise, such as cell phones or wristwatch alarms, should be turn off during the test. Such study aids as dictionaries and review books, as well as food and beverages, are barred from the test room.How Are SAT Subject Tests Scored?
On an SAT Subject Test, your "raw score" is calculated as follows: You receive one point for each question you answer correctly, but you lose one-quarter of a point (one-third of a point on the language tests) for each question you answer incorrectly. You do not gain or lose any points for questions that you do not answer at all. Your raw score is then converted into a scaled score by statistical method that takes into account how well you did compared to others who took the same test. Scaled scores range from 200 to 800 points. You scaled score will be reported to you, to your high school, and to the colleges and universities that you designate to receive it. When will I Receive My Score?
Scores are mailed to students approximately 3 to 4 weeks after the test. If you want to find out your score a week or so earlier, you can do so for free by accessing the College Board website or for $10 by calling 800-SAT-SCORE.How Do I Submit My Score to Colleges and Universities?
When you register to take the SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Tests, your fee includes free reporting of your scores to up to four colleges and universities. To have your scores reported to additional schools, visit the College Board website or call 800-SAT-SCORE. You will need to pay an addtional fee.