What is the difference between SAT Subject Tests and Advanced Placement classes and exams?
SAT Subject Tests are at par with high school-level tests and similar to the high school curriculum in terms of content and indicate a student’s readiness to take college-level courses in specific subject areas. Advance Placement exams on the other hand assess a student’s college-level knowledge, skills and abilities, learned in the corresponding AP courses and as a result, the topics covered on SAT Subject Tests differ from those covered on AP Exams syllabus.
While AP Exams are also an excellent method to demonstrate understanding in specific subject areas, these tests are not available to every student and for those students who lack access to AP and still wish to demonstrate subject knowledge, the Subject Tests offer this opportunity. As an alternative students could use Subject Tests scores to show their mastery in the subject.
Should I take SAT Subject Tests if I’ve already taken other college admission tests (e.g., SAT or ACT)?
Some colleges require or advise SAT Subject Tests in addition to the SAT or ACT. Some also use these for course placement once you’ve arrived on campus. Depending on your performance, you may potentially fulfill basic requirements or even receive credit for introductory-level courses.
If you’re interested in particular programs of study, take Subject Tests to show colleges that you’re ready for certain majors or courses. Along with other admission credentials (your high school record, SAT scores, teacher recommendation, etc.), Subject Tests help provide a complete picture of your academic background and interests.
What if I don’t know which colleges I’m going to apply to?
You should consider Subject Tests in case he/she decides on colleges or programs that do require or recommend them. An important point to remember is, even colleges that don’t require or recommend Subject Tests may consider them as part of your application.
What if the colleges that I’m interested in don’t require Subject Test scores?
You may still want to take Subject Tests in the subjects that you excel in and submit those scores. Many colleges may still consider Subject Tests when reviewing your application, since they give a more complete picture of your academic background and show your readiness to focus on a specific major or program of study. Subject Tests can also help you place into the right college courses.
Should I still take the SAT Subject Test if there are a few topics on the test that weren’t covered in my class?
If there are some practice questions or topics that you’re not familiar with, you need not worry. Though it’s possible you may not have covered every single topic on the test, you do not have to get every question on each test correct to receive the highest score. Many students do well on the tests despite not having studied every topic covered on the test.
If you’re still concerned, seek help from your teacher to review the topics that you’re not familiar with.
Does Score Choice apply to SAT Subject Tests?
Are there fee waivers for SAT Subject Tests?
Who comes up with the questions on Subject Tests?
The questions on the SAT Subject Tests are developed by high school teachers, college professors and other education experts. This diverse group makes sure that the tests reflect what you’re learning in school. After the questions are developed, they are reviewed and pretested at high schools across the country to ensure that each question is fair for students from all backgrounds.
Are Subject Tests used for anything other than college admission and placement?
Yes. If you live in New York state, you may be able to use SAT Subject Test scores to substitute for a Regents examination score. Speak with your counselor or teacher to see if this might be appropriate for you.
Some colleges allow you to use SAT Subject Test scores to meet minimum subject-based requirements to be eligible to apply for admission (e.g., University of California’s a-g requirements, Arizona State University’s subject competency requirements).
You’ll want to take the tests that are required or recommended by the colleges that you’re interested in. Also consider subjects that you excel in or may want to major in, to showcase your strengths and interests.