Should I Take an SAT Subject Test? Here’s When the Answer Should Be Yes.


Deciding whether or not to take a Subject Test? If you’re worried about adding another test to your junior or senior year, don’t panic! Luckily, many colleges do not require the SAT Subject Tests. Requirements vary program to program, but in a lot of cases, it’s up to you whether you want to try out the SAT Subject Tests.

There are 3 reasons you’d want to take the SAT Subject Test:

  1. One or more colleges on your list require subject tests.

  2. One or more colleges on your list recommend subject tests. 

  3. You excel in one or more of the SAT Subject Test areas of study. 


SAT Subject Test Areas of Study

On the College Board’s website, you will find a list of all the available SAT Subject Test options, as listed below. You’ll also find practice questions for each subject. Think about your strengths when deciding which tests to take. For example, if you’re taking an AP English course, you might think about trying out the English SAT Subject Test. 

  • Mathematics

    • Math Level 1

    • Math Level 2

  • Science

    • Biology

    • Chemistry

    • Physics

  • English

  • History 

    • U.S. History

    • World History

  • Languages

    • Spanish

    • Spanish with Listening

    • French

    • French with Listening

    • Chinese with Listening

    • Italian

    • German

    • German with Listening

    • Modern Hebrew

    • Latin

    • Japanese with Listening

    • Korean with Listening


Impact on College Admissions

“By sending Subject Test scores to colleges, you can showcase your strengths,” according to the College Board. Some colleges accept scores even if they don’t require the SAT Subject Tests, which means that you’re providing admissions counselors with a “a more complete picture” of your abilities and college preparedness.  

However, many colleges don’t require the Subject Tests for admissions, but be sure to pay close attention to admissions requirements for the areas of study you’re interested in; some departments might require or highly recommend Subject Tests.

Sample of Colleges that Require SAT Subject Tests

A full list of colleges that require or recommend SAT Subject Tests can be found here. As always, you’ll need to confirm the requirements at each college by checking their admissions website, as requirements may change. 

Start with a practice test

Before you register for your SAT Subject Test(s), take a practice test. Start preparing by looking through the College Board’s SAT Subject Test Study Guide. As you’re looking through schools and narrowing down your college list, take note of the admissions requirements and whether or not they accept the subject tests.