How-to Decide What SAT Subject Test To Take?

5 Ways to Choose The Best SAT Subject Test for College Admissions

The Next SAT Test Date is a few days away on June 4th. This is the most common test administration for students to take subject tests.

You can take up to three one-hour subject exams on any given date. In June, the following exams are offered: Literature, U.S. History, World History, Mathematics Level 1, Mathematics Level 2, Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics, French, German, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.

You have until the morning of the exam to decide which ones to do. Don’t wait that long. You should not be making big decisions on test day. On test day you should be eating a good breakfast and listening to your relaxation or pump up playlist (depending on the type of test taker you are.)

While standardized test scores are just one element of your college application, they still figure into the process. You need to pick the SAT subject exams that are right for you and the college you want to attend. Follow these tips to do just that:

1. Play to Your Strengths

Choose subjects to test in the subjects that you excel. You will often be able to find two or three exams that you can feel quite confident in taking and manage to avoid your challenge areas.

2. Balance Your Exams

However, you should try not to have all math exams, all language exams, or all science exams. Related areas are fine. It is perfectly acceptable to have all math and science exams.

3. Strategize Your Effort

Make sure the subject tests you choose fit with your overall college application plan. If you know your planned college major, take the exams that demonstrate your abilities. For instance, if you plan to major in engineering, then taking Literature, World History, and French exams would not be as compelling on an application as taking Physics and Math Level 1 and 2.

If you are less certain of your major or a specific area of study, then stick with the exams in which you are most comfortable and will score the highest—no matter then subject. It is okay not to be sure of a specific college track at this time, and still strategically viable to test this way.

4. Take Diagnostic Exams

You want to find our how the test works so be sure to take practice exams and work with a tutor if you struggle with certain test areas. Try to prep under the most realistic conditions you can, have your tutor proctor the exams and use a timer. Once you have your practice scores you can use the results to evaluate which exam would be most effective.

5. Set Your Course

Take the exams after your take the class in school. Often your teacher will work with you to prepare. A year of coursework in the subject area is some of the best prep you can do. For example, if you take Chem as a sophomore than you can take the Chemistry Subject exam in June of that year. If you need to retake that is fine. Even colleges that require all scores submitted are judging your profile according to the highest achieved scores.

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