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SAT Subject Tests - Study in USA

International Exams in specific subjects accepted by most colleges and universities in the U.S.

The SAT Subject Tests are international exams that are used to determine the knowledge level of a student with regards to a particular subject. The purpose of these tests is to showcase the individual academic strengths of a student to the college, so as to boost his/her chances of getting in. SAT Subjects Tests are available in 5 General Categories: English, Languages, Science, Math and History and Social Studies.

Unlike the SAT Reasoning Test, which is required by almost every college/university in the U.S, the SAT Subject Tests are optional and are not ‘required’ by most colleges. However, many reputed colleges and universities including the ‘Ivy League’ colleges generally require applicants to have appeared in at least 2 – 3 SAT Subject Tests in order to be considered for admission.

Opting to take the SAT Subject Tests is a good idea if you are applying to a very competitive college or if your marks in the Class 12th are not that good. You should generally only take SAT Subject Tests in subjects you’re good at and in subjects which are preferably related to your intended Major. Before you make a decision regarding the SAT Subject Tests, go through your desired college’s website and see its requirements for the course you want to join.

Keep in mind that even if your desired college does not necessarily require a SAT Subject Test for admission, a good score in the same will only boost your chances of getting in.

SAT Subject Tests are usually conducted on the same dates as the SAT Reasoning Test, i.e. around 6 times a year in the months of October, November, December, January, May and June. However, not all subjects are offered during every administration of the test.

What are the eligibility criteria?

There are no specific eligibility criteria for the SAT Subject Tests. However, College Board recommends that 11th grade or above is a suitable qualification for the tests.

In India, most students choose to appear for SAT Subject Tests only if they want to study in the U.S. Most students appear for the tests during their Class 11th or 12th.

You cannot appear for the SAT Exam and SAT Subject Tests on the same day.

You are only allowed to take up to 3 SAT Subject Tests on a particular date. If you wish to appear for other subjects as well, you will need to do so on another date.

Only 1 Language with Listening Test can be taken on a particular test date. If you wish to appear for another Language with Listening Test, you can only do so on another test date.

With regards to the Biology SAT Subject Test, you can only appear for one Biology Test on one particular test date. After the first 60 questions in the paper, you will have to choose whether you wish to attempt the Ecological section or the Molecular section as you cannot attempt both.

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How to apply?

The registration process for the SAT Subject Tests is the same as it is for the SAT Reasoning Test.

For any further information, please visit the following website:

What is the pattern of the examination?

SAT Subject Tests are paper based examinations in the following subjects:

General Category







Modern Hebrew




French with Listening

German with Listening

Japanese with Listening

Korean with Listening

Spanish with Listening

Chinese with Listening

History and Social Studies

United States History

World History


Mathematics Level 1

Mathematics Level 2


Biology E/M




The duration of SAT Subject Tests are 1 hour each and the tests comprise of multiple choice questions.

Even though you are required to mention the SAT Subject Tests you will be appearing for during the application process, you can change the number and subjects of the tests on the test date.

The Math Level 1 is for students who have studied 2 years of Algebra and 1 year of Geometry. The Math Level 2 is an advanced version of the test, and is suitable for students who have not only completed the requirements for Level 1 but have also studied Trigonometry or Pre Calculus or both.

Your result will be declared and test reports will be sent to you and the institutions you have specified in the application form approximately 5 weeks after the test date.

The SAT Subject Test score will be calculated by first compiling your ‘Raw Score’. This is done by calculating the amount of answers you have answered correctly and the amount of answers you have answered incorrectly. Then your raw score will be converted to the College Board 200 – 800 point scaled score.

There is no passing or failing score. You will have to go as per the score requirements specified by the college /university you wish to apply to.

For any further information, please read the ‘Paper Registration Guide’ or visit the following website:


What are the prospects?

SAT Subject Tests are internationally acclaimed and are accepted by almost every college and university in the U.S. They provide students with the opportunity to show their readiness for college level studies with regards to a particular subject. Many students take SAT Subject Tests in 2 – 3 subjects related to their desired major.


What are the dates on which the SAT Subject Tests are held?

The SAT Subject Tests are held 6 times a year internationally. The dates need not be the same for every year. Also, all Subject Tests are not held on every date.

It is advisable to go through College Board’s website regularly in order to be informed about the dates on which the next SAT Subject Tests are being held as missing out on the deadline might result in you losing your chance to appear for the SAT Subject Test for that year. Click on the following link to know about when the next SAT Subject Tests are being held:

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