The SAT Subject Test is a one hour long test that is required by some schools and colleges for admission as a measure of your expertise in a particular subject area. It is scored in a range of 200-800, as opposed to the 400-1600 composite score on the SAT. See Which Colleges Require SAT Subject Tests by searching for a particular college by using ctrl + F keys.
Usually, two of the SAT Subject Tests are required by colleges; one in Math and one in Science (Physics or Chemistry or Biology (E/M)) for engineering courses. The SAT Subject Tests reflect your knowledge in the subjects of the major you are applying for. It is available in 20 subjects in 5 General Subject Areas. The test syllabus involves the coursework taught in high school; it is not an advance level test involving college intro coursework, like the AP.
The Subject Test cannot be given on every SAT date, but on specific test dates . The SAT and SAT Subject Test cannot be taken on one date. Although, you are allowed to take up to 3 SAT Subject Tests in a day.
The registration fee is $26 which covers one test date, at which you can take up to 3 Subject Tests, and $22 for each SAT Subject Test (except Language Tests with Listening). An additional fee of $49 is levied for students in South and Central Asia, where we belong to, which makes me wonder why this is the most expensive region to take the test (Seriously why?). Coming back to the topic of concern, you are allowed to send you scores to up to 4 colleges for free. Additional score report request would take $12 per institution.
The SAT Subject Test should be taken in October or November of your senior year (12th grade) since most of the topics in the curriculum of the tests are covered by then. It also gives you the opportunity to apply early decision or early action. It is advised that you check with the colleges in your mind for the deadlines.
To prepare for the Subject Tests, you need to thoroughly go through the school coursework on topics which are recommended to be studied on each subject page . For example, the Math Level 1 comprises of 50 Multiple Choice Questions that test skills such as numbers and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and measurement, data analysis, statistics, and probability in the constricted time of 60 minutes. These topics are usually covered by grade 11 and 12. Other popular Subject Tests include Mathematics Level 2, Physics , Chemistry, and Biology E/M . The E and M in Biology stand for Ecological and Molecular, respectively.
Register for only those subjects which are needed for admission to your desired major at the universities/colleges of your interest. Even so, it is an appreciable opportunity to prove your calibre to the admissions committees and a chance for you to show your grasp at the subjects of your interest. Colleges might give you credit for it and allow you to do away with the introduction course of the respective subject as a result, given that you perform well on this test. You should check with the college websites regarding this.
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