Why Take the Tests

beginning of content:

SAT Subject Tests can do more than help you show off your strengths.

Colleges May Require Subject Tests

Some colleges require or recommend that you take SAT Subject Tests, especially if you’re applying to take specific courses or programs.

Stand Out in College Admissions

Even colleges that don’t require Subject Tests may accept them and use them in admission to get a more complete picture of applicants. By sending Subject Test scores to colleges, you can showcase your strengths.

Show Colleges Your Interests

You can send a strong message to colleges about your interest in specific majors or programs—and how ready you are to tackle the work.

Fulfill Requirements or Get Credit

Some colleges use Subject Tests to place students into the appropriate courses. Depending on your test scores, you might be able to fulfill basic requirements or get credit for introductory-level courses.

Show What You’ve Learned Outside the Classroom

Have you taken a summer program, weekend classes, or an online course—or studied a subject on your own? Taking a Subject Test is one way to show the skills and understanding you gained.

Play to Your Strengths

Some types of students can especially benefit from taking SAT Subject Tests.

ESL students: If English is not your best language, SAT Subject Tests may be even more important for you. They let you show your abilities in subject areas that don’t depend so much on your mastery of English, such as math and science—and, of course, other languages.

International students: As mentioned above, if your English is not strong, you can use Subject Tests to show your academic strength in math, science, or other languages. Also, many international colleges use Subject Tests to make decisions about admission or placement, so taking the tests gives you more opportunities. And taking Subject Tests can help you see how well you’ve learned the subject matter compared to other students around the world.

Bilingual or multilingual students: If you speak a language other than English, SAT Subject Tests are a great opportunity for you to show your skills. You may be able to fulfill foreign language competency requirements for some colleges. Be sure to check policies on SAT Subject Tests in foreign languages for the colleges you are interested in.

Home-schooled students: Some colleges require or recommend SAT Subject Tests for home-schooled applicants to get a better idea of their college readiness. And taking SAT Subject Tests can help you see how well you’ve learned the subject matter compared to other students around the country and the world.