SAT Subject Tests can help your students spotlight their academic strengths and get an edge in college admissions.
They’re hour-long tests based on high school course work. There are 20 tests offered in five subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics, and science.
Educators on Subject Tests
Watch the videos below to see what your colleagues are saying.
How ELL Students Can Benefit
An AP Math Teacher's Perspective
How Colleges Use Subject Tests
Colleges value the Subject Tests as a key indicator of college readiness. Many colleges require or recommend Subject Tests, and some also use them for course placement and even for credit.
Subject Tests are particularly useful:
- In combination with the SAT— to add validity to predicting student success
- To strengthen retention and minimize additional student testing after acceptance
- To determine course placement — Subject Tests can replace locally administered assessments and ensure that students are placed in courses in which they are most likely to succeed
Many colleges that don’t require Subject Test scores will still consider them in the admission process. By taking the tests, students can show their knowledge of and interest in a certain subject, and their determination to succeed.
See a list of colleges that require, recommend, or consider SAT Subject Tests.
Learn more about how taking Subject Tests can benefit students.
Who Should Take Subject Tests
Students with a variety of academic interests and strengths can benefit from SAT Subject Tests:
- College-aspiring students: Some colleges require or recommend SAT Subject Tests for all applicants — others for applicants to specific programs or majors.
- Students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) majors: Subject Tests are the only high school level national admission tests that assess a student's grasp of fundamental scientific concepts and his or her ability to apply that knowledge.
- Students whose best language is not exclusively English: These students can demonstrate achievement in other languages or in areas that are not as reliant on the mastery of English.
Reflecting High School Teaching
SAT Subject Tests are created with input from high school teachers and reflect what's being taught in the classroom. Each hour-long test assesses content knowledge, interpretation, and problem-solving skills.
The latest College Board Curriculum Survey found that the knowledge and skills measured by SAT Subject Tests were taught in high school classrooms by:
- 97% of English teachers
- 80% of mathematics teachers
- 82% of science teachers
Download or Order Teacher’s Guides
Learn how to best advise and prepare your students for the SAT Subject Tests with these free teacher's guides. They include in-depth information about what's covered on the SAT Subject Tests, sample questions with answer explanations, and tips from other teachers for guiding your students.
Includes in-depth information about what's covered on the Mathematics Level 1 and Mathematics Level 2 tests, sample questions with answer explanations, and tips from other teachers.
Includes in-depth information about what's covered on the Biology E/M, Chemistry, and Physics tests, sample questions with answer explanations, and tips from other teachers.
To order print versions of the guides, email