If you are planning to take the SAT, chances are high that you must have come across SAT subject tests. So, what are SAT subject tests? Simply put, they test your skills in specific subjects. It is important to understand that SAT and SAT subject tests follow a different format and serve distinct roles in the admissions process.
While SAT is more on the lines of an aptitude test which tests critical thinking and reasoning skills, SAT subject tests examine an applicant’s level of knowledge in specific subjects. Both these exams require a different type of preparation approach.
SAT is a 3 hour, 45 minutes exam with 10 sections whereas the SAT subject test is a one-hour exam with multiple-choice questions. SAT covers the areas of math, critical reading and writing. On the other hand, 20 SAT subject tests are offered in five general areas – math, English, science, history and languages. Languages include French, German, Spanish, Italian, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
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A standardized test like SAT is a must for college admissions. However, the requirements on SAT subject tests vary according to the college. Some may require you to take no subject tests, while some may need you take a couple or even three subject tests.
SAT subject tests are important for applicants since they can help them stand out in the application process and showcase commitment towards specific programs. It sends out a very clear message about your academic interests. Some of the colleges also employ them to fit students in specific courses. In certain cases, students might also receive credit for some introductory courses.
If you are interested in SAT subject tests, take those recommended by the colleges of your choice. Also, take a look at your own strengths and interests before opting for them.
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