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Thomas Broderick

SAT U.S. History Subject Test

Good day Magoosh readers! If you’re a high school junior, I bet you’re looking forward to summer break. Some of you might have jobs lined up. Maybe a vacation to a soft, sandy beach is in your future. Please take a well-deserved rest, but don’t forget an important fact: college application season is coming up fast. In a world where time is short and the applicants to America’s top colleges numerous, every little advantage helps. In this case, the College Board has you covered: SAT Subject Tests!

SAT U.S. History Subject Test -Magoosh

You can study at the beach!


I know the idea of more tests doesn’t sound too appealing, but did the SAT/ACT leave you feeling frustrated? Do you want to show admissions counselors your academic strengths? Then Subject Tests are for you. In this article we’ll be discussing the ins and outs of the U.S. History Subject Test. So if you’re ready to up your college admissions game with some high scores, let’s get started!

What can I expect from the SAT US History Subject Test?

Compared to the SAT, the U.S. History Subject Test is small potatoes. Scored on a 200-800 point scale, the tests consists of ninety multiple choice questions. It only takes an hour, too!

Just because it’s short and simple doesn’t mean that the SAT U.S. History Subject Test is easy. If you’re going to score well, you have to know what you’re getting yourself into.

What do I need to study?

Short answer: just about everything from your U.S. History class. As most high school juniors across the country take U.S. History their junior year, I suggest taking the SAT U.S. History Subject Test the summer before senior year. Your U.S. History knowledge will be at its peak.

Yet if you are new to U.S. History, here are some helpful pointers that should help you create a study plan:

  • Most of the test’s questions relate to U.S. political history.
  • 20% of the test covers Pre-Columbian history – 1789.
  • 40% of the test covers 1790 – 1898.
  • 40% of the test covers 1899 – present.

In a number of high schools across the country, high school U.S. History covers U.S. History after the Civil War. If this is the case for you, make sure to review previous eras when you study. After all, Pre-Columbian history to the Civil War makes up half the test!

How else will a high score benefit me?

Well, that depends on which colleges you are considering. The benefit of the SAT U.S. History Subject Test (as well as other Subject Tests) is that certain colleges use the results like Advanced Placement scores. Colleges understand that AP is not available in all high schools, and that high-achieving students should have the opportunity to place into classes appropriate to their ability level. That’s where Subject Tests come in.

So, like AP, the SAT U.S. History Subject Test can save you some time and money. While you’re weighing your options, also consider taking other Subject Tests in your strongest subjects. After all, you can take three Subject Tests on the same day.


SAT U.S. History Subject Test -Magoosh

When a college admissions counselor sees high SAT Subject Test scores.


Final Thoughts

Well, Magoosh readers, I hope I haven’t packed your summer too much with studying for SAT Subject Tests. Stay focused on the long game of college admissions, and you’re sure to reach your goals. I’ll see you next time!

About Thomas Broderick

Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.

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