Bonjour Magooshers and Happy Fourth of July! What better way to celebrate America’s independence than talking about the SAT French Subject Test?!
Believe it or not, I took four years of French in high school. It was pretty interesting, and I was even lucky enough to use a bit of it on a trip to France some years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten a lot of it. Oh well, c’est la vie. Don’t worry, though, my forgetful brain won’t get in the way of me helping you prepare for test day!
Photo by crossed-flag-pins.com
In this article I’ll be going over the SAT French Subject Test, giving you the need-to-know information. If you get to the end of the article and still have questions, make sure to check out the official College Board website to learn more and try out some sample problems!
Should I take the SAT French Subject Test?
Good question. Even if you took French throughout high school (like me), French may not be your strongest subject (like me). In that case, it’s best to look at the other SAT Subject Tests to see where you would do your best.
If you are a master in French, though, there are two main reasons why taking the test is a great idea. The first has to do with college admissions. High SAT Subject Test scores are a great ‘cherry on top’ to a strong application package. If you want to help your admissions odds, make sure to take the test early enough so you can send colleges your scores.
The second advantage has to do with course placement. Your future college, like your current high school, probably requires some foreign language courses as a graduation requirement. Depending on the college, your high score may excuse you from these classes, saving you money. Or, if you want to continue learning French, you can place into a higher-level class. If course placement (and not admissions) is your goal, make sure to take the test near the end of your last French course in high school.
Which French Subject Test should I take?
Ah, yes, there are two choices, one with listening and one without. As you might (rightly) assume, the test with listening asks you to bring an extra set of skills to the table. As listening is an essential part of any language, it is my humble opinion that the French test with listening is seen as more advantageous to both college admissions counselors and college placement.
Which one you choose, though, is up to you. Do you have French teachers who encourage conversation and immersion? Take the test with listening. Do you do most of your work straight out of a textbook/workbook? Take the test without listening.
What’s on the test?
Besides French? Just kidding. Both the listening and non-listening tests are comprised of 85 multiple-choice questions. Both tests last one hour and your final score will fall somewhere on a 200-800 point scale.
If you’re taking the non-listening test, expect an even split between vocabulary, sentence structure, and reading comprehension questions. If you’re taking the test with listening, expect listening questions to comprise 35% of all questions. The remaining 65% of questions are a fairly even split between vocabulary, sentence structure, and reading comprehension. Depending on your version of the test, you may encounter more reading comprehension questions.
Well, Magooshers, I hope I’ve given you a decent introduction to the SAT French Subject Test. I wish you the best of luck in your future French endeavors. Just don’t forget to take some practice tests between now and test day. 🙂
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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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