SAT Subject Tests – Sophomore Year!

There are no SAT tests sophomore year right? Sophomore year is golden time before the madness of junior year, surely. Right? No really, right?

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Unfortunately, not right. SAT subject tests are the little known college application requirement you should take as early as sophomore year.

What are SAT Subject Tests?

SAT Subject tests are additional tests run by the College Board that assess your abilities in courses other than what is offered on the SAT itself. They’re essentially like easier AP tests in specific subjects, and are scored on an 800 point scale. You can take them during the October, November, December, January, May and June SAT testing dates (but check the College Board website as dates vary). You can take up to three in one sitting, but you cannot take a subject test and the SAT on the same day. Here is a complete list of the tests you can take:

  • Literature
  • Biology (ecological or molecular)
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • U.S. History
  • World History
  • Mathematics (1 and 2)
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Modern Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean

Also note that many of the language tests have the option to have listening portions, but you need to register specifically for those tests. Many listening tests are only available during the November SAT.

Why do I need to take SAT Subject Tests?

Essentially, because many colleges require 2 to 3 subject tests when you apply. The UC App allows you to input several, and up to three language tests. The Common App allows up to 10. These subject tests can be a great booster for your application, but keep in mind that they will not earn you college credit like AP tests. Don’t stress out about taking too many, because you still have to pay the fees for each test, but you should take the tests you think you’ll score the highest in. Additionally, if you want to apply to engineering colleges, or science majors in general you should research what SAT Subject tests your college requires. Often one of the mathematics, or biology are needed to apply.

Why do I need to take them sophomore year?

Like with any test, you remember the most right after you’ve completed the course (or near the end of the course). Which is what makes the June SAT the prime time for subject tests. It also means that if you take AP classes your sophomore year, then you’ll want to take those subject tests right away. You don’t want realize you need to take the Chemistry SAT Subject test December of your senior year, when its been a year since. That would be depressing. But hey, there is always Ryan Gosling.


The Takeaway

Don’t worry if you haven’t taken any SAT Subject Tests yet, you can still study and get good scores. Make sure you research what tests you need to apply to different schools in different majors. Try to take the tests directly after you finish the course, in the subjects you’re strongest in.


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  • Cassidy Mayeda

    Cassidy recently graduated from San Dieguito High School Academy located in Southern California, and is looking forward to studying at Barnard College at Columbia University next fall. She loves pretty much everything from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to classic American Literature, but above all learning new things and meeting new people. Like her older brother Zack (who also works at Magoosh!), she also enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!


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