Approaches and reminders on how to do well on the SAT Subject Tests™

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Take the SAT Subject Tests when the content is fresh in your mind.

  • For subjects like biology, chemistry and world history, you should consider taking the test at the end of the course.
  • For languages, you may want to take the tests after you have been studying the language for several years.

Take an educated guess by ruling out one or more answer choices for a multiple-choice question as definitely wrong; your chances of guessing correctly among the remaining choices improve.

  • Omit questions only when you really have no idea how best to answer them. You don't gain or lose points for omitting an answer.

Use the test book for scratch work to cross off answers you know are wrong, and to mark questions you did not answer.

  • Be sure to mark your answers on the separate answer sheet. You won't receive credit for any answers you marked in the test book.
  • Avoid extra marks on the answer sheet. The answer sheet is machine-scored, and the machine can't tell an answer from a doodle.


Become familiar with the organization of the tests you are interested in, the SAT Subject Test answer sheet, types of test questions on each test, and the test directions ahead of time.

Answer the easier questions first.

  • The easier questions are usually at the beginning of a grouping of questions.

Items you may use:

  • Use a calculator on the SAT Subject Tests Mathematics Level 1 and Mathematics Level 2 tests only.
  • Bring an acceptable CD player and extra batteries to the test center if you are registered for any of the Language with Listening tests.

Get Familiar with the SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests are the only admissions tests that give you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and skill in specific subjects. This is another chance to shine, especially if you are interested in a particular subject area.

The Official Study Guide for All SAT Subject Tests™: 
Second Edition

Subject Test Study Guide

Get ready for test day with a brand new edition of our best-selling SAT Subject Test Study Guide! Brought to you by the test-maker, this is the ONLY study guide with actual, previously administered tests for all 20 SAT Subjects Tests™ to provide you with the real test-taking experience.

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SAT Subject Tests

Should you take an SAT Subject Test?

The SAT Subject Tests offer you an additional opportunity to show colleges what you know and what you know you can do.

Many colleges use the SAT Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Some colleges specify the SAT Subject Tests that they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.

Choose a subject