SAT 2 Subject Tests
Overview and Registration
The SAT Subject test (also known as the SAT 2) is a college admission exam commonly used to improve the applicants’ credentials in admissions to top tier US universities. The SAT 2 is used as an admission requirement for some top schools while other schools may only use it for course placement. The following table showcases how certain schools treat the SAT 2:
The exam is administered by College Board which allows students to take up to 3 SAT 2 exam in the same day. The SAT 2 is administered 6 times a year in the following months*: January, May, June, October, November, and December. For regular decisions applicants, keep in mind that some schools may not accept your January scores but will definitely accept December scores.
Student can register for the exam through the CollegeBoard website. The basic test requirement cost is 26$ while the cost for adding an extra test is 16$. However, SAT 2 exams that include language with listening costs 26$ (additional cost is added for testing outside of the US).
Structure of the Exam
Each SAT 2 exam is an hour long multiple choice exam. Each correct answer awards one raw score while a
wrong answer will deduct ¼ of a raw score*. The exam is scored on a scale from 200 to 800. The SAT 2
include tests in Math, Physics, Chemistry, World History, US History, Languages* and Literature. The
median score for each exam can be found here. It should be noted that certain tests deduct points
differently based on the number of give choices.
* Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Spanish and Korean.
Sending Scores and Score Choice
Unlike many of the Arab countries, standardized scores for US colleges are sent by the applicant directly. In order for admissions officers to see one’s scores, one must send them through the CollegeBoard website. Most schools require all scores to be sent by late January to early February while early admissions require the scores to be sent by Late October to early November.
When sending scores, one has an option of using CollegeBoard’s ScoreChoice system. ScoreChoice allows a student to choose which scores each school receives; however certain schools and departments require all scores to be sent. Further information can be found by contacting the school's admission office.
Students should aim to take the SAT 2 in subjects which they are quite comfortable with because a high SAT 2 score is expected in college admission.
Unlike the SAT Reasoning, the SAT 2 is used to measure the students' knowledge in a certain subject area and the test can be mastered by fully comprehending the exam’s material.
A lot of students choose to take the SAT 2 after they have completed a course in the subject in which they want to be tested in the SAT 2. For example, the SAT 2 Chemistry exam is usually taken after one is finished with AP Chemistry while SAT 2 Math 2 exam is taken after one is done with Pre-Calculus.
Calculators are only allowed for the SAT 2 math 1 and 2 exams, provided they do not have a QWERTY keyboard. CollegeBoard states that a calculator is highly recommended for a better score. Graphing calculators tend to be more effective than scientific calculators when it comes to the SAT 2 exam (as opposed to the SAT reasoning)
Some SAT 2 exams are only administered in certain periods. The full list can be found here
Schools that require SAT 2's
Schools that recommend SAT 2's
Schools where SAT Subject scores affect course placement in college
All Ivies, MIT*, Cal Tech, Carnagie Mellon, BU, Duke, Harvey Mudd, Pomona, Rice, Tufts
Stanford, Emory, Georgetown, George Washington, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, USC, UVA
UC System, UT Austin and others
Please note that some schools may waive the SAT 2 requirement if an ACT score was submitted while some require certain SAT 2 tests for admission to certain departments. Further information can be found by visiting the admission website for one’s selected school.