SAT II: SAT Subject Tests

The SAT II Subject Tests (formerly called Achievement Tests) are one hour in length. They are designed to measure a student's knowledge of a particular subject and ability to apply that knowledge. Many colleges require, or recommend, one or more subject tests for admission and/or placement. Some colleges leave the choice of SAT II Subject Tests to the applicant, while other colleges are highly specific about the exams they require. Consult individual college catalogs or college guides in the North High School Library or the School Counseling Office to determine the requirements of the colleges you are considering. The most frequently requested subject area tests are English and Math. The third exam is usually of your choosing. (In general, the Math Level I and Math Level II exams do not count as two separate tests.) When choosing the SAT II Subject Tests, pick those subjects in which you expect to score well. If you already have a strong idea of the subject you want to major in, be sure to take the exam relating to that subject. (Engineering majors should strongly consider taking the Math II C exam, while BA-M.D. candidates must take the Chemistry or Physics exam.)

The SAT II Tests are offered six times a year. The exams are scheduled in October, November, December, January, May and June. Keep in mind, however, each subject area test is not necessarily offered on each of the test dates. You must carefully check the SAT II bulletin for that information. The SAT II Tests are usually given on the same day as the SAT I. You cannot take both the SAT I and the SAT II tests on the same day, and although you can take up to three Subject Tests on the same day, it is not recommended you do so. Both of these exams are offered on Saturday mornings or on other dates by special arrangement. Read the bulletins thoroughly.

Subject Tests should only be taken in courses in which you have done very well (grade of 90 or more), and after you have completed your study of that subject area (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Sequential Math, etc.)

We strongly urge you to take the SAT II test in June after completing a course. Don't postpone taking the test until after the summer with the intention of studying. In general, best results are achieved when exams are taken immediately after the course when the material is still fresh in your mind.


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