Differences Between the SAT and SAT Subject Tests

11:59, Monday, 18 November, 2019
Differences Between the SAT and SAT Subject Tests

For many high school students, the SAT is a tremendous source of anxiety. Your test date is your opportunity to demonstrate the skills you have developed throughout your four years of high school. It can also prove to potential college admissions departments that you are qualified to enter their school. But while most students have a basic understanding of what the SAT entails, far fewer people are aware that there are additional sub-exams that - while not required by all colleges - can be of great benefit to you during the admissions process.

Broadly speaking, the SAT is a measure of your ability in math, reading, and an essay buy writing. Your scores in these areas will have an effect on which schools accept you, but some programs might also require you to take additional subject tests (known as SAT Subject Tests) before you are considered. If you are curious about the differences between the SAT and SAT Subject Tests, read on:

SAT Subject Tests provide a more detailed measure of your abilities
     The SAT assesses your faculty as a critical thinker and problem-solver, but it does not delve into more specific areas of knowledge. As a result, you may be asked to take one or more SAT Subject Tests in order to demonstrate that you have achieved some level of proficiency in certain fields.

For example, if you would like to become a history major, your abilities in and knowledge of this subject will not necessarily be reflected in the general SAT. However, taking an SAT Subject Test can be a great way to show that you are qualified for the program to which you are applying.

The SAT is more widely required
     Although not all colleges and universities require you to take the SAT, many will ask to see your scores. SAT Subject Tests, on the other hand, are not as widely required. Before registering for an SAT Subject Test, check with the admissions departments of the schools you plan to apply to, and ask if they are expected or required. If so, inquire about how many exams you should sign up for (most colleges ask for one, two, or three) .

SAT Subject Tests can assist with course placement
     If you have taken (or are currently completing) any Advanced Placement (AP) courses during your time in high school, you likely know that AP classes occasionally allow you to skip one or more of the introductory courses that most students take in their first year of college. What you perhaps did not know, however, is that the SAT Subject Tests can potentially help you with this endeavour, as well.

The general SAT is taken into consideration for admittance to a particular college, but SAT Subject Tests reflect the extent of your knowledge and your personal level of comfort in a particular area, which can be valuable to a school that is determining whether or not you should skip a particular course during your freshman year. If you score exceptionally well on the French SAT Subject Test, for instance, you may be permitted to enroll in a sophomore-level French class, which can save you time and money!

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