When considering SAT Subject Tests, you only have a few important questions to consider:
1. Do you need to take them at all?
The number of schools that require or recommend SAT Subject Tests seems to be declining, especially in light of widespread ACT adoption: many schools accept ACT scores in place of both SAT and Subject Tests.
2. When should you take your Subject Tests?
We recommend May or June, based on your classes and target tests.
3. Which Subject Tests should you take?
This final question deserves careful consideration, as the right subjects will enhance your application whereas the wrong ones won’t help as much. For example, the College Board offers Subject Tests in 9 different languages, none of which are likely to help a student get into a competitive engineering or physical therapy program.
Choose subjects consistent with your stated major, assuming you have one in mind. Students on a pre-law track would do well to test in World History, U.S. History, or both. Science-minded students can choose from chemistry, physics, or two different versions of biology.
The sole exception to tailoring your subjects to your intended major is Math. Just about every school that requests SAT Subject Tests looks for Mathematics. Your choice in this regard will be which level to take: Level 1 or Level 2? Math Level 1 covers the same topics you’ll find in the math sections of the SAT or ACT. Math Level 2 includes those topics and adds advanced trigonometry and precalculus. Students on a science or math track should strongly consider taking Math Level 2.
Whichever SAT Subject Tests you choose, be sure to score very well on them. Generally, these tests only enhance an application at scores higher than 620 or so. Competitive schools look for 700+ in each test. Plan and prep accordingly… use The Official Study Guide for ALL SAT Subject Tests, 2nd Edition as your guide.