LIVE MASTERCLASS: 7 Strategies For Parents To Help Your Child Earn $100,000 College Scholarships & Ace The New 2024 Digital SAT. Enroll Free!

SAT Subject Test Prep Tips

SAT Subject Tests are a great way to show off how much you know about specific areas of study. The problem is they require different prep than the regular SAT exam. The good news is there are SAT Subject Test prep tips that work.

SAT Subject Tests aren’t the same as the regular SAT. Use these SAT Subject Test prep tips to make sure you’re ready for each specific exam.

Learn how to prepare for standardized tests with our year-round SAT prep and ACT prep courses today.


sat subject test prep

What Is An SAT Subject Test?

SAT Subject Tests cover your knowledge of specific subjects.

There are currently 20 subject tests to choose from that cover English, math, science, history, and a variety of foreign languages. The benefit of subject tests is they can allow you to show off more academically than the regular SAT.

Choose The Right Subject Test For Yourself

Pick the one you’ll do the best on.

SAT Subject Tests closely follow the kinds of things you already studied in high school. They’re also very specific across subjects.

As a result, if there’s a particular school subject that you’ve always excelled at, then there’s probably a Subject Test that’ll fit you best. For example, if you’ve always been great in English class and love reading different kinds of work, then look into the Literature test.

If you’ve always enjoyed solving math problems, then look into Math I or Math II. The point is taking the test that makes you shine the best academically.


Make Sure To Correctly Schedule It

Take the test at the right time, based on other exams and your own prep needs.

Go online and make sure to mark out when particular Subject Tests are offered throughout the year. It’s important to make sure that your Subject Test date doesn’t conflict with an SAT or ACT date you’re planning on too.

The reason being that you can’t take Subject Tests on the same day as the regular SAT. An easy way to find the schedules is going online to the College Board website. They administer both the regular SAT and SAT Subject Tests, so everything is listed together.

Also, when looking at the scheduled dates, make sure to review the recommended preparation section. Why? Because it’ll layout all the skills and classes you’ll already need to have taken beforehand.

Have The Right Materials On Test Day

Make sure to bring the right stuff along.

The bare minimum supplies you have to bring include:

  • Photo ID
  • Pencils
  • Printed Admission Ticket

Don’t forget those items! If you do, you won’t get to take the test on that date. However, because each test is specialized, there’s probably other stuff to bring along.

For example, on any language subject test with listening, you are required to bring a CD player. Also, on the various SAT Science subject tests, calculators are not allowed at all.

However, on the Math I and Math II tests, some calculators are permitted. To find out what’s permitted and not permitted, go to the College Board website and check the requirements.

Learn How SAT Subject Test Scoring Works

Get familiar with how many points are available.

Like the regular SAT, the SAT Subject Tests operate on a 200-800 point scale. The corresponding percentile you’re placed in depends on that point scale score. You also receive subscores on each test too.

All questions are multiple-choice. A huge difference between subject tests and the regular SAT is you are penalized for incorrect answers. You lose a portion of a point for answering wrong. However, if you skip a question entirely, you aren’t penalized.

What that means for you is studying hard because guessing will actually hurt you in this case. Knowing that point though, you can better structure your study prep.


For more test strategy, college admissions, and scholarship application tips sign up for our FREE class happening right now!

Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
More from Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA