Many competitive college programs require high school students to submit SAT Subject Test scores to be eligible for admission. This usually means spending a little more money on test registration, but fee waivers are available if you're eligible. In this article, I'll go through how much each SAT Subject Test costs and how fee waivers work for these tests.
UPDATE: SAT Subject Tests No Longer Offered
In January 2021, the College Board announced that, effective immediately, no further SAT Subject Tests will be offered in the United States. SAT Subject Tests ended internationally in June 2021. It is now no longer possible to take SAT Subject Tests.
Many students were understandably confused about why this announcement happened midyear and what this means for college applications going forward. Read more about the details of what the end of SAT Subject Tests means for you and your college apps here.
How Much Does an SAT Subject Test Cost?
When you register for subject tests, there is a basic registration fee of $26. This is not associated with a specific test; it's just a baseline fee that everyone has to pay. Since you'll pay a registration fee for each test date, it makes sense to take multiple tests on the same date. This saves money because you'll only pay the $26 once rather than two or three times.
It costs an additional $22 on top of the $26 registration fee for most subject tests, but the per-test fee goes up to $26 for the language tests with listening sections. These tests include French with Listening, German with Listening, Spanish with Listening, Chinese with Listening, Japanese with Listening, and Korean with Listening. So, if you took the Math 2 Subject Test and the Japanese with Listening Subject Test, you would be charged $26 (basic registration fee) plus $22 (fee for Math 2) plus $26 (fee for Japanese with Listening) for a total of $74.
You can take anywhere from one to three regular subject tests on one test date, but you can only take one listening subject test per test date. This means you might be charged as little as $48 for one test day (registration fee plus one regular subject test) or as much as $96 (registration fee plus one listening subject test and two regular subject tests). In comparison, registration for the regular SAT with the essay costs $68. That price drops to $52 if you choose to take it without the essay.
If you don't make the regular registration deadline, you'll have to pay a late registration fee of $30. There's also an extra $30 fee if you decide to change your test date, center, or type of test after registration. Waitlist status is available for SAT Subject Tests for an additional fee of $53. You can read more about the SAT waitlist here.
NOTE: The College Board has suspended the SAT waitlist at least through the 2022-2023 school year. This means that the late registration deadline (in this case November 15) is the final day to register for the SAT. Registering later than that is not possible. For updates on when the College Board reinstates the SAT waitlist, check our SAT waitlist article.
This rabbit would ace the listening subject tests.
Can You Get a Fee Waiver for SAT Subject Tests?
Yes! If you're eligible, you'll get two fee waivers for the regular SAT and six fee waivers for SAT Subject Tests. One fee waiver covers a whole day of testing for Subject Tests, so you can take three tests with just one fee waiver if you take them all on the same day! You can also use fee waivers for late registration at no extra cost if you miss the regular deadline.
But how do you get a fee waiver? If you're a student in the US, you can qualify for a waiver if one of the following applies to you:
- You are eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program
- Your family meets income eligibility guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service
- You are enrolled in a government program that helps students from low-income families
- Your family receives public assistance
- You live in public housing, a foster home, or are homeless
- You are a ward of the state or an orphan
If you think you may need a fee waiver to take SAT Subject Tests, speak to your guidance counselor. Even if you're not sure you meet the eligibility requirements, it doesn't hurt to ask in case you do! If you're eligible for a fee waiver, you'll also get free unlimited score reports to send to colleges and application fee waivers that are valid at most colleges.
You'll get two free passes for SAT Subject Test registration if you're eligible for a fee waiver.
Individual SAT Subject Tests are less expensive than the regular SAT, but they can get a little pricey if you plan to take two or three of them. For standard registration, you have to pay a baseline fee of $26 plus $22 for each regular Subject Test and $26 for each Subject Test with a listening section. You'll be charged an extra fee for late registration and for making changes to your registration after you've already signed up.
Fee waivers are available for SAT Subject Tests if you're eligible. You will get six SAT Subject Test waivers, and each waiver covers a full day of testing. Try to take all of your subject tests on the same date so that you only have to pay the registration fee once or, if you got the six fee waivers, can retake the test(s) for free.
Are you unsure of what your target score should be on SAT Subject Tests? Find out what a good score looks like for you.
If you're still trying to pick your subject tests, read our guide to deciding which ones to take.
If subject tests are stressing you out, take a look at this article detailing the easiest tests you can take to get this requirement out of the way.
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Samantha is a blog content writer for PrepScholar. Her goal is to help students adopt a less stressful view of standardized testing and other academic challenges through her articles. Samantha is also passionate about art and graduated with honors from Dartmouth College as a Studio Art major in 2014. In high school, she earned a 2400 on the SAT, 5's on all seven of her AP tests, and was named a National Merit Scholar.