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SAT Subject Test Dates 2017: When Should You Take Them?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | May 1, 2017 2:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests

 

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When are you planning to take the SAT Subject Tests? If you answered, "I don't know," you're not alone! It's hard to know when the best time is to fit in the subject tests with the general SAT, your schoolwork, and everything else you've got going on.

Let's take a look at when the SAT Subject Tests are offered and when the best dates are for you to take them. As long as you have a plan, you'll be able to balance these tests with all the other things you're up to in your busy life. 

 

When Are the SAT Subject Tests Offered?

The tests are offered 7 times per year in October, November, December, January, May, June, and August. These are the same dates as the general SAT, except for one date in March.

The literature, science, history, and math tests are offered on all these dates. The language tests, however, are only offered on some of the dates and not others.

This chart breaks down the SAT subject test schedule for the summer and 2017-2018 school year:

 
2017 Test Dates
2018 Test Dates
 
June 3rd Aug 26th Oct 7th Nov 4th  Dec 2nd May 5th June 2nd
Literature
Biology E/M
Chemistry
Physics
U.S. History
World History
     
Math Level 1
Math Level 2
French
 
German
         
Spanish
 
Modern Hebrew
       
 
Italian
       
 
Latin
     
 
French with Listening
 
 
 
   
 
 
German with Listening
 
 
 
   
 
 
Spanish with Listening
 
 
 
   
 
 
Chinese with Listening
 
 
 
   
 
 
Japanese with Listening
 
 
 
   
 
 
Korean with Listening
 
 
 
   
 
 

 

Since there are several subject tests offered on one date, can you take more than one at the same time? Read on to learn about the rules and conditions.

 

Subject Test Conditions

  • You can take up to three subject tests on the same date! Two caveats are:
    • You can only take one Listening test per date. Listening tests are always given in the first hour.
    • You can only take one Biology (E or M) test per date; you can't take both on the same date.
  • Also, you may change the test you are taking on test day, unless it's a Listening test.
  • You cannot take a subject test on the same date that you take the general SAT.

Keeping these conditions in mind, let's talk about popular dates for test-takers.

 

When Should You Take SAT Subject Tests?

You need to integrate SAT Subject Test Dates with your SAT/ACT test, APs, and extracurriculars. What are the best test dates for you to take it? Here are a few ways to figure this out.

 

Popular Test Dates

May and June are popular times to take the SAT Subject Tests. Since a subject test requires knowledge of a particular subject, the best time to take one is often at the end of the academic year in which you have studied that subject.

If you're focusing extra attention on that subject for final exams or AP tests, all the better! Your studying can kill two birds with one stone, as you prepare yourself for both tests.

Here are more important tips and strategies you need to know to excel on the SAT Subject Tests.

 

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Content Readiness

The SAT Subject Tests are your chance to show subject mastery, whether it's a subject you've taken in school or one that you've learned a lot about on your own time. Since the tests align with a subject, rather than a grade level, you don't have to wait until junior year to take them.

Instead, you should take them when the content is fresh and ready in your mind. You may be able to get an excellent score on the Biology subject test, for example, after your 9th grade biology test.

By familiarizing yourself with the content that's covered on each test, you'll have a sense of when you're best prepared to take it.

The language tests require a lot of knowledge—at least two or three years of intensively studying a language. Since many fluent or native speakers may take a language test, you should only opt for these if you feel extremely ready. It is more difficult to score in a high percentile on these tests.

 

Time for Prep

As mentioned above, a lot of students benefit from taking the SAT Subject Test as close as possible to a final exam or AP test in the same subject. With all your studying, you'll be fully immersed in the subject matter. Plus, you can join forces with other students in your class. Study groups can be a powerful way to share knowledge, stay motivated, and make sure you're asking the right questions.

 

Schedule With Balance In Mind

If you're also taking the SAT and ACT, you have to consider how to balance these tests and the studying that you'll put towards them. You'll also likely want to take the SAT more than once, so make sure to leave available dates for a second or third retake.

One possible schedule could be the following:

 

Sample Testing Schedule

Junior Year

October - Take the PSAT.
March - Take the SAT for the first time. 
May - Take the SAT Subject Tests and AP Exams, as well as school finals.
June - Take the SAT for the second time.

Senior Year

October or November - Take the SAT for the third time. As you saw in the chart above, some of the Language tests are usually only offered in November, so keep this in mind if you're taking one of those.

If you're taking the ACT, you could take it in February, April, and/or June of junior year, and again in September or October of senior year.

 

Remember, you don't have to wait until junior year to take the SAT Subject Tests, but you are usually best served to take them in May or June to coincide with the end of an academic course in whatever subject is relevant to your test.

You may take the subject tests again in the fall of senior year. While this test date may be too late for Early Action deadlines, they will likely be in on time for Regular Decision deadlines. The only downside with waiting until fall of senior year is that you won't know your scores until your college list has already been mostly finalized.

 

To Sum Up... 

Figuring out a schedule and getting your tests finished in advance of college deadlines is beneficial for your college applications and personal stress levels. By knowing your deadlines and approaching the tests with a purposeful schedule, you'll know exactly when you're taking the tests and when you'll know your scores.

Your test dates shouldn't be a random decision, but rather made deliberately based on your content readiness, time for test prep, and balance with the general SAT

 

What's Next?

Now that you know all the upcoming SAT Subject Test dates, it's time to learn more about all the subjects you can test in

When are you planning to take the SAT or ACT? Learn about the best test dates for taking these important tests.

Did you know that some colleges have test flexible policies that allow you to send subject test scores in place of the general SAT? Check out the full list of test optional and test flexible colleges here.

 

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Rebecca Safier
About the Author

Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.



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