If you're planning on applying to highly selective colleges, you may be required to take two or three SAT Subject Tests. Subject Tests are offered almost as many times throughout the year as the regular SAT. In this article, I'll go through the dates and registration deadlines and give you lists of the subjects that are offered on each date.
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.
SAT Subject Test Dates: 2015-16
SAT Subject Tests are offered on five of the six regular SAT test dates coming up during this school year (the regular SAT test date in March will not offer SAT Subject Tests). Here are the dates and registration deadlines:
|SAT Subject Test Date||Normal Registration Deadline||Late Registration Deadline|
|November 7, 2015||October 9, 2015||October 27, 2015|
|December 5, 2015||November 5, 2015||November 23, 2015|
|January 23, 2016||December 28, 2015||January 12, 2016|
|May 7, 2016||April 8, 2016||April 26, 2016|
|June 4, 2016||May 5, 2016||May 25, 2016|
Keep in mind that not all subject tests are offered on each of these dates. This chart lists all the SAT Subject Tests and whether they will be offered on each of the five test dates during this school year. The most popular tests, like Biology and Math 1 and 2, are offered on all dates.
|Subject Test||Nov. 7, 2015||Dec. 5, 2015||Jan. 23, 2016||May 7, 2016||Jun. 4, 2016|
|French with Listening||✓|
|German with Listening||✓|
|Spanish with Listening||✓|
|Chinese with Listening||✓|
|Japanese with Listening||✓|
|Korean with Listening||✓|
Here's another table with a different organization that may make it easier for you to see which tests are offered on each date. I only included the subject tests that are offered on some dates but not all. Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics, Math 1, Math 2, Literature and US History are offered on all test dates, so they are not included in this chart:
|Test Date||World History||French||German||Spanish||Modern Hebrew||Italian||Latin|
|Nov. 7, 2015|
|Dec. 5, 2015||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Jan. 23, 2016||✓||✓|
|May 7, 2016||✓||✓|
|Jun. 4, 2016||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Test Date||French with Listening||German with Listening||Spanish with Listening||Chinese with Listening||Japanese with Listening||Korean with Listening|
|Nov. 7, 2015||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Dec. 5, 2015|
|Jan. 23, 2016|
|May 7, 2016|
|Jun. 4, 2016|
Which Test Date Should You Choose?
If you know you have to take subject tests, it's important to plan strategically. You should make sure that you take your subject tests on a date that doesn't conflict with other major commitments. Plan on taking subject tests at a much earlier or later date than the regular SAT so that you have time to study for both and don't end up with low scores on either.
May and June are usually good SAT subject test dates because they're at the end of the school year, so you will be at your maximum level of knowledge for the subjects (assuming you took the relevant class this year). Remember that you don't have to wait until your junior year to take subject tests. If you take a class sophomore year that directly pertains to one of the subject tests, you can go ahead and take the test at the end of that school year. Taking subject tests while the material is still fresh in your mind is the best way to avoid long hours of studying. Some tests, like many of the language tests, are not offered in the spring, so make sure you verify that you can take your chosen test on the date that interests you.
You should also note that you can take up to three subject tests on one test date (although only one listening subject test is allowed per test date). Each subject test is an hour long, so even if you take three tests in one day you won't spend as much time at the test center as you would for the regular SAT. You may not need to take three tests; the number depends on the requirements of the colleges where you plan on applying.
Most selective schools only require students to take two subject tests. If you're taking two subject tests on one test date, you should try to choose them wisely so that they pair well together. For example, if you need to take Math 2 and math is a tough subject for you, you should choose a second subject test in an area where you feel more comfortable so you can balance out your stress levels.
Don't go too far down Stress Street or you won't be able to get back to Relaxation Road. Relaxation Road: the name of my debut ambient chill album.
Are you wondering what scores you should aim for on SAT Subject Tests? Learn more about what a good score might mean for you.
You may have heard that some SAT Subject Tests are easier than others. Find out which tests are the easiest and why.
If you're worried about time pressure on subject tests, check out this article that describes the length and format of each test and how you can overcome issues with time.
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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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.