You might be required or strongly encouraged to take SAT Subject Tests if you're applying to highly selective colleges. Thankfully, registering for SAT Subject Tests is just as easy as registering for the regular SAT. It might take a bit more planning to verify that the test you want is being offered on a certain test date, but otherwise the process is similar.
In this article, I’ll go through, step by step, how to register for Subject Tests so you don’t run into any confusion along the way.
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 to Register for SAT Subject Tests, Step by Step
I've described each step of the SAT Subject Test registration process below, with screenshots to help you follow along.
Step 1: Check Test Dates
First, go to the official College Board website and check to see which SAT Subject Tests are offered on which dates. Once you know the date you want to sign up for, click the blue "Register" link in the column for your desired test date:
You'll need to log into your existing College Board account or create a new one if you don’t have one yet (you probably do if you took the regular SAT already).
Once you sign in, you’ll be taken to your homepage. Click the yellow "Register for the SAT" button to get to the SAT Registration page below:
Step 2: Enter Your Personal Information
Click the “Continue” button in the bottom-right corner of the page. You’ll be taken to a screen that asks you to fill out some personal information if you haven't done so during a previous test registration. This is very important, so make sure everything is accurate!
The demographics section is not as critical; it's just there for the College Board to use in statistical calculations. It might take a few minutes to fill out, but don’t worry too much about it:
Step 3: Create Your Student Profile
Continue to the next module: Create Student Profile. Again, you can skip this step and move on to the next one if you've already filled out your profile from a previous registration.
Creating a profile can take a lot of time, but it’s mostly optional. If you fill it out, the College Board will share your information with colleges that will send you mail to try and entice you to apply. You can go ahead and click the “Update Later” button at the bottom of the screen once you put in your GPA in the “GPA/Rank” section, which is the only required information:
Step 4: Select Your Subject Test
Now you've reached the “Select Test & Center” module, where you must agree to the terms and conditions and can then choose the test center where you plan to take your Subject Test. In the “Choose Your Test & Date” section, select SAT Subject Tests, and then go to the tab for your chosen test date and select up to three Subject Tests:
This is also the screen where you’ll need to indicate whether you have been approved for test accommodations or a fee waiver:
Step 5: Pick a Test Center
On the next page, you will be asked to choose a test center. The zip code that you entered in the Personal Information section should already be there, so you’ll see test centers that are close to your hometown.
Keep in mind that not all test centers will be listed as options since some will not offer SAT Subject Tests. This means you might not be able to take your Subject Tests in the same location where you took the regular SAT. Click “Select” next to the test center you want to use:
Now, the screen will look like this:
Step 6: Upload a Photo
Continue to the next screen where you will be asked to upload a photo of yourself for authentication purposes. This photo will be part of your admission ticket. These are the examples given by the College Board for acceptable photos:
Basically, just use a clear photo that fully shows your face, isn’t too close up, and doesn’t include any other people. You can crop your photo after you upload it if necessary.
Step 7: Check Out
Proceed to the checkout step. Continue past the screen that gives you options to buy lots of prep books if you’re not interested. Review all your personal information and the tests you want to take before clicking “Make Payment.”
You will be asked to confirm your information one last time before you get to the payment screen. You can pay through PayPal or directly with a credit card depending on what’s easier for you:
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Registering for SAT Subject Tests is very similar to registering for the regular SAT, and it shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes at most if you skip filling out the information for your student profile (or have already filled it out).
Important Registration Tips for SAT Subject Tests
Although the SAT Subject Test registration process is pretty straightforward, there are some tips you should keep in mind so that you end up with the best testing experience.
First off, make sure you choose the best location. This might not always be your high school! Here’s a guide for how to pick the best test center for your needs.
You should also register well before the test's deadline so that you don’t have to pay any late fees. Here are the upcoming test dates and registration deadlines. Subject Tests are offered on all of these dates except for the one in March. Check this link to verify that the exam you want to take will be offered on the date of your choosing.
Be sure to apply for a fee waiver before you register if you think you might qualify. Read our guide for more information on how to get a fee waiver for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. You can get two fee waivers for SAT Subject Test registration. This waiver will cover your registration for one full test day, so it can pay for one, two, or three subject tests if you take them all at once.
The early bird catches the Subject Test worm. Or something like that. I just really enjoy this chubby bird.
What score should you aim for on your SAT Subject Tests? Learn more about what a good score might look like for you.
Some colleges require or recommend two or three Subject Tests. Read our guide to deciding how many you should take.
Do you need to take the Math 2 SAT Subject Test? Find out when you should take it in order to get your best possible score.
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.