Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests

Mr. Buffer (NJ Licensed Teacher), the Founder, Owner, and Educational Director of the Cambridge Learning Center of New Jersey,  was recently asked by a group of parents at a lecture what the most important things to know about the SAT Subject Tests were.     So, he decided to synthesize his remarks, based on and combined with answers to the most frequently asked questions he receives, into 8 major points below:


  1.  SAT Subject Tests are also called the “SAT 2”  Tests.  They are 1 hour each, typically composed of about 60 questions each.

  2.  SAT Subject Tests (SAT 2 Tests)  cannot be taken on the same test date as the regular SAT (known  as the SAT 1).

  3.  A student can take up to 3 subject tests on 1 test date.

  4.  The SAT Subject Tests are given in most major areas including Biology (Environmental and Molecular), Chemistry, Math I , Math II (PreCalculus and Trigonometry),  Spanish, French, Chinese,  Italian, German, Latin, U.S. History,  World History, Physics, and many of the foreign language tests listed also offer a Listening Section.

  5.  The SAT Subject Tests are not officially required for entrance to the vast majority of colleges, but some universities do require certain SAT Subject Tests to be considered for particular programs.  For example, many 7-year Medical programs do require the SAT Chemistry or SAT Biology (Molecular) test, and possibly a Math subject test.

  6.  Even though many schools do not require students to take these tests to be considered for Admission, great scores on these can be a very effective tool to help students make themselves more distinct amongst other applicants.   Mr. Buffer often tells parents the truth he has seen play out repeatedly that the Subject Tests can be the “Tie-breakers” between two students with equal GPAs, SAT Scores, and other indicators of high achievement. 

  7.  SAT Subject Tests are given all-year-round, when the regular SAT is offered, except for March.

  8.  School learning is not often enough to fully prepare students for a Subject Test because the content in school is not fully comprehensive.    Mr. Buffer often explains that the SAT Subject Test is a nationally-given test, which means the composition of the test is the same across the 50 states, but each state has its own curriculum.  So, inevitably, there will be necessary learning material omitted from a student’s education, or possibly not covered as in depth as is optimal for a stellar performance on the Subject Test.   This is why Cambridge Learning Center has become so successful at preparing students for these tests, because we teach the material that students don’t yet know, often unbeknownst to them.