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FAQs About the SAT Subject Tests

By Dr. Raymond Huntington

The SAT is common terminology among college-bound teens and their parents, but not everyone is as familiar with the SAT Subject Tests. What do you need to know about these exams? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Huntington to get you up to speed:

How are the SAT Subject Tests different than the regular SAT?

The SAT Subject Tests are high school-level tests that reflect high school curricula. They indicate a student’s readiness for college-level courses in specific subject areas. The SAT is focused on the skills and knowledge learned in high school and what students need to succeed in college. It has a Reading Test, Writing and Language Test, Math Test and optional Essay Test.

What subjects are tested by the SAT Subject Tests?

There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five areas: Mathematics (2), Science (3), English (1), History (2) and Languages (12).

How often are these exams given and can you take several at once?

SAT Subject Tests are given six times a year on the same days and at the same test centers as the SAT, but not all 20 tests are offered on every SAT date. The Language and Listening tests are only offered in November. Although students can take up to three Subject Tests on a test date, they cannot take SAT and an SAT Subject Test on the same day.

When should my child take the SAT Subject Test?

After completing the area of study, sign up for the next available test date to take the Subject Test.

Did the SAT Subject Tests change with the recent redesign of the SAT?

No. For now, the College Board says that the SAT Subject Tests are staying the same.

Do colleges require the SAT Subject Tests?

Some do, but not all. SAT Subject Tests show colleges that students are ready for specific programs of study or certain courses or majors. The College Board lists institutions that have indicated that they require, recommend or consider the Subject Tests in admissions. Visit Of course, it’s a good idea to check with a college directly as well.

Why should your teen consider taking any SAT Subject Tests?

The most obvious reason is if the college to which your teen is applying recommends or requires Subject Tests. However, even colleges that don’t require SAT Subject Tests might accept them and use them in admission to get a more complete picture of your teen as an applicant. These tests are a great way for students to showcase their strengths and strongly express an interest in specific programs or majors.

What’s the best way to prepare for the SAT Subject Tests?

These exams are based in high school course work, so the best way to prepare for them is to keep up in school. If your teen is struggling through a particular subject, a Huntington tutoring program will help him or her catch up and get ahead, which is a great foundation. We can also help your teen get familiar with the test and study strategies for success.

Huntington offers one-to-one prep programs for students taking the SAT Subject Tests. If your teen needs help or you have questions about these exams or Huntington’s prep programs, call us at 1 800-CAN LEARN. To learn more about the SAT Subject Tests, visit

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at For franchise opportunities please visit  

©2018 Huntington Mark, LLC. Huntington Learning Center®, the three-leaf logo, and 1 800 CAN LEARN® are registered trademarks of Huntington Mark, LLC. Each franchised Huntington Learning Center is operated under a franchise agreement with Huntington Learning Centers, Inc. SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. These entities were not involved in the production of and do not endorse either program.


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