SAT Subject Tests

Table of Contents


SAT Subject Tests (also known as SAT IIs) are hour-long, content-based exams that supplement the SAT Reasoning Test. They are designed to assess student knowledge and mastery of specific subject matter within the disciplines of English, history, mathematics, science, and a variety of languages. These tests help students gain admission to some of the more selective colleges and universities, place out of introductory-level college classes, and sometimes even grant college credits or satisfy subject or major-specific program requirements.

In the college admissions process, these tests allow students to differentiate themselves. Some of the more selective colleges require them for admission. Other colleges, though they do not require SAT Subject Test scores, recommend them and may use scores for placement in college courses.

Academic Approach is ready to help your student prepare for and excel on SAT Subject Tests.

Test Format & Structure

The SAT Subject Tests fall into five general categories:


  • Literature


  • U.S. History
  • World History


  • Math Level 1
  • Math Level 2


  • Biology E/M
  • Chemistry
  • Physics


  • Chinese with Listening
  • French or French with Listening
  • German or German with Listening
  • Spanish or Spanish with Listening
  • Modern Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Japanese with Listening
  • Korean with Listening

Test Administration

Each test is administered with paper and pencil, including the Listening portions of the language tests. The two Mathematics tests allow the use of a calculator. All other subjects, including the sciences, do not allow students to use a calculator. Some tests may require you to bring additional equipment, such as a CD player for the Language with Listening tests.


On a given SAT test date, students can test either the SAT Reasoning Test or up to three SAT Subject Tests. The SAT and Subject Tests cannot be taken on the same day. Subjects must be selected when registering for the tests, though in some cases, students may be able to add, subtract, or switch tests. Learn more about changing tests on the College Board website here.


Each SAT Subject Test is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points, with 800 being the best score.
Because there is no penalty for incorrect answers, students should guess even if it means filling in random answer choices.

Dates & Deadlines

SAT Subject Tests are offered on the same dates as the SAT, with the exception of March. This means that Subject Tests are available seven times per year: October, November, December, January, May, June, and August. The exception to this is language tests that include Listening, which are only offered on the November test date. Beginning in 2021, however, Listening tests will also be administered in May.

Upcoming Test Information

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration (fee required) Scores Released
April 4, 2020 February 28, 2020 February 29 – March 13, 2020 April 14 – May 29, 2020
June 13, 2020 May 8, 2020 May 9-22, 2020 June 23 – August 7, 2020
July 18, 2020* June 19, 2020 June 20-26, 2020 July 28 – August 31, 2020

*July test dates are typically not available in New York test centers.

There are two remaining dates in the 2019-2020 school year.

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration (fee required) Scores Released
May 2, 2020 April 3, 2020 Mail – April 14, 2020
Phone/Online – April 21, 2020
May 15, 2020
June 6, 2020 May 8, 2020 Mail – May 19, 2020
Phone/Online – May 27, 2020
July 15, 2020

Up to three Subject Tests can be taken on the same day as long as the student is not taking the SAT Reasoning Test.


To take an SAT Subject Test has a $26 basic registration fee plus an additional $22 per test. Language with Listening tests are an additional $26 rather than $22 per test. As with the SAT Reasoning Test, additional fees apply for late registrations. Eligible students can receive a fee waiver, which covers up to two SAT registrations and up to six SAT Subject Test registrations.


The SAT provides a variety of accommodations: extended time and multiple-day testing, large print test booklets and large block answer sheets, computer-based testing, and accommodations for additional physical disabilities. You can find the full list of possible accommodations here.

It can take up to seven weeks for the College Board to approve accommodations requests, so start working with your school counselor early to submit your request. You can find more information about requesting accommodations on the College Board’s Accommodations page here.

Every Student is Different

We know our students; each one is unique, and each one requires a different approach, especially during these unprecedented times. That is why our ACT, SAT, and Middle School test prep is customized to each student and school partner.

We improve your students’ standardized testing by tailoring our research-based, expert instruction and curriculum to your needs, and we can get started with you right away.

Our offices are now open, but in a limited capacity. We are still offering online tutoring and all practice tests will remain virtual.

Reach out to us at 773-348-8914 with any questions.