What is the SAT?
The SAT is a three-hour test that measures verbal and mathematical reasoning skills students have developed over time and skills they need to be successful academically.
Many colleges and universities use the SAT as one indicator among others-class rank, high school GPA, extracurricular activities, personal essay, and teacher recommendations of a student's readiness to do college-level work. SAT scores are compared with the scores of other applicants, and the accepted scores at an institution, and can be used as a basis for awarding merit-based financial aid.
The SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800 (for math and verbal) and is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. The test is administered several times a year.
The SAT Subject Tests at a Glance
SAT Subject Tests include more than 20 different tests focusing on specific disciplines or subjects, such as English, history and social sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, and foreign languages. Each subject test lasts one hour and consists entirely of multiple choice questions, except for the Writing Test, which has a 20-minute essay section in addition to a 40-minute multiple choice section.
The SAT is largely a test of verbal and math skills. Although, you need to know vocabulary and some formulas, it's primarily designed to measure how well you read and think rather than what you know.
SAT Subject Tests are different. These tests are designed to measure what you know about specific disciplines. Sure, critical reading and thinking skills play a part, but the main purpose of the Subject tests is to determine exactly what you know about writing, math, history, chemistry, and so on.
How Are They Used?
Schools that require SATs feel that they're an important indicator of your ability to succeed in college. Specifically, they use your scores to help make admissions and placement decisions. Like the SAT, the SAT Subject Tests provide schools with a standard measure of academic performance, which they use to compare you to applicants from different high schools and different educational backgrounds. This information helps them to decide whether you have the academic ability to handle their curriculum.
Scores may also be used to decide what course of study is appropriate for you once you've been admitted. A low score on the Writing test, for example, may require you to take a remedial English course. Conversely, a high score on the Math Level I test may exempt you from an introductory math course.
Which Tests Should I Take?
The simple answer: Take the ones that you'll do well on. High scores, after all, can only help your chances for admission. Unfortunately, many colleges demand that you take particular tests, usually the Writing test and/or one of the math tests. Some schools gve you some choice in the matter, especially if they want you to take a total of three subject tests. Before you register for any test, check with the colleges in which you're interested to determine exactly which test(s) they require. This will save time in the long run.
Subject tests that are currently administered at Kaplan include:
|American History and Social Studies||Biology|
|Chemistry||Chinese with Listening|
|English Language Proficiency||French|
|French with Listening||German|
|German with Listening||Italian|
|Japanese with Listening||Latin|
|Literature||Math Level I|
|Math Level IC||Math Level IIC|
|Spanish||Spanish with Listening|
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