Five Tips for SAT Subject Tests

With school winter breaks now over, spring breaks just around the corner and summer on the horizon, senioritis is setting in as most high school seniors have already figured out their college plans for next fall.

But for many college bound juniors, the next few months will be spent studying for the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests offered in May and June.

SAT Subject Tests are one-hour tests that are designed to assess academic readiness for college. SAT Subject Tests focus on very specific subject areas such as United States history, physics, Italian and more. While SAT Subject Tests are often seen as tests for only those applying for admission to elite universities, Neil Chyten, founder and president of Chyten Educational Services, says that every student wanting to go to a four-year college, should consider taking 2-3 SAT Subject Tests.

“Good scores on the SAT Subject Tests can tip the scales in a student’s favor,” says Chyten. “Many students find the SAT and ACT very challenging and don’t score as well as they’d like. Some of those same students excel in you specialized subject matter such as physics or literature and can get really high scores on the subject tests. It’s really an opportunity for students to show colleges beyond what can be deduced from SAT or ACT scores.”

The upcoming dates for the SAT Subject Tests are May 5 and June 2 and registration deadlines are approaching. Students can choose to take one, two or three SAT Subject Tests during each date. Subject Tests cannot be taken on the same day as the SAT.

Chyten offers the following five tips for students taking the SAT Subject Tests this spring:

  1. The College Board allows test takers to take up to three SAT Subject Tests in a single testing day. Students should always take full advantage of the testing schedule by taking three tests in a single sitting. It’s only a couple of extra hours and the cost is nominal.
  2. As long as students register to take 2-3 exams, they can elect to take any ones they want, in any order with the exception of Language with Listening, regardless of which ones were previously indicated on the registration form. Since registration closes months in advance of the test, students may change their mind last minute based on the successes or difficulties they’ve had while preparing.
  3. Students should strategize in advance the order in which they want to take what tests. If students tend to be nervous when tests begin, they should consider taking the most important test in the second hour. If not, take the most important exam first, followed by the next most important and then the least important.
  4. With optional score reporting, you have total control over which scores appear on your college application. In any case, most colleges only consider your highest scores. It is extremely advantageous to retake a test on a different date if not happy with the original score. By taking the tests in groups of three, there is plenty of opportunity to attempt a higher score or try a new subject. You can choose to show none, one, two, or all three scores taken on a particular day. SAT Subject Tests, along with the SAT, are offered in May and June, then again in October, November, December and January.
  5. For some students, taking SAT Subject Tests in May, followed by the SAT in June, is better than the more traditional strategy of taking the SAT in May and Subject Tests in June. Among Chyten students, history has shown that the June SAT is often easier than SATs given on different dates. This strategy is not right for every student, but for some it could result in better overall test scores.

Since its founding in 1999, Chyten Educational Services has earned a reputation as one of America’s leading providers of tutoring and test preparation services with its alternative strategies that stand apart from the one-size-fits-all, prepackaged solutions of others in a highly fragmented industry comprised of independent tutors along with regional and national brands. Currently, Chyten has five centers located in Massachusetts and New York.

For more information or to locate a Chyten near you, call 800-428-TEST.