How to Prepare for SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests are tools that the most competitive colleges use to identify students who stand out in the crowd. These schools receive a TON of applicants each year and have some pretty difficult choices to make about who is in, and who is out. Students who take SAT Subject Tests in areas they can show exceptional skill make their applications stand out from others.

These tests should not be taken lightly, however. These are competitive and grueling 1-hour exams focused on specific subject areas. They are only taken by the BEST students and are used to reveal the best choices to colleges. Last year, more than 10% of students who took the Chemistry SAT Subject Test got a perfect score of 800!

So, now that you understand why your child needs these tests, the next step is knowing how to prepare for them.

There is no “one size fits all” solution for how to prepare for these tough tests but there are certain things any student can do to see optimal performance. Students should be enrolled in competitive honors or AP classes to learn the concepts they will see on the tests. Remember that these SAT Subject Tests are different than AP Exams – and the content is NOT the same! AP Classes are designed to prepare students for AP Exams and the scope of SAT Subject Tests can be quite different.

The most definitive way for a student to get a baseline score is by taking a practice test. Your Revolution Prep advisor can send you one of these tests to take and help you understand your score. These practice tests, like the actual SAT Subject Tests, are only an hour long – a great investment in a student’s time. Students see that 60 minutes goes by really quickly and how a plan of attack for these tests can make a big difference! Once a student takes the test, an advisor will sit down and explain some test taking strategies for missed questions that will help him do better on the actual test.

Becoming familiar with the types of questions on the exam is another way to walk in feeling confident and prepared. On these multiple choice exams, a student can use proven test taking tips to navigate through difficult questions. Should you guess on a practice exam? Statistics say that, if you can eliminate even one choice, it is in your best interest to guess! Tips like these can help a student not waste time and put their energy towards concepts he better understands.

Finally, consider all preparation options from self-study using online resources found at to one-on-one tutoring. Each student’s goals for a SAT Subject Test are different and your advisor can help you understand what makes the most sense for your child’s specific situation.

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