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How important are the SAT Subject Tests?

QUESTION: How important are the SAT Subject Tests in admission? Should I spend time studying for them? Signed, To Study Or Not

Dear To Study Or Not: It used to be that the SAT Subject Tests were the sidekicks of the SAT Reasoning Test, required but not garnering much attention. Now, the SAT Subject Tests at least share the spotlight with the SAT and for some colleges even play a starring role.

Unlike the SAT Reasoning Test which tests verbal and math, the SAT Subject Tests test specific knowlege in a subject. There are 20 exams in the areas of English, math, science, languages and history and social studies.

Colleges are increasingly valuing SAT Subject Tests because they demonstrate your actual understanding of a subject area. This demonstrates not only how well you have learned each subject but also how prepared you will be for college level courses.

Therefore, just like you should prepare for the SAT Reasoning Test, you should also prepare for the SAT Subject Tests. Get familiar with the format of the tests, and study by taking old exams for practice. For more information on the SAT Subject Tests, refer to the College Board's Web site at

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.