What are the SAT IIs?

April 30, 2012

If you have any designs on attending college after high school, you've likely heard about the SATs or ACTs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 47 percent of high school graduates took the SATs during the 2009-2010 school year. However, you may be confused about what the SAT IIs are and how they can benefit you. Here is some basic information to help you sort out these tests.

Unlike the regular SATs, the SAT IIs are not designed to measure your general aptitude or reasoning skills. Instead, these are subject tests that focus entirely on a specific discipline. According to the College Board, there are currently 20 SAT Subject Tests available in the general subject areas of English, history, mathematics, science and foreign languages. Additionally, the SAT II tests are only an hour long, as opposed to the nearly three hour time limit on the regular SATs.

As you apply to different schools, you may discover that certain colleges require that you take specific subject tests as part of your application - often if you're applying for a specific major right away. Even if colleges don't require SAT IIs, they can serve as score supplements to enhance you desirability and ambition as a student candidate.

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