Trying to figure out which SAT subject test to take? You may want to consider which tests are easiest and which are the most challenging. After all, you want to perform well on the tests so that admissions advisors will see the highest scores. However, colleges also want to see that you’re challenging yourself, so it can be a good idea to pick a test that’s medium difficulty: not too easy and not too hard.
One way of measuring the difficulty of subject tests is by looking at which tests students scored best on. But remember that there are a variety of factors that could account for these scores. For example, students might score higher in certain subjects because the type of student who chooses to take that test generally excels in that field. These high scores don’t mean that the test will be easy for someone who doesn’t excel in that field.
And keep in mind the tests are scaled! So you are compared against other students taking the test, not 100% correct answers.
Nevertheless, let’s look at the 2015 data from the College Board.
Average percentage correct (highest to lowest)
– Korean with listening (84-87)
– Chinese with listening (83-87)
– Modern Hebrew (77-82)
– Japanese with listening (73-85)
– Spanish with listening (72-73)
– Spanish (68-72)
– Biology M (64-74)
– Math Level 2 (65-69)
– German with listening (65-69)
– Chemistry (62-71)
– Italian (63-70)
– Literature (62-70)
– Biology E (61-70)
– Math Level 1 (62-67)
– Latin (62-66)
– French with listening (61-66)
– German (61-65)
– U.S. History (57-68)
– French (59-63)
– Physics (55-65)
– World History (51-62)
Take the tests that align with your interests
It’s best if you take the tests that best reflect your interests and/or your potential college major. The difficulty of these tests is totally subjective for every single person because everyone has different personal strengths and weaknesses. So although difficulty is an important factor, you should focus on picking a test that shows colleges you are particularly skilled in your chosen field of study.
Take the tests that you think you can score the best in
If you’re unsure what you want to major in (which is totally fine), choose the SAT subject test that you think you can score the highest on. It’s important to show which subjects you excel in, even if you don’t think you would actually consider majoring in those subjects. Take practice tests in a few subjects to see which might be best for you.
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About Nadira Berman
As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.
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