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Which SAT Subject tests do I have to take for my college application as an international student?


I'm a rising-sophomore right now and I couldn't decide which SAT Subject-tests or any other test do I need to take. My school doesn't offer any AP or SAT classes and it's conducting the national curriculum with the French Baccaleaurat program but I am planning to apply for US colleges and am trying to reach all requirements for applications. I've self-studied and taken the AP Microeconomics Exam this year. But I've learned that I have to take some SAT Subject test as well as the SAT test. Majors I am interested in are Economics, Politics, International Relations, and Law. Should I take the World history and Maths Level 1-2 or other?


2 answers

answered on[edited]
Accepted answer

Hi! You sound pretty similar to me, so I think my advice will suit you well. Most (top) schools in the US want to see subject test scores that are competitive (740+) and match the majors you are interested in. Thus, the history and math subject tests are your best bet. Here is my recommendation:

World History - covers the equivalent of a 2-yr AP World course or a normal 2-year High School world history course. You will need to know both ancient and modern world history. It is a LOT of fact recall/details to remember.

Math 1 - covers Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2. If you are not sure what math classes you are taking I can help as well.

Math 2 - covers Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, and Calculus *Equivalent of A1+A2+Geo and Precalc

US History - if you are going for law or studying in the US this might be a good idea as well.

English literature - might be a good idea if you want to supplement your English test scores (if you don’t speak English natively it will show that you have a good understanding of the language and English writing - good for law)

My best piece of advice is study hard, buy a review book (Barron’s makes good ones for the Sat Subj test) and know that the AP and Subject test do NOT cover the same material so you can’t only study for one and expect to do well on the other. Study for AP and subject test together but know that they are different tests that have a different curriculum.

Another option (if you are/speak French) is that you could take the French subject test if you need a filler (equivalent to level 4/5 US or roughly a B1 level). If you want to apply to a school for International Relations or Foreign Service you need to understand fluently English and one other Modern language (French, Spanish, Italian, some schools also accept Russian and Chinese). If you have a question about TOEFL/english exams I am afraid I can’t help you but you probably will be fine seeing that your english is so strong.

Hope this is helpful!!

Thank you for your answer. I genuinely appreciate your help. I have the B2 certificate in French so taking a French Sub-test may be an option for me. I've decided on which AP tests I'll be taking in my junior year and taking the SAT-subject World History for one of my subject tests. But I couldn't decide which Math tests I should take because one of my friends told me that AP Calculus is equivalent to the Math SAT-Subject test so taking both of them would be waste of time for me. Thank You!!!
of course, no problem! if you’ve taken pre calculus or a calculus course you should take math 2 but you don’t need to take both
answered on

It depends on what school(s) you want to attend as I am applying to a top 20 school I am Planning on taking some of them but some of the schools just care about normal sat and gpa so it varies by university.

Like 3/4ths of all ivies are sat subject optional but optional is not blind. If you can know what colleges you want to attend look at SAT requirements. If none of them require subjects tests I’d probably discard if one of your top 5 schools require it I’d recomend taking all required subject tests.

Hope this helps!