Getting into college represents a major academic accomplishment—and many students have concerns regarding the college entry process. Testing embodies one of the most common processes required to enter college. Hundreds of universities require results from the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT. The SAT measures a student’s college readiness. The SAT Subject Tests provide students the opportunity to select areas that showcase their accomplishments—and several competitive colleges and universities require an SAT Subject Test before considering a student’s application.

What Is the SAT?

College admission requires more than an application and final high school grades; colleges and universities seek students that demonstrate college readiness. The SAT is a standardized test that measures a student’s understanding of mathematics, critical reading and writing; skills that are important to leading a successful college career. The SAT Subject Test takes the testing process further by offering students an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in select subject areas. In the past, the tests were called SAT II Subject Tests. Following are a few examples of current SAT Subject Tests:

* Biology SAT Subject Test: Students can take molecular or ecological tests.

* United States History SAT Subject Test: Tests measure a student’s understanding of American history and social studies.

* Mathematics SAT Subject Tests: Level I and II mathematics tests measure a student’s skill at algebra, trigonometry or statistics, to name a few.

SAT II Subject Tests deliver flexibility and confidence. Students can choose those areas that demonstrate their understanding and expertise in specific areas. Consequently, higher scores on SAT II Subject Tests might improve a student’s chances of college entry. Today, there are several schools that require SAT Subject Tests.

Colleges That Require SAT Subject Tests

Competitive colleges and universities seek students with demonstrable academic integrity and skill. There are multiple colleges that require SAT Subject Tests in the United States. The SAT II Subject Tests are required in addition to the general SAT scores. Several schools required a set of three SAT Subject Tests, although this requirement recently changed. The list of schools that require SAT Subject Tests changes each year. Following is a non-inclusive list of colleges that require SAT Subject Tests for the 2012-2013 school year:

* George Washington University

* University of Miami

* Northwestern University

* Boston University

* Tufts University

* Cornell University

* Princeton

* Stevens Institute of Technology

Generally, schools require subject tests if a student requests admission to a specific program. For example, Stevens Institute of Technology requires two subject tests if students apply to pre-dental or pre-medical programs.

How Can Students Prepare for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests?

The preparation process inspires anxiety in many students. The best method for preparing to take standardized tests varies for each student, although the development of some skills and practices provides the foundation for establishing effective preparation. Students should take challenging courses in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, areas. Many high schools offer services, including gifted programs, which deliver a challenging curriculum to students who demonstrate talent and above-average academic achievements.

Furthermore, diligently adhering to a productive study plan can enhance the learning experience and provide the foundation required to absorb information. Students should participate in opportunities to read, write and calculate outside the classroom or high school environment. Test preparation programs deliver an invaluable service and assist students with developing an understanding of SAT, SAT Subject Tests and the testing format and procedures. For additional information about the SAT Subject Tests, visit the following resources: