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SAT Subject Tests: Should I Take Them?

Should You Take SAT Subject Tests?

YES.  Here’s why:


First off, many of the top schools in the country actually do REQUIRE SAT Subject Tests. And even though most universities do not make SAT Subject tests mandatory, it’s very common for them to “recommend” these tests. 

When it comes to college applications, however, “recommendation” should be read as “requirement.” This is the school’s way of hinting that they would like you to go the extra mile. 

Let’s say an admissions committee is deciding between two applicants, both similar in GPA and other qualifications. One has great SAT Subject scores, the other didn’t even take them. Who are they going to accept? The SAT Subject Tests can be a difference-maker.

Schools That Require or Recommend SAT Subject Tests

Brown UniversityRecommendedAny 2
California Institute of TechnologyRequiredMath II + 1 science
Carnegie Mellon UniversityRecommendedBased on program
Dartmouth CollegeRecommendedAny 2
Georgetown UniversityStrongly RecommendedAny 3
Harvard UniversityRecommendedAny 2
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyRequiredMath I or II + 1 science
Princeton UniversityRecommendedAny 2
University of PennsylvaniaRecommendedBased on program
Yale UniversityRecommendedAny 1


The SAT Subject Tests give you the opportunity to show strength in areas that the standard SAT or ACT doesn’t. The right combination of SAT Subject Tests can serve as an academic portfolio that helps bring your application to life by showcasing your unique interests and abilities. 

For example, prospective engineering majors should take Math II, Physics, or Chemistry to demonstrate quantitative reasoning and analytical skills. Students interested in law or politics should take the U.S. History and Literature exams to demonstrate knowledge in the social sciences and proficient language skills.

 For those still undecided, there are 20 subject tests you can choose from. Pick two or three general areas that interest you and make your application stand out.


If you’re already excelling in an Honors or AP class, taking the SAT Subject in that subject is a no-brainer. Your school curriculum has already given you a head start by covering topics and providing general familiarity with the subject matter, take the final step and put your knowledge to the (standardized) test! The SAT Subject is a chance to squeeze even more mileage out of your class to enhance your application.

Are You Prepared?

Although your school classes cover general topic knowledge, they are not specifically made to prepare you for the SAT Subject Tests. 

On the other hand, the College Board designs their exams to cover topics beyond the scope and depth of a typical high school courses – hence, why only a fraction of students achieve perfect scores, even though all students take classes in subjects like Math, History, and Literature. 

In particular, SAT Subject Tests place heavy emphasis on contextual situations or true lab application of the material. For example, a student may be familiar with a biological concept, but the Biology SAT Subject test may ask about hypothetical lab scenarios and data set interpretations. 

As a result, SAT Subject preparation requires time and careful planning, even for students who participate in Honor courses, to fully master content featured on these standardized tests.

What’s Next?

MEK Review’s courses are specifically designed to help you ace the SAT Subject Test. Our experienced teachers teach key concepts and demonstrate efficient problem-solving strategies, but also explain the nuances that pertain to each particular Subject test. 

As part of each course, students also take several full-length practice SATs under simulated testing conditions to help them feel comfortable and confident in a test-taking environment. Ultimately, we will help you score higher and impress college admissions committees!

Congratulations to MEK Students Last Year!

70% of SAT Math II students earned a perfect 800

(All SAT Math II students received 760+)

100% of Literature students scored 700+

215 average score increase of SAT Chemistry students

Here’s what you can do:

Explore our SAT Subject Prep courses!

If you register for 20 sessions by Jan. 10, you can save 10% with our Spring Early Bird offer!

Curious about your baseline SAT Subject score?

Take advantage of our FREE practice tests — take as many as you want! After each test, you’ll receive our free signature score report, so you can discover your test-taking strengths and weaknesses.

MEK Review

MEK Review is the top learning center in North Jersey, dedicated to helping students of all ages begin an incredible success story. With our guidance, students have gained acceptances into the best schools in the country, earned top test scores, prepared for difficult admission tests, and transformed into their best selves in the classroom.To find your perfect solution, explore our programs or book your free consultation with an expert counselor!


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