SAT subject tests are often a necessary component to a college application. Some schools require a certain number of subject test scores; for others, they can be an ideal way to showcase your unique interests and strengths. Since the needs and goals of taking subject tests are personal to each student, knowing what to do after receiving your score can be a bit tricky.
Scores on SAT subject tests range from 200-800. You will also see a percentile rank on your score report – this illustrates how your score compares to the rest of the students who took that particular test. For example, if you scored better than half of the others, you’d have a percentile ranking of 50%.
It’s important to prepare for the possibility that you may not receive the exact same score on your SAT subject test as you had been scoring in practice. Maybe you will score better! But according to the College Board, it’s not uncommon to see scores 30 to 40 points above or below your skill level. When reviewing your score, this fact is important to take into consideration. Did you score within your target range?
If you feel your score is not representative of your abilities, or if you want to hone your skills further in an attempt to improve, you may decide to take the test again. If this is the case, you should consider additional coursework or study tools in order to ensure you achieve your goal the next time.
Another element in your decision whether or not to retake the test should be the requirements your target schools have for SAT subject tests scores, and how past admitted students have scored. In addition, some schools will allow you to “test out” of certain core requirements if you send in a high subject test score in that area. Look on your target schools’ web sites for their specific policies.
While several factors play into the decision, ultimately it is up to you whether or not you want to retake an SAT subject test. Weighing each of these factors can help you make an informed decision.