How to Study for the SAT Subject Tests

Now that you have decided which Subject Tests to take, it is time to figure out how to study for them. Though each test covers different materials, the approach to studying for them is similar. This article will outline the general strategy when studying for Subject Tests and offer tips specific to each test type.

The amount of time spent studying for these tests varies with how familiar you are with the material. Cardinal Education suggests a minimum of one month preparation; two is even better. Before studying, assess how well you know the material. Take a diagnostic test from the corresponding Barron’s prep book. Score your test and establish a goal based on your score. The goal should be to either score above a 700 or gain at least 100 points, whichever is greater.

Examine the topics of the problems you got correct and incorrect. Label the topics with one of three headings: complete mastery, average understanding, or low understanding.

Use your diagnostic test to determine which topics need little, moderate, or heavy review.

The best way to study for the Subject Tests is to work through the Barron’s AND Princeton Review prep books. Using your list of topics, create a study schedule, planning to finish review two weeks prior to the actual test. Work through the chapters on topics in which you are weakest first and then move on to chapters you are more comfortable with. Be sure to do all the practice problems in the book.

After you have reviewed all the chapters, take the remaining practice tests out of the book to measure the progress you have made. Be sure every practice test you take is timed; you have 60 minutes for each test. Any major areas of weakness need to be addressed. Use a school text book to review these topics again. The final test you should take before the actual exam is the official test from All SAT Subject Test Study Guide. This will give you the most accurate assessment of how you will do on the real test.

Studying for the Subject Tests can be a daunting task. The key is to make a study schedule and focus on one piece at a time. Do not wait until the last minute to try to cram! Taking several practice tests and going through the books are the best ways to prepare.

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