The SAT Subject Tests (or popularly known as SAT IIs)

is the collective name for twenty multiple-choice standardized tests given on individual subjects. A student typically chooses which tests to take depending upon college entrance requirements for the college in which he or she is planning to apply. Every test is now a one-hour timed test.

SAT subject tests relevant for engineering aspirants:

  • SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 1
  • SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2
  • SAT Subject Test in Chemistry
  • SAT Subject Test in Physics

Average (Mean) Scores of SAT takers in SAT Subject Tests

Mathematics Sciences
Mathematics Level 1: 596 Chemistry: 630
Mathematics Level 2: 639 Physics: 647

If you dream of doing your B.Tech. / B.E. from a US University / College, SAT is almost always essential as a key admission criterion. While universities also demand your credentials at school level and letters of recommendation from your school teachers, there might be differences in assessment in various schools in different countries. SAT provides the universities a standardized score. 

Most selective colleges recommend applicants to submit scores for any two SAT Subject tests. Engineering colleges typically require Chemistry or Physics and prefer Mathematics Level 2. A handful of the most competitive colleges, such as MIT, Harvard University and Princeton University, still require three Subject tests in addition to the three sections of the SAT. It is important to consult the college’s website to find out more information about Subject test requirements. 

Remember, your scores are not the only information colleges use in their admission decisions. They may also consider your high school record, essays, recommendations, interviews, and extracurricular activities.

Apart from being a prerequisite for admission to US universities, the SAT is also important for the following reasons:

  • Many scholarships require a minimum SAT score
  • Many universities, especially state universities, will offer academic scholarships for students with a certain GPA and a minimum SAT score.
  • The SAT is a great way to set you apart from the college admissions crowd. Having a high SAT score will allow you to stand out from the thousands of other people applying to college.

Why to pursue an engineering career in the US?

  • Better, latest and most advanced research facilities.
  • Emphasis given to all round personality development along with college studies.
  • Application based teaching – Concepts and methods taught are practical and relevant to the industry.
  • More opportunities for research, higher studies and jobs.

When and where is the SAT conducted?

The SAT is offered six times a year in India, in October, November, December, January, May, and June. The test is typically offered on the first Saturday of the month. For exact dates please refer Candidates may either take the SAT Reasoning Test or up to three SAT Subject Tests on any given test date. 

Candidates wishing to take the test may register online at the College Board’s website or by mail. To register by mail, you need a SAT Registration Booklet, which is available at your school counselor’s office. The Registration Form and return envelope are included in the SAT Registration Booklet. For more details students can contact US Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) or visit their website 

In India, SAT is conducted at the following cities: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kodaikanal, Kolkata, Mumbai, Mussoorie, New Delhi and Pune. 

Students receive their online score report approximately three weeks after administration of the test (six weeks for mailed, paper scores).

When and how should I start preparing for the SAT?

Because the SAT is the most important test for college admissions to the US, it is always best to start preparing as early as possible. This allows more preparation time to achieve score goals. 

Most good colleges require the students to send in their applications with SAT scores by November / December of their class XII year. This implies that a student should appear for the October or November SAT. Ideally a student should appear for the May / June SAT so that they have sufficient time to complete their college applications including essays, recommendations and transcripts from teachers, filling up of forms etc. This means a student should start the actual SAT preparation before the beginning of class XI as there are no distractions such as school homework, projects, exams or any other school activities. In fact, to develop a strong foundation a student should start clearing the basic fundamentals from class IX and X itself as most of the questions are based on the concepts taught in IX and X.