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The terms SAT-1 and SAT-2 are just out of date monikers.  SAT-2 isn’t a different or a more difficult version f the original SAT exam in fact they are both different in their scope, length, and depth.

The more appropriate nomenclature is SAT and the SAT subject test. The SAT II is more descriptively known as the SAT Subject Tests. But some colleges tend to refer them as SAT-1 and SAT-2 still, yet it makes no difference. The SAT- Subject Tests started off, 11 years after the SAT or the military IQ tests was first offered and were primitively colloquially known as Achievement tests.

The SAT tests are composed of a single exam that test high-school level reading comprehension, grammar, and math through Algebra II and Geometry.  The SAT Subject tests vary quite a bit in the testing nature, while they continue to have a multiple choice format, they are offered as multiple tests, each for a different subject.

Currently SAT-Subject tests offer a considerable variety of 20 subjects including:

·         SAT Biology E/M

·         SAT Chemistry

·         SAT Physics

·         SAT U.S. History

·         SAT World History

·         SAT Literature

·         SAT Math Level 1

·         SAT Math Level 2

·         Foreign Languages (These test reading ability in a specific language, much like the SAT-1 English Reading. Languages available for testing include: SAT French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.)

·         Foreign Languages with Listening (Language with Listening tests examine reading and listening skills through help of audio clips. Similar languages are available for testing: SAT French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean with listening.

SAT Test Duration

The SAT is a three hour test if attempted without essay; else its time duration is 3 hours 50 minutes while each SAT Subject Test is an hour long MCQ paper.

SAT Test Validity

SAT test is valid for upto 5 years


SAT-1 examination is generally compulsory with exemptions given to students who have opted for the ACT rather than the SAT, while only selective colleges require the SAT Subject tests. Most of the colleges require the SAT as an obligatory admission requirement while the SAT Subject Test remains a preferable option. Few colleges require both examinations as compulsory requirements placing a demand of 3 obligatory SAT subject tests. Some colleges offer the flexible policy of submitting either the SAT or the SAT subject test reports.

Policies regarding the need of SAT tests vary widely hence it is highly advised to study the requirements of a college you are applying to. The Ivy League colleges generally require both the tests and only a few Canadian colleges waive the need of either test if ACT scores are reported.

 The literature, science, and math tests can be given on all these dates. The language tests and World History test, however, are an exception as they are offered on some of the dates and not others.

One is allowed to take up to three subject tests on the same date! However there are some exceptions here too: It is only possible to take one Listening test per date. Listening tests are always given in the first hour. There is permission to give only one of the Biology (E or M) test per date; you can't take both on the same date.  It is allowed to change the date of a scheduled test; however this is not the case with the listening tests. It is also not allowed to give the SAT Subject tests on the same date as the general SAT.

It is advisable to give SAT after special dedicated preparation while SAT Subject tests can be offered with the AP classes, while students may benefit from a month of preparation.



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