SAT Subject Tests in STEM: Choosing the Right Test

SAT Subject Tests are a valuable tool for demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in specific subjects, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. If you're considering taking a STEM-related SAT Subject Test, it's important to choose the one that best aligns with your strengths and interests. In this article, we'll explore the various STEM Subject Tests and provide guidance on selecting the right test for you.

 Understanding SAT Subject Tests in STEM

SAT Subject Tests are one-hour, multiple-choice exams designed to assess your proficiency in a particular subject. In the STEM category, there are several tests available, each focusing on a different area of science or mathematics. The STEM Subject Tests include:

1. Biology E/M (Ecological and Molecular): 

This test assesses your knowledge of biology, including topics such as ecology, genetics, and cellular biology.

2. Chemistry: 

The Chemistry Subject Test evaluates your understanding of the fundamental concepts in chemistry, including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, and chemical reactions.

3. Physics: 

This test covers various topics in physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and thermodynamics.

4. Math Level 1 and Math Level 2: 

These tests assess your mathematical proficiency, with Math Level 2 being more advanced and comprehensive than Math Level 1.

 Choosing the Right STEM Subject Test

Selecting the appropriate STEM Subject Test depends on your background, interests, and the colleges or universities you're applying to. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

 1. Your Strengths and Interests

Choose a Subject Test that aligns with your strengths and interests. If you excel in biology and have a genuine interest in the subject, the Biology E/M test may be a suitable choice. If you're more inclined toward physics or chemistry, consider those respective tests.

 2. High School Courses and Curriculum

Your high school coursework can influence your choice of SAT Subject Test. If you've completed advanced courses in a particular STEM field, you're likely well-prepared for the corresponding Subject Test. For example, if you've taken AP Chemistry, you might consider the Chemistry Subject Test.

 3. College Major or Career Aspirations

Consider your intended college major or career aspirations. Some colleges may require or recommend specific Subject Tests for certain majors. If you're interested in a STEM major, check the admission requirements of your target colleges.

 4. Test Content and Format

Review the content and format of each Subject Test. Math Level 1 and Math Level 2, for instance, have different scopes, with Math Level 2 covering more advanced topics. Choose the test that matches your level of preparation and comfort with the content.

 5. Score Requirements

Different colleges have varying score requirements for SAT Subject Tests. Research the average or recommended scores for your desired colleges to understand what's expected.

 6. Test Dates and Logistics

Check the test dates and locations for each Subject Test. Ensure that you can register for and take the test on a date that aligns with your application deadlines.

 7. Practice and Preparation

Take practice tests and review sample questions for the Subject Test you're considering. This will give you a sense of the test's difficulty and help you gauge your readiness.

 8. Backup Plan

Consider having a backup plan. You can take multiple Subject Tests on the same test date, so if you're unsure which one to choose, you can take more than one to maximize your options.


Choosing the right STEM Subject Test is a critical step in your college application process. Take into account your strengths, interests, coursework, and career goals, and research the requirements of your target colleges. Additionally, practice and preparation are essential for success. By selecting the test that aligns with your abilities and aspirations, you'll be well-prepared to demonstrate your proficiency in the STEM field and enhance your college applications.