SAT Subject Tests in the Humanities: Preparation Tips

The SAT Subject Tests, also known as SAT IIs, offer students the opportunity to showcase their knowledge in specific subject areas. In the humanities category, there are several tests that assess your understanding of subjects such as Literature, History, and Foreign Languages. This article provides preparation tips for SAT Subject Tests in the humanities, helping you achieve your best possible score.

 Understanding SAT Subject Tests in the Humanities

Before diving into preparation strategies, it's crucial to understand the structure and content of the humanities SAT Subject Tests. Some common tests in this category include:

1. Literature: 

This test assesses your understanding of various literary genres, elements, and the analysis of literary passages.

2. U.S. History: 

This test covers significant historical events and developments in U.S. history.

3. World History: 

This test focuses on key events and themes in world history.

4. Foreign Languages: 

These tests evaluate your proficiency in specific foreign languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, and others.

Each test typically consists of multiple-choice questions and, in some cases, a listening section (for foreign language tests).

 Preparation Tips

1. Understand the Test Format: 

Familiarize yourself with the format and content of the specific humanities SAT Subject Test you plan to take. Knowing the structure of the test will help you focus your preparation.

2. Review Relevant Course Material: 

If you've taken relevant courses in school, review your class notes and textbooks. Pay attention to important concepts, events, literary works, and vocabulary.

3. Use Official Study Guides: 

College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, offers official study guides for SAT Subject Tests. These guides contain practice questions and sample tests that closely resemble the actual exams. They are highly recommended for preparation.

4. Practice with Past Tests: 

If official practice tests are available, use them to simulate test conditions. This will help you become familiar with the types of questions and the time constraints you'll face on the actual test.

5. Create a Study Schedule: 

Plan your study schedule, allocating specific time to each topic or section. Consistent, focused study sessions are more effective than cramming.

6. Take Advantage of Online Resources: 

There are numerous websites and online forums where you can find additional practice questions and study materials for SAT Subject Tests.

7. Use Flashcards: 

For foreign language tests, create flashcards to review vocabulary and grammar. Flashcards are a handy tool for reinforcing your language skills.

8. Read Widely: 

If you're preparing for the Literature test, read a variety of literary works from different time periods and genres. Practice analyzing the texts and identifying literary elements.

9. Practice Listening Skills: 

If your test includes a listening section, practice listening to content in the target language, such as songs, podcasts, or recordings. Pay attention to pronunciation and comprehension.

10. Seek Help When Needed: 

If you encounter challenging concepts or topics, don't hesitate to seek help from teachers, tutors, or classmates.

11. Time Management: 

During practice tests, work on improving your time management. Learn to allocate the right amount of time to each section, and don't dwell on individual questions for too long.

12. Review and Learn from Mistakes: 

After taking practice tests, thoroughly review your answers. Understand the mistakes you made and work on improving in those areas.

13. Stay Calm and Confident: 

On test day, stay calm and confident. Believe in your preparation, and don't let anxiety affect your performance.


Preparation for SAT Subject Tests in the humanities requires a focused and disciplined approach. By understanding the test format, reviewing relevant material, using official study guides, and practicing with past tests, you can boost your confidence and improve your chances of earning a high score. Remember that consistency in your study routine and a thorough review of your performance in practice tests are key to success on test day.