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SAT Subject Test Scores

Want to know whether your SAT subject test score is good? Check out these tables, which show the percentile ranks of different subject test scores – highly useful if you want to know where you stand! What’s important for these tests is the average score on SAT subject tests. Remember that they are designed to prove that you’re particularly knowledgeable in a certain subject, so you really need to be aiming to be above the average score if the test is going to add something to your application.

You can see the full data here, but it’s a bit hard to follow. This data is for 2015, the most recent year published at time of writing. I’ve chosen to show the 25th percentile, 50th percentile (i.e. average score on SAT subject tests), and 75th percentile scores for each test.

 

Subject Test scores (excluding languages)


Percentile Literature US History World History Math I Math II Biology (E) Biology (M) Chemistry Physics
25th percentile 560 590 550 560 630 570 600 600 600
50th Percentile 640 670 620 640 710 640 670 690 690
75th Percentile 710 730 710 710 780 710 730 760 760

 

Language Tests: (L refers to listening test, R to reading)

Percentile Chinese (L) French (L) German (L) Japanese (L) Korean (L) Spanish (L) French (R) German (R) Modern Hebrew (R) Italian (R) Latin (R) Spanish (R)
25th Percentile 760 590 540 640 770 590 540 550 500 640 530 580
50th Percentile 790 680 650 740 790 690 650 670 610 740 610 670
75th Percentile 800 770 760 790 800 760 750 760 770 790 710 740

 

I hope this is useful to you! As a general rule, subject tests are supposed to show proficiency in a given subject. So I wouldn’t recommend submitting a score that’s below the average score on SAT subject test for that particular test. There are some exceptions however – if you speak Korean as a second language, then a score of 750 is still strong even though it’s below the 25th percentile. Remember that the figures of language tests may be boosted by native speakers taking the tests. Choosing which tests to write? Look here.

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