The PremedHQ Guide


How to Plan SAT Subject Tests as a BS/MD Applicant

Which SAT Subject Tests Should BS/MD Applicants Take?

It is fairly typical to hear conflicting advice about the commonly misunderstood SAT 2 Subject Tests. However, we have compiled some general guidelines to help you glide through this process.

  • SAT Subject Tests are typically offered once a month October through January and at the beginning of the month in May and June. As a result, it is a good idea to start studying for the these tests 1-2 months in advance of the exam date. However, these tests often coincide with AP exams and content tends to be similar, which is great for you, since you have the opportunity to knock out two birds with one stone!
  • There is no need to take more than 4 total Subject Tests total in all of high school. If you find yourself registering to take more than this, stop. It is better to ace a few SAT 2 subject tests rather than to try and juggle too many and end up with mediocre scores.
  • If you end up not doing as well as you expected, it is okay! Fortunately, most universities will only look at your highest scores so you can retake the same exam during the next exam cycle.

As a BS/MD candidate, it is generally a good idea to take certain subject tests. We highly recommend you take Biology, Chemistry, and Math Level 2. It is generally a good idea to take these courses after completing the corresponding AP Course. For example, taking SAT 2 for Biology and Chemistry after completing AP BIology and AP Chemistry or taking SAT 2 for Math Level 2 after completing the corresponding Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, or Advanced Math Classes.  If you are naturally gifted at languages or history, or have studied for an AP version of these Humanities exams, adding a last one shows you are well rounded, as long as you feel confident in taking this type of exam. If you feel that you can only focus on the three STEM oriented exams, focus your time and energy there.

To be a competitive applicant, most students should score a 750 or higher in the science and math exams. Good scores tend to be a prerequisite for competitive programs, and having a score of 750+ will make your application more competitive. While high SAT 2 subject test scores are important, a low score will not automatically disqualify you from admission. These tests do indicate your general knowledge in these subjects for admission officers to evaluate. Work hard and keep calm. Remember that the SAT 2 Tests are more scared of you than you are of them! If you’d like to learn more about standardized test planning, study scheduling, and other topics, feel free to reach out and schedule a complimentary consultation!