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What Are the Easiest SAT Subject Tests to Self-Study?
What to Take & What to Avoid?

Last Updated On: June 5, 2021

Entering a good university generally requires you to have good SAT scores. The SAT or standardized admissions test is an entrance exam taken by almost every aspiring undergraduate in the United States.

The College Board administers the exam a few times every year, which measures high school students’ readiness for college. Your SAT score, along with your GPA, and other requirements, are taken into account in your college admission. This got us thinking, what are the easiest SAT subject tests for self-study?

Areas Where Students Get High Scores On Average

Study Desk in a class room

Based on our team’s research, you should know that what others may find difficult could be more comfortable for you, and vice versa.

We present the subjects and their scores on average, but we do not conclude that those having higher numbers are the less challenging ones.

From the table, you might conclude that the three language subjects with listening exams are the easiest, but this may not be the case.

The average score includes the scores from native speakers, and these language tests give equal weight to their reading and listening portions.

Thus, native speakers have an inherent advantage, and it will be hard to compete with them in a subject they have mastered. We need to look into another component to determine further which topics are relatively easy for all SAT takers.

Subject

Average score
Chinese with Listening 760
Korean with Listening 759
Japanese with listening 703
Mathematics Level 2 703
French with Listening 679
Physics 675
Chemistry 672
Italian 670
Spanish with Listening 662
Molecular Biology 659
United States History 647
Spanish 645
World History 634
Latin 629
Ecological Biology 627
German 625
French 622
German with Literature 622
Literature 616
Modern Hebrew 616
Mathematics Level 1 614

Related Article: SAT vs PSAT Difficulty

The SAT Score Standard Deviation

The said component that completes our picture of what SAT subjects are easier is the standard deviation. The lower the standard deviation, the higher the probability that a student would score around the average number presented above.

Subject Average score
Modern Hebrew 147
German 133
French 125
German with Listening 124
Italian 120
French with Listening 114
Spanish 113
Latin 112
World History 11
Mathematics Level 1 109
Ecological Biology 108
Literature 108
Spanish with Listening 108
Molecular Biology 107
Physics 106
Chemistry 104
Japanese with Listening 102
United States History 99
Mathematics Level 2 616
Chinese with Listening 67
Korean with Listening 67

Again, Chinese and Korean with Listening scores the more favorable numbers, which implies that on average, students are likely to score around 760. Despite the average score being higher than the rest, the standard deviation shows that most test takers achieve high marks. Thus, you have to do better and get higher marks to increase your percentile. [1]

However, for all three, if you are not a native speaker of the language, you are at a complete disadvantage. Your test scores weigh against theirs, and if you have not completed the AP class associated with the subject, your percentile can be negatively affected.

Besides, the language tests do not have as much significance as the others because schools know that native speakers are likely to score higher.

Recommended Article: What's a Good SAT Essay Score?

How Is This Relevant?

group reading

What To Take

From the two tables presented above, our team determines the following subjects to be the easier ones among the 21 listed:

  • Ecological Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • U.S. History
  • World History

Almost all high school students in the United States take the above courses, so everyone should know how to prepare for their SATs. You have to review your coursework rigorously if you opt to get these tests.

The key to getting good scores is answering as many practice tests as possible and adequately digesting the lessons. Nonetheless, these are the safest subjects to take if you want to get a good SAT performance for your college admissions.

What To Avoid

Despite their seemingly good numbers, we find the three languages with listening subjects and mathematics 2 to be the most challenging for exemplary results. If you are not adept at any of these, we advise that you forego taking their corresponding SATs.

Also, universities do not place heavy emphasis on languages, and Mathematics 2 has a lower-level examination. Getting an average score in these exams would equate to your useless spending on SAT fees. And, if you submit your scores to your school’s board, it might tarnish your chances of getting in or landing yourself a scholarship.

Helpful Tips

We do not want to leave you with only insights on what subjects are likely to be positive for your SAT performance or which to avoid. Thus, we share our best practices and helpful tips that helped our team personally when we took the SATs ourselves.

  • You should know your language level if you are planning to take any  non-English SAT exam. The foreign language tests are an excellent way to boost your applications, but they can be detrimental if you do not do well.
  • Order the subjects that you excel in so that you can demonstrate your qualifications. For example, if you are confident in mathematics, take Mathematics II as a way to showcase your skills. You should know your mastery level to prevent spending unnecessarily on those scores you won’t submit to the admissions board.
  • Inherently, the SAT looks into your mastery of high school subjects, so if you want to get good results, you should review what you have studied. The key to achieving your target results in any examination is in preparing effectively.
  • Familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam. If you are answering practice tests, time yourself to get used to the time-pressure that you will experience during test-day so you can adjust your pace.

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Finding the Right Formula

The SATs are one of the most dreaded examinations that students take in their journey to getting a degree. But, you do not have to be intimidated as there are various ways to get the results you need.

You can do self-studying with your SATs because it tests your mastery of high school coursework. Just choose the subjects you are confident in and properly review before taking their corresponding exam.

References:

  1. https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests/scores/understanding-scores

About the author

William Cohen

William Cohen

William is an electrical engineer whose great passion is helping promising students achieve their goals and dreams. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring learners from all over the world.

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