This information is intended to guide students through the SAT Subject Tests. Since preps and lower mids do not have regular access to the College Office, this content was developed to make them aware of potential testing options prior to being assigned a college advisor. It is important to consult teachers in various disciplines regarding specific Subject Tests because they will have a firm understanding of a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and in turn, how one might prepare for various tests.
Literature: After English 350.
Latin: After Latin 380, 450, 550 and above. Some students may be ready for the test after (or at the end of) Latin 350. All students are encouraged to consult teachers for advice in preparation when signing up.*
Chinese Listening: After Chinese 380, 450/490, and above (listening tests only offered in November*).
French Language and French Listening: French Language in the spring when taking French 350 or 380 (after consulting with the teacher); French Listening in November after completing these courses. If a student is taking French 490, then French Reading should be taken in the spring that year, and French Listening should be taken the following November (listening tests only offered in November).
Students wishing to take the test after French 450 should consult with their teachers.
Spanish Reading and Spanish Listening: Students should consult with their teachers. Students who excel in Spanish 280 may qualify to take the test. If a student takes Spanish 380 or 390, then Spanish Reading should be taken in the spring that the student takes that course, and Spanish Listening should be taken the following November (listening tests only offered in November).
Students wishing to take the test after Spanish 450 should consult with their teachers.
German Reading and German Listening: German Reading after the third year of German; German Listening in November after completing the fourth year. Consultation with the teacher is encouraged because the teacher understands a student’s particular skills and ability to handle these tests
(listening tests only offered in November).
U.S. History: In the spring when History 390 (AP US History) concludes. In most cases, this Subject Test is not suitable for students in History 350; a highly motivated student may be able to perform well after consulting the teacher about additional materials and topics to study in preparation for the test.
Math Level I: In general, the best time to take Math I is in the spring when completing a 300-level class.
Math Level II: In general, the best time to take this test is in the spring when completing Math 370 or a 400-level (or higher) class. The Math Department encourages students to discuss these tests with their teachers.
Biology, Physics and Chemistry: Students should take these tests when they are concluding AP courses in these disciplines, and are strongly encouraged to do so. AP Physics 1 does not prepare students for the Physics Subject Test. Students who have taken the science core, plus Chemistry 350 or Biology 350 may be able to take these tests with some additional preparation. In the past, some students at the 350-level have done well on the Subject Tests; these students are typically stronger students who have consulted with their teachers about additional, outside preparation.
*The Hotchkiss Course Listing states that the 350-level in Chinese and Latin is the minimum level a student should reach before taking respective language Subject Tests. While these are the minimum course levels, the recommendations above reflect more optimal times to consider these tests.
Important Note: A student’s academic performance is the most important part of a college’s evaluation of a candidate. Attending Saturday classes and doing as well as possible in classes should be our students’ highest priorities. Hence, taking the SAT Reasoning Test and/or the ACT prior to November of the upper-mid year is strongly discouraged. Prior to November of the upper-mid year, students are not excused from Saturday classes to take standardized tests.
Director of College Advising
Senior Associate Director