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Subject Exam Classes

SAT Subject Tests

SAT_Subject_Tests iconSAT Subject Teststitle

This year M-A will offer subject-test prep classes to all juniors and sophomores at in the following subjects: math (Mr. Whitnah and Mrs. Bryan) and biology (Mr. Roisen).  During these two-week sessions, students will review the content, take practice tests (actual tests from the past), and go over these tests. In addition to preparing for their subject tests, many students will enjoy the additional benefit of reviewing content for finals. Math classes will be offered from 8:00 to 8:50 am or after school from 3:20 to 4:10 pm; biology will meet only in the afternoon, from 3:20 to 4:10 pm.


What Are The Dates and Times of the Classes?
Preparation for June 6th Exam 

Math* (0 period)      Wednesday, May 13th – Friday, May 29th   (about 9 mornings of class)
Math* (after school)    Monday, May 4th – Friday, May 8th    and May 18th – May 22nd

* Need to be in precalculus or calculus for math II subject test

Biology (after school)  Monday, May 11th – Friday, May 15th   and May 26th – May 29th
When Should I Take The Subject Tests?
Subject tests differ from the SAT in that the SAT examines aptitude over a limited amount of material while the subject tests are generally course-specific and more comprehensive. Some colleges may ask for a distribution of subject tests over different content areas. The subject tests commonly taken by M-A students are math level II (math through pre-calculus), biology, chemistry, U.S. history, Spanish, and French. The tests directly measure what students have learned in school, so ideally students take them in June or May, at the conclusion of a particular course.
Because the foreign language and math tests include content from many years of study, they may also be taken in the fall if a student has completed the appropriate course. Students should only consider a language test if they are finishing the fourth level of the language.
Who should take the SAT subject tests?
In addition to the SAT, some private colleges (generally the most selective ones) require that students take two SAT subject tests as part of the admission process. 
What about the UC system?
While SAT subject tests are no longer technically required by UC system, some campuses recommend that students seeking spots in competitive majors take the tests to demonstrate subject proficiency. These are recommendations by the UC, not mandates. A few UC campuses recommend that students take certain SAT subject tests for specific colleges/schools and majors. Even if subject tests are not recommended, they can add merit to a student’s application (but students cannot be penalized for failing to take them).
Can I Take The Math Subject Test level one?
No, since the content on level one is very similar to the SAT, the UC system doesn’t accept this exam because it provides them no new information.
Can I Take More Than Two Subject Tests?
A student can take as many subject tests as they wish.  Ideally the college admission process will take in consideration only your top two scores.
Do I Have To Reveal All Subject Test Scores?
While the Collegeboard does not require you to reveal all test scores, many colleges do require applicants to reveal all scores as part of the admission process.
What Are The Exams That I Can Take?

Mathematics: Math Level 1(don’t take) and Math Level 2(take this one)

Science: Biology E/M, Chemistry, and Physics

English: Literature

History: US History and World History

Languages:  Spanish, Spanish with Listening, French, French with Listening, Chinese with Listening, Italian, German, German with Listening, Modern Hebrew, Latin, Japanese with Listening, and Korean with Listening

Where Do I Sign Up for the Actual Exam?
Sign up at
Typical test sites for M-A students are Gunn High in Palo Alto and Carlmont High in Belmont.
Can I Change My Subject Exam on the Actual Test Day?
Students will be asked to select their test subjects when registering, but generally they can change the test topic(s) on the May or the June testing date. Usually, they can also sign up for additional tests on the test date, to be billed later for an extra fee.
What Do The Classes Cost?
We seek donations from students and their families to pay the teachers. The Foundation for the Future will supplement the cost, but we hope the program can be self-supporting. We recommend a $50 donation per student per class, but all students are welcome.