The SAT offers 20 different subject tests in addition to the general SAT exam. These subject tests are designed to demonstrate a student’s proficiency in a specific area of academia and are taken by students depending on their various interests. Some colleges may recommend one or more of the tests and some may require a specific test as part of their program prerequisites. It is recommended to take these tests only if you have taken, or are currently taking, courses in the respective subject area. It is also recommended that non-native speakers of the English language take one or more of the subject tests depending on the program in which they wish to apply. This allows ESL and international students the opportunity to perform well in subjects that may not fall under the general content of the SAT. Students who have been homeschooled may be recommended to take one or more subject tests so colleges have additional information pertaining to the skills and knowledge they learned outside of the traditional classroom setting.
The subject tests consist of multiple-choice questions and a student is allowed one hour per subject test, up to a maximum of three tests per day. For more general information about SAT Subject Tests, click here.
The SAT Subject Test in French is used to assess a student’s knowledge of written French and is recommended for students who have taken French courses inside the traditional classroom or have spoken French on a regular basis - possibly at home or outside of a classroom setting. The multiple-choice format consists of 85 questions and a student is allowed 60 minutes to complete the entire subject test. This test is offered in January, May, June, October, and December of each year. It is important to plan accordingly so deadlines for one of these testing dates may be met.
There is also a French with Listening Subject Test offered by the SAT. The difference is that the basic French test includes reading only, whereas the French with Listening test includes a section where the student listens to passages of French via a CD player and answers multiple-choice questions about the information. The SAT Subject Test in French with Listening is only offered in November and many colleges have reported this test can potentially provide admissions officials with a better overall picture of a potential student’s grasp of the language.
As for requirements of the SAT Subject Test in French, the student is expected to understand the meaning of a word and different variations of that word within culturally appropriate contexts of a sentence or passage. Students should also have the ability to read a sentence in French and choose the word which is most appropriate from a grammatical perspective. There are also paragraphs that contain structured questions and vocabulary words for a student to translate.
The student should understand the main ideas, themes, and supporting ideas of a written passage. The written passages may be taken from historical documents, essays, works of fiction, and a variety of non-fictional material. It is recommended that students take a minimum of two French courses or speak fluent French before attempting this test.
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