Q: What is the difference between SAT Subject Tests and Advanced Placement classes and exams?
A: SAT Subject Tests are high school-level tests, reflecting high school curricula. These tests indicate a student’s readiness to take college-level courses in specific subject areas. AP Exams, however, assess a student’s college-level knowledge, skills and abilities, learned in the corresponding AP courses. As a result, the topics covered on SAT Subject Tests may differ from those covered on AP Exams.
While AP Exams are also an excellent way to demonstrate understanding in specific subject areas, not all students have an opportunity to take AP courses in a range of subjects. For students who lack access to AP and still wish to demonstrate subject knowledge, the Subject Tests offer this opportunity. Also, students who are taking an AP course in senior year may not have their AP Exam score to report to colleges in time to meet admission deadlines. In this case, they could use Subject Tests scores to show their mastery in the subject.
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