SAT Subject Test in World History

SAT Subject Test in World History

The SAT Subject Test in World History is the name of a one-hour multiple choice test given on World History by the Collegeboard. A student chooses to take it depending on the college entrance requirements. Until 1994, the SAT Subject Tests were known as Achievement Tests; and from 1995 until January 2005, they were known as SAT IIs. The SAT World History is a test that's not taken frequently. Only ~11,000 students take this test, compared to the 110,000+ students who take the United States History Subject Test. [] Also, unlike the other Subject Tests that are administered yearly, this test is only administered twice a year; once in December, and once in June. This puts pressure on the applicant, because if the student does poorly, it is difficult to retake it. []


This test has exactly 95 questions that are to be answered in only one hour. Students will receive one point for a correct answer. Students will receive zero points for a blank answer, and students will lose 1/4 of a point for a wrong answer. There are no sections in this test. The student will answer 95 multiple choice questions straight, with no section breaks, or rest periods.

About 25% of the test material is on History before 500 CE. Then, 20% of the test material is on 500-1500 CE. 25% of the test material is then on 1500-1900 CE. Then, 1900 - Current Day is 20% of the test. The remaining 10% of the test is on cross-chronological material.

The types of questions they have include specific recall of facts, events, or historical knowlege. Also, cause and effect questions will be on the test as well. Students are also required to understand major historical developments, such as modernization, imperialization, and explain them the developments through events and other circumstances, and also explain how they happened. Lastly, some questions, include material on how historians perform historical research and analysis. Finally, a very few minority of the questions test historical interpretation of primary source material. These questions tend to be very rare, and a student typically can expect 6-8 at the most on this 95 question test. []

This test also has a very leniant curve. However, the difficulty of this test is very similar to the difficulty of the World History AP Multiple Choice Section. The Subject Test typically lets the students lose 19-22 points at most out of 95 to receive a 800.


The Collegeboard recommends a one-year preparatory course in World History, as well Independent Reading on material related to Historical content. However, the questions are very similar to the AP World History Exam, and it is recommended a student do significant outside study by reading a Preparation Book or AP Textbook if he/she hasn't taken an AP course in World History.


The student is not allowed to use any notes, textbooks, or any communications device during this test. A student is only allowed to use a Number 2 Pencil with an eraser for this exam, and nothing else. The number 2 pencil with the eraser must be brought by the student, as the testing center doesn't provide any.


See also


SAT Subject Tests


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