SAT French Subject Test Information

All about the SAT French Subject Test
Getty Images/Cornelia Doerr

Bonjour! Êtes-vous qualifié pour parler français? Bilingualism is a trait that may set you apart on your college application if the decision is tight whether or not you make it in. Here, you'll find out what this test is all about.

Note: The SAT French Subject test is not part of the Redesigned SAT Test, the popular college admissions exam. The SAT French Subject test is one of the many SAT Subject Tests, which are exams designed to showcase your particular talents in all sorts of fields. And if your talents extend into the French realm, then this exam can help you showcase it to your future alma mater.

SAT French Subject Tests Basics

Before you register for this test, here are the basics about how you'll be tested:

  • 60 minutes
  • 85 multiple-choice questions
  • 200-800 points possible
  • 3 different types of French questions: Vocabulary in context, Fill-in-the-blank, and Reading comprehension questions

SAT French Subject Test Content

  • Vocabulary in Context: Approximately 25 to 26 questions
    With these questions, you'll be tested on vocabulary used in various parts of speech. You will also need to know a few basic French idioms.
  • Structure: Approximately 25 to 34 questions
    Many of these fill-in-the-blank questions will ask you to read a slightly longer passage and select the best choices for the blanks. Your knowledge of French sentence structure is tested.
  • Reading Comprehension: Approximately 25 to 34 questions
    Here, you'll be given a multi-paragraph passage and asked reading comprehension questions about the passage to gauge your true comprehension of the language. The passages can be drawn from fiction, essays, historical works, newspaper and magazine articles, and everyday materials such as advertisements, timetables, forms, and tickets.

Why You Should Take the SAT French Subject Test

In some cases, you will need to take the test, especially if you are considering choosing French as a major in college. In other cases, it's a great idea to take the French Subject Test so you can showcase that highly sought-after skill of bilingualism. It shows the college admissions officers that you have more up your sleeve than your GPA or wonderful SAT or ACT test scores. Taking the test, and scoring high on it, demonstrates qualities of a well-rounded applicant. Plus, it can get you out of those entry-level language courses.

How to Prepare for the SAT French Subject Test

To ace this thing, you'll need at least two years in French during high school, and you'll want to take the test as close to the end of or during your most advanced French class you plan to take. Getting your high school French teacher to offer you some supplementary materials is always a good idea, too. Plus, the College Board offers free practice questions for the SAT French Test along with a pdf of the answers, too.

Sample SAT French Subject Test Question

This question comes from the College Board's free practice questions. The writers have ranked the questions from 1 to 5 where 1 is the least difficult. The question below is ranked as a 3.

Si tu faisais du jogging tous les jours, est-ce que tu te -------mieux?

  • (A) sentiras
  • (B) sentirais
  • (C) sentais
  • (D) sens

Answer: Choice (B) is correct. Sentences introduced by si express hypothetical situations when the verb in the clause introduced by si is in the past tense (imparfait). When this is the case, the verb in the main clause must be in the conditional. Choice (B), sentirais (would feel), is the conditional form and therefore the correct answer. Choice (A), sentiras (will feel), is in the future tense; choice (C), sentais (felt), is in the past tense (imparfait) and choice (D), sense (feel), is in the present tense.

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Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "SAT French Subject Test Information." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Roell, Kelly. (2020, August 26). SAT French Subject Test Information. Retrieved from Roell, Kelly. "SAT French Subject Test Information." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 27, 2023).