SAT German Subject Test Information

Details about the SAT German Subject Test
Getty Images | Achim Tomae


Haben Sie studierte die deutsche Sprache für eine Weile? Ist Ihr Deutsch ausgezeichnet? If you know what I'm rattling on about, then perhaps you may do well on the SAT German Subject Test. It's not for the faint of heart. It is, however, for those Studenten who want to show off the years of study they've put into the language. So, what's on it? Keep reading for all the basics.

Note: This test is not part of the SAT Reasoning Test, the popular college admissions exam.

This is one of the many SAT Subject Tests which are designed to showcase your scholarship in all sorts of fields.

SAT German Subject Tests Basics

Before you register for this test, (which only pops up once a year) here are the basics about your testing conditions:

  • 60 minutes
  • 85 multiple-choice questions
  • 200-800 points possible
  • Conforms to the German spelling reform (Rechtschreibreform) as much as possible
  • 2 different types of German questions: Reading comprehension and Vocabulary/Grammar in context.

SAT German Subject Test Questions

So, what's actually on the test? What kinds of questions will you be answering? Here's the way in which your German fluency will be tested:

Sentence and Paragraph Completion: Approximately 42-43 questions

According to the College Board, these questions test vocabulary and grammar. They require you to know the meaning of words and idiomatic expressions in context and to identify usage that is structurally correct and appropriate.

For each omission, you must select the choice that BEST fits each sentence.

Reading Comprehension: Approximately 42 - 43 questions

The passages here are taken from printed materials such as advertisements, timetables, street signs, forms and tickets. There are also several prose passages followed by questions that test your understanding of the passages.

The passages, mostly adapted from literary sources and newspapers or magazines, are generally one or two paragraphs in length and test whether you can identify the main idea or comprehend facts or details in the text.

Why Take the SAT German Subject Test?

In some cases, you'll need to take them, especially if you're considering choosing German as your major. In other cases, it's a great idea to take the German 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. 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 German Subject Test

To ace this thing, you'll need at least two years (but preferably four) in German during high school, and you'll want to take the test as close to the end of or during your most advanced German class you plan to take. Getting your high school German teacher to offer you some supplementary study materials is always a good idea, too, and it never hurts to ask a kindly German neighbor or grandmother to speak with you once in a while in German.

 In addition, you should practice with legitimate practice questions like you'll see on the test. The College Board offers free practice questions for the SAT German Test along with a pdf of the answers, too.

Sample SAT German 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 4.

Der Präsident hat gestern Abend eine . . . gehalten.

(A) Rede
(B) Sprache
(C) Nachricht
(D) Erklärung

Choice (A) is correct. Yesterday evening the president gave a speech (A). The expression “to give a speech” is rendered idiomatically by eine Rede halten. It does not make sense to say that the president gave a language (B) yesterday evening, and it is much more likely that the president gave a speech than a message (C) or an explanation (D).

Good Luck!

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "SAT German Subject Test Information." ThoughtCo, Dec. 5, 2016, Roell, Kelly. (2016, December 5). SAT German Subject Test Information. Retrieved from Roell, Kelly. "SAT German Subject Test Information." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 18, 2018).