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Articles / Preparing for College / Taking the SAT Foreign Language Subject Test With Listening? Register Now

Sept. 7, 2018

Taking the SAT Foreign Language Subject Test With Listening? Register Now

Taking the SAT Foreign Language Subject Test With Listening? Register Now
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Do you have foreign language skills? Your target schools need to know! Show off your linguistic prowess by taking the SAT Foreign Language Subject Test with Listening. It includes a short listening portion to test your ability to understand native speakers of the language.

Before you start thinking about how to study for this specialized test, just remember one very important point: The SAT foreign language subject tests that come with the listening portion are only offered in November.


For 2018, the test date will be Nov. 3, with a regular registration deadline of Oct. 5, and a late registration deadline of Oct. 16 for mailed registrations or Oct. 24 for online or phone registrations.

Be sure to register now so you don't miss out on the chance to give a powerful boost to your application, fulfill a college's foreign language requirement or test into a higher-level foreign language class at your potential college. Currently, the College Board offers these SAT subject tests with listening in the following languages: Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese, German and Japanese.

A Few Additional Points

- You will have to bring your own College Board-approved CD player and headphones to the testing center, since you will use a CD to complete the listening portion of the test. Be sure the CD player has fresh batteries!

- Unlike the regular SAT, the language with listening subject test is short, lasting only 60 minutes — 40 minutes for the regular reading questions and 20 minutes for the listening questions. All tests are scored on a scale of 200 to 800 and include 80 or 85 questions.

- On the test date, there will be other SAT Subject Tests being administered as well, but the Foreign Language with Listening test will only be available during the first hour of testing. That means you can only take one of these tests on this test date. You are free to register for other subject tests on the same date, since they will take place after the language with listening test.

How to Prepare

On the test date, the CD you will use for the listening portion has text and questions recorded by a native speaker of the language.

You can prepare for the listening section by using the Practice Resources found on the language subject test page of the College Board website. You can also ask your high school counselor to order a CD from the College Board that features practice questions for the listening portion. It's also a good idea to check out some TV shows on Netflix or radio stations online in your test language to re-familiarize yourself with the accent of a native speaker and improve your listening skills.

Remember that it doesn't really matter whether you learned your foreign language skills in high school classes, at a language course outside of school or if you picked it up at home or perhaps while living abroad.

You do, however, need to feel confident about your ability to write, read and understand the language if you want to achieve a good score on the Foreign Language with Listening test. For most of the offered languages, the College Board recommends a total of at least two to four years of high school study (or its equivalent) if you want to do well.

If you don't think your understanding of the spoken language is very strong, but you are still feeling good about your reading and writing skills, then you might want to stick to the regular subject tests without the listening portion. You can also ask your foreign language teacher for his or her opinion about your ability to take the test with the listening portion.

Written by

Suchi Rudra

Suchi Rudra

Several years as a private test prep tutor led Suchi Rudra to begin writing for education-focused publications. She enjoys sharing her test-taking tips with students in search of firsthand information that can help them improve their test scores. Her articles have appeared in the SparkNotes Test Prep Tutor blog, the Educational Testing Service.s Open Notes blog and NextStepU.

Suchi.s background helping students prepare for both the SAT and ACT gives her deep insight into what students need to know at every stage of the testing cycle. This allows her to craft articles that will resonate with both students and their families. As a freelance writer, Suchi's work has also been featured in The New York Times, BBC Travel, Slate, Fodor's and The Guardian, among other publications. She holds a journalism degree from Indiana University, loves to slow travel and hails from the Midwest.

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