When Should I Take the SAT Math Level 2 Subject Test






Will you be taking the Math II SAT Subject Test as part of your college application? The Math 2 subject test, as you may be aware, covers more advanced math concepts than the Math I subject test. As a result, you must exercise caution. You’re taking it at the right time to get a good grade.

This article will assist you in determining the best time to take this test. First, let’s go over what’s on the Math 2 SAT Subject Test.

UPDATE: SAT Subject Tests No Longer Offered


The College Board announced in January 2021 that no more SAT Subject Tests will be offered in the United States, effective immediately. Internationally, the SAT Subject Tests will be discontinued in June 2021. SAT Subject Tests are no longer available.

Many students were understandably perplexed as to why this announcement came so late in the school year and what it meant for future college applications. More information about what the end of SAT Subject Tests means for you and your college applications can be found here.


What’s On the Math Level II Subject Test?

The Math II Subject Test, like the Math I Subject Test, covers algebra and geometry. It also puts trigonometry and elementary functions to the test, which describe the relationship between an input and an output. A simple function question may ask you to solve for x, whereas others may ask you to define the range or domain of a function or to graph it. I’ll show some examples of function questions from the Math II test below.

First, here’s a breakdown of how much of each content area is covered by the test. As you can see, algebra and geometry account for a much larger proportion of the questions than number / operations and data analysis / probability.

Math Concept Approximate Percentage On Test
Number and operations 10-14%
Algebra and functions 48-52%
Geometry and measurement (coordinate, three-dimensional, and trigonometry) 28-32%
Data analysis, statistics, and probability 8-12%


Some of these concepts are covered in the general SAT math section, while others, such as trigonometry, elementary functions, and graphing, are more advanced and only available on the SAT Math 2 Subject Test.

The following are some examples of Math II Subject Test function and graphing questions.

The SAT Math Level 2 exam includes questions about defining the range or domain of a function.

Function questions may also present you with a graph or, as in the question below, request that you draw or visualize your own graph and manipulate it to reflect changes in a function.

The correct answers to these questions are D, D, and B. The best way to prepare for the Math II Subject Test is to study with a large number of official practice questions while also excelling in your school math courses.

The Math Level 2 test, like all SAT Subject Tests, lasts 60 minutes. It asks you to answer 50 questions in one hour.

When is the best time for you to take the Math Level 2 test now that we’ve gone over what’s on it?


When Should You Take the SAT Math Level 2 Subject Test?


What Year Should You Take the Test?

Before taking the Math II Subject Test, the College Board recommends that you take more than three years of college prep math. These years should include at least two algebra classes and one geometry class. A trigonometry and/or precalculus class is also beneficial.

So, if you take algebra in eighth grade, geometry in ninth grade, algebra again in tenth grade, and trigonometry/precalculus in eleventh grade, you will be in the best position to take the Math II Subject Test at the end of eleventh grade.

If you are a sophomore taking trigonometry/precalculus, you may be in a good position to take the Subject Test at the end of your sophomore year. Typically, you should take Math II, as well as any other Subject Test, at the end of the school year, when the course content is still fresh in your mind.

Having said that, which Subject Test dates correspond with the end of the academic year?

What Test Date Should You Choose?


The Math Level 2 exam is given on a variety of dates throughout the year. June may be the best month to take it, with May a close second.

Math II is available on May 5 and June 2. Its tentative spring 2020 dates are May 2 and June 6.

Sign up for the SAT about a month in advance, if not sooner. Which one should you take first if you’re taking the general SAT and the Subject Test in the same year?

What About All Your Other Tests, like the SAT/ACT and APs?


It’s a good idea to sign up for your Subject Test after you’ve completed the general SAT. You’ll most likely spend a significant amount of time studying for the math section of the general SAT, which may overlap with your Subject Test preparation.

You could take the general SAT in March (or May) and the Subject Test in May or June if you take both exams in the same year. Remember that the Subject Test cannot be taken on the same day as the general SAT, but you may take up to three Subject Tests on the same day.

While SAT preparation can help with the Math II exam, aligning these tests should come second. The most important consideration is subject mastery.

So, if you took trigonometry and precalculus as a sophomore, you’ll probably be best served taking the Subject Test at the end of your sophomore year (which may be a year earlier than taking the general SAT). This could also be a good way to spread out your tests and have less on your plate in the spring of your junior year.

While studying for the SAT may or may not coincide with the Subject Test, it may overlap with a class final or even an AP test. This could help you understand the math concepts even more thoroughly, allowing you to achieve a high Subject Test score for your college applications.


To Sum Up…

A high Math II Subject Test score is impressive to any college, but especially to selective technical and engineering schools such as MIT and CalTech! You’ll be in the best position to score high on this competitive and impressive Subject Test if you plan your study schedule and choose the best test date.

What’s Next?

You may be familiar with what constitutes a good general SAT score, but what constitutes a good test score for the SAT Subject Tests? Good scores vary depending on the Subject Test. Learn everything you need to know about the averages and good scores for each test right here.

Are you a math whiz aiming for a perfect SAT math score? Read all about how a perfect SAT scorer got an 800 in math.


Do you want to raise your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by four points? We’ve created a guide for each test that outlines the top five strategies you must employ in order to improve your score. Download it now for free: