SAT Subject Test ; French with Listening
There are two French Subject Tests: French and French with Listening. Both tests evaluate your
reading ability in French. The French Test with Listening also measures your ability to
understand spoken French, in addition to your reading ability.
The listening tests are offered only in November at designated test centers. Find
out more about taking the listening tests.
Wide-ranging knowledge of the language.
Three or four years of French language study in high school, or two years of strong preparation.
When should you take the French test?
There are a few factors to consider while you're deciding when to take the test. You should
have at least two years of strong preparation in the language, but the more the better. So, if
you're continuing in high school French next semester/year, then wait to take the test. You
should be in a French class when you take the test. You're likely not to do as well if you take
the test after you haven't been in a French class for several months. For seniors studying
French: if French is a strong subject for you, be sure it's one of the SAT Subject Tests you take
in time for your colleges to see your score. If you're only taking it for placement purposes, and
not as part of your application for admission, wait until you're as far along in your course as
possible. If you want to take the French with Listening test, remember that it's only given in
November (don't forget to bring a portable CD player with earphones!).
What's the difference between the French test and theFrench with Listening test?
The French test usually includes reading only—you read in French and answer multiple-choice
questions. However, besides the reading portion, the test given in November also includes a
listening portion—you listen in French and answer multiple-choice questions. Although students
report feeling more anxious about the listening portion, they also tend to do better on that part of
the test. Colleges say the French with Listening test gives them a fuller picture of your ability
and is more useful for placement purposes. In any case, remember that you won't have to write
or speak in French on either of these tests.
Which French is used on the French test?
The language used on the test is authentic; that is, it's taken from real things written and said
by real French speakers. The people that make the test don't include any words or sayings that
are used in only one country. If you've had at least two years of strong preparation in the
language, then you'll be able to understand most of the French on the test.
I hear a lot of French in my home/family. Can I still take
the French test?
No matter how you acquired your knowledge of French, it's important to show colleges what you
know. Your score will count the same as that of someone who learned French only in the
classroom. If you've been exposed to a lot of spoken French, then you should definitely take the
French with Listening test (it's given only in November).
For more information, including sample test questions, download a free copy of