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Take for example, if my character is a Barbarian, one of her saving throw proficiencies is Strength. Does this mean that if she needs to perform a "Strength Check" I can add her proficiency bonus to the Strength modifier as well? Or does the proficiency bonus ONLY apply to saving throws?

To be clear, I am not asking if a saving throw proficiency in any way translates to a skill proficiency. My question is purely about ability checks and ability saving throws only.

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No

You can only add a proficiency bonus to your ability checks when you have a feature that allows it. For example, Bards have the Jack of All Trades feature:

Starting at 2nd level, you can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn't already include your proficiency bonus.

Saving throw proficiencies apply to saving throws and nothing else.

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Generally, you only add proficiency to an ability check if you are proficient in a relevant skill.

An ability check might be labeled something like "Charisma (Persuasion)". This means you always add your Charisma modifier, and if you're proficient in Persuasion, you also add your proficiency bonus. Which skills you are proficient in is determined by your background and class.

Saving throw proficiency applies only to saving throws, which never use a skill.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You might also add your proficiency bonus when making an ability check using a tool you're proficient with. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 15 at 9:55

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