Tandem configurations, in which two cells are stacked and connected in series, offer a viable approach to further increase the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of organic solar cells. To enable the future rational design of new materials it is important to accurately assess the contributions of individual subcells. Such accurate measurement of the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of the subcells of two-terminal organic or polymer tandem solar cells poses specific challenges, caused by two characteristics of these cells, i.e. a sub-linear light intensity dependence of the current and a field-assisted charge collection. These properties necessitate that EQE experiments are carried out under representative illumination conditions and electrical bias to maintain short-circuit conditions for the addressed subcell. We describe a method to determine the magnitudes of the bias illumination and bias voltage during EQE measurements, based on the behavior of single junction cells and optical modeling. The short-circuit current densities of the subcells obtained by convolution of the EQE with the AM1.5G solar spectrum are consistent with those obtained from optical modeling and correctly predict the current density–voltage characteristics of the tandem cell under AM1.5G conditions.