Should I take Subject Tests?

A big question upcoming seniors have is whether they should take SAT II’s, otherwise known as subject tests. The SAT II is not like the ACT or SAT, in that the test is subject-specific. SAT II’s are short, (1 hour) multiple-choice only tests that focus on one subject, such as history, chemistry, physics, or a language.

Should you take them? Most universities do not require them, but some schools strongly recommend them, such as Harvard and Stanford. For a few schools, such as Georgetown, you better have at least three subject tests in your arsenal if you want to get admitted.  While Georgetown’s own website says subject tests are “strongly recommended,” if you don’t have 3 subject tests, your file is very likely to be thrown into the deny pile. If you apply to Princeton University, you should take two subject tests. Particularly, if you want to study Engineering at Princeton (and generally at any school), you school take the Math II subject test (most students don’t take Math I and the Math II test has a far more lenient curve!).

Here’s what I would suggest. Consult the colleges’ website that you’re applying to and check their standardized testing requirements. For schools that state they “strongly recommend” taking subject tests, you better take subject tests. Additionally, if you’re applying as an engineer or computer scientist, you should take Math II along with a hard science, such as biology, chemistry, or physics.

So what’s the bottom line, Adam? Check the university website to see if subject tests are required. Give yourself plenty of time if you need to study over the summer. There are subject test administrations in June, August, and October. And if you’re applying to Georgetown, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, and some other Ivies, you should take them.

Contact Adam Amdur or Peggy Amdur to find out if you’re doing all you can to make yourself shine during the application process. Email Peggy at peggy@collegechoicesforyou.com or call Peggy at 972-998-5810.




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