College Corner: SAT Subject Tests - Take 'em or leave 'em?

Posted by College Corner on 9/11/12 7:00 AM


As you put together your college application, your goal is to show admissions officers why you are a stellar applicant  - taking one or a few SAT Subject Tests (also known as SAT IIs) can do just that. 

Demonstrating intellectual breadth or intellectual depth can differentiate you from other high school seniors. Before you sign up for the 20 sat subject tests available, however, take a second to consider which test(s) will best showcase your academic prowessm, and whether it's worth it.

To determine which of the 20 subject tests is best suited to you, consider your application as is and consider your academic strengths. You can weigh the costs and benefits of sitting for an SAT II from two vantage points: 

1. If you’re strong across the board and have mastery over a variety of subjects, show breadth:

-       Does your application already demonstrate an interest in Science? Show off your linguistic skills with a French or Chinese test.

-       Is your application humanities heavy? Take a Physics or Mathematic test.  

-       Are you big on math? Sign up for the Literature test.

2. If you’re passionate about one discipline and wither at the thought of branching out, think ahead to your college major and show depth:

-       Planning to pursue a pre-med track? Take as many science SAT II’s as you can!  

-       Interested in an interdisciplinary major? Run the gamut and take a smattering of tests.

-       Committed to the Humanities? Take the history and literature SAT IIs.

The most important consideration is whether you think you will do well on the subject tests you are considering.

If you think you receive an average score on a test, then don’t waste your money or a perfectly lovely Saturday morning on taking these exams. If you're still unsure, talk to a teacher or tutor that knows you well to discuss your application as a whole. 

Tags: SAT