Many parents and students leave SAT II Subject Tests on the backburner, thinking they’ll deal with it later, once they get the big stuff out of the way–SATs, Admission Essays, College Interviews–but these scores count for a great deal. Beginning preparation over the summer allows your highschooler to come back in the fall ready to take these tests and score impressively high, making a difference in how admissions offices look at their application. As the following article states, don’t put SAT IIs out of your mind–work with a tutor to master them.
Myth: I don’t need to take SAT II Subject Tests.
Reality: First of all, you WILL need them if you are applying to the Ivy League, many small competitive liberal arts colleges (Amherst, Haverford, Williams, Vassar, etc.) or some popular universities like BC, BU, Duke, Georgetown, Tufts or UVA. Second, there is a large group of colleges that “recommend” SAT II’s, and make no mistake about it, they like to see them. These institutions include: American University, George Washington, NYU, Northwestern, UNC and USC. Finally, some colleges that don’t require SAT IIs in general, do require them for certain programs like engineering or nursing. A few even specify which subjects they require (Bio, Chem, Math Level II, etc.). The bottom line is that junior year is too early to cut off any options as to where you will be applying. And the best time to take SAT II’s is at the end of sophomore or junior year for subjects you have just completed (i.e. if you just took U.S. History and Chemistry, take those tests); that way the material is fresh in your mind. To read more about SAT II Subject tests, go here.
The bottom line is that you need to understand the landscape surrounding the SAT I , SAT II and ACT before you take the tests. Arm yourself with facts, not rumors, and set your testing schedule well in advance. If your scores are not where you hoped this spring, plan to spend the summer studying for the fall test date.