Many parents and students come to us at Empowerly and ask us a few questions about SAT II subject tests. Over time, the subject tests have become increasingly important for college admissions, so it is important to be well informed. In this article, we will answer the most frequently asked questions on SAT II tests and how they impact college admissions.
How many SAT II Subject Tests should I take?
For most students we recommend 3. We recommend that students spread these out from 10th grade to 12th grade if they are have taken at least Algebra 2 by the end of 10th grade.
We recommend most students to have 2 solid subject tests that they are comfortable with. There are a few schools like Georgetown that still want 3 tests, but 95% of all schools in the Top 70 recommend 2 SAT II subject tests.
How important are these tests?
Recommend usually means required for most students who want to be competitive at the Top 70 schools.
You should take them to show your prowess in a few subjects. We usually recommend 3 just in case students do not do well in one.
Studies have shown these tests correlate closely with academic success in college, so across the board it seems that colleges are paying more attention to these scores.
When should I take these tests?
Most students should take Math SAT Level II because it has a great curve and it is a core subject. You will need knowledge of up to limits. Usually we recommend 11th graders to take this test but sometimes 10th graders will take it at the end of 10th grade and occasionally earlier if the student is gifted in the subject.
For other subjects, we recommend students take it in June after the AP test of the corresponding class.
It does not matter when any of these tests are taken as long as they are completed before November of senior year. We generally want these complete by June of junior year so that we can better formulate a college list with our complete scores. The same holds for SAT I and ACT.
SAT II subject tests are important for admissions, and particularly for the top colleges. In this article we answer the most frequently asked questions about the test. To go into more detail on the exact timeline, generally we need to know the student’s coursework, spirit use, and desire of what to study in college.