By the time it has reached senior year, the majority of applicants will have already taken the SAT or ACT to send to colleges. However, schools have begun to require their applicants to take SAT subject tests to supplement these test scores. While some schools will only require the main exams, it has become more and more logical for most applicants to take at least two subject tests before finalizing their applications. Especially for students who want to go into fields such as Math or Engineering, a SAT subject test in a related topic is heavily considered in admissions. Regardless if mandatory or optional, applicants should feel compelled to try and take subject tests as it opens up more college options and also shows a better understanding of specific subjects.
When looking at which SAT subject tests to take, applicants should consider what type of programs they are applying to. At this point, seniors applicants should have a general idea of what they are looking to study when they go to college. If they are going into the sciences, specifically majors in engineering, subjects tests such as Chemistry and Physics would show admission offices a strong STEM understanding. If an applicant is looking into the humanities, he or she should look into the histories, literature, or specific languages. For applicants who don’t know yet what exactly what they want to do, there are subject tests that will cover a wide variety of relatable topics, namely the Math II subject test. The Math II subject test covers topics all the way up to trigonometric functions and is the one of the most popular subject tests among applicants. Although challenging, Math II allows for calculators to be used on the test and test takers can get one or two questions wrong while still getting a perfect score.
While it has become increasingly popular for applicants to take their SAT subject tests in their Junior Spring Semester, Senior Fall gives applicants time to look over their college lists and make sure they’re not taking any unnecessary subject tests. Although applicants may have to balance completing applications and studying for subject tests at the same time, more often than not subject tests are a review of what was learned in previous semesters so the total stress placed on applicants is not as big as applicants may think. Both financially and logically, Fall is more ideal as it gives more time for applicants to prepare and research.
With more applicants than ever applying to colleges, there needs to more differentiators in place to be able to distinguish applicants apart from each other. This is where SAT subject tests come into play. They provide not only another statistic that applicants can utilize to their advantage, but they can show a demonstrated interest in specific programs they want to get into on their college lists. For applicants, these subjects are the final way to show that they are qualified for the school and specific program that interests them.