Subject Tests are 1-hour long, content-based tests that allow you to showcase your knowledge in specific subject areas where you excel. They allow you to differentiate yourself in your college application process and sends a strong message about your readiness to study specific majors or program. They portray a much better picture of your academic background and interests. Based on your performance on the tests, you could possibly fulfill basic requirements or receive credit for introductory-level courses.
Some of the advice we would give to all aspirants, who are struggling with deciding which SAT subject tests to take and feeling a bit overwhelmed- Go with the subjects that you are already the most confident in, especially if you want to take it sooner. Say, if you perform better in Chemistry than Physics, go for chemistry. In other words, take SAT subject tests in areas in which you have relatively more comfortable with the material. Also, consider a subject which relates to whatever major you are considering or career you are writing about in your application. Consistency across the entire application is very essential, and the SAT subject tests can help provide that steadiness. If you say you’ve always been awesome at Physics and plan on being a Physicist, but if don’t take the subject test in Physics or perform average on it that could be a seen as the problem with your application.
You must check the college requirement for any school you are considering. Most top colleges recommend SAT Subject Tests for at least two subjects say:
- California Institute of Technology – 2 Subjects tests (Math-II & 1- science test of your choice)
- MIT- 2 Subjects tests (Math-I or II & 1- science test of your choice)
- Yale University -Recommended but not required
- Harvard College – 2 Subject Tests (Your choice)
- New York University- 3 Subject Test (1 Maths or Science, 1 Literature or humanities & 1- Elective)
- University of California, Berkeley- 2 Subject Tests (Your choice)
You must read each college’s SAT subject requirements carefully, and make sure you meet them. Make sure that you don’t get confused among these 3terms:
Required –means it is mandatory for you to take the SAT Subject Tests. Some colleges require one subject test, while the more competitive, selective colleges require two. (check their specifications)
Recommended -may bring some confusion to the applicant, it leaves the decision up to you whether or not to send your Subject Test scores. If you can score well or want to make up for a low SAT score, then it’s a great idea. But, if your SAT II scores are low and will look like an outlier on your application, you might be better served not sending them.
Considered- this implies that university does not necessarily require your SAT Subject Test scores, but they will surely count them if you decide to send them. Also, if sending them connects to your future academic and/or professional goals, then it may enhance your application.
Hope this will ease your SAT subject test decision process!