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Parents of the HS Class of 2022

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Replies to: Parents of the HS Class of 2022

  • sfSTEMsfSTEM Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    @Luanne Generally, SAT Subject tests reflect high school-level material, AP tests reflect college-level material. There's a user/moderator on CC, @skieurope, who is very good on discussing the differences between SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests. One example skieurope cites is Physics. The SAT Subject Test covers a wider breadth of physics material than a typical AP Test does. So if you were to take, say AP Physics C, you would not be well-prepared for the Physics SAT Subject Test, despite the AP course's more rigorous material.

    My thought is that S22 takes the applicable SAT Subject Test at the end of the year he takes a given high school course.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,220 Super Moderator
    I'm not sure what level of class is required for the other subject tests
    It depends upon the subject. As @sfSTEM says, my feeling is the AP sciences, particularly physics, are poor preparation for Subject Tests, which are designed to test the material covered in a HS (non-AP) course.There are instances, like history, where the AP course might be fine, since AP USH or WH, are generally in lieu of the HS course, and are not the follow-up course.Even then, though, there may be gaps that the student might need to fill-in him/herself.
  • mom2twogirlsmom2twogirls Registered User Posts: 2,025 Senior Member
    @Luanne I think it is best to take most of the rest of the subject tests after APs. I know my D19 took the chemistry one after AP Chem and she said she couldn’t have done well without both high school and AP Chem.
  • VineyarderVineyarder Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    Belated thanks for your kind words, @mom2twogirls and @vistajay!

    I hope S22’s transition back to the U.S. curriculum goes smoothly. He was in an American school in London for fourth through seventh grades, but he’s done eighth and ninth at an international school in Geneva, with no particular emphasis on America. I’ll see what his new school recommends once he’s registered—maybe there will be some extra summer reading he can do, especially for U.S. history.

    Interesting to see all of your thoughts on PSAT/SAT/ACT. Although it’s obviously different, I think his two takings of the SSAT when we were considering private schools were good practice for that kind of test and gave us a sense of where he is, so we’ll probably just stick to the standard schedule.
  • LuanneLuanne Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    Thanks for the thoughts on when to take the subject tests. He's in biology now and doing well. Maybe he should take it this spring. I'll have to see what he thinks. Or he could do the chemistry test next spring along with math.
  • vistajayvistajay Registered User Posts: 1,328 Senior Member
    S22's school will administer the PSAT soph year so he will take that. He took PSAT 8/9 this year and PLAN 8th grade year. Junior year he will take a PSAT prep course in late summer/early fall, then take the fall SAT and the PSAT while the prep course is fresh. ACT probably in the spring of junior year but maybe winter depending on schedule. Subject tests: will have to see depending on his intended major. With our older 2 we found schools were moving away from the Subject Tests, and using the ACT sections instead. Very few schools on the older kids lists required them, and those that required did not seem to place great importance on them in admissions. But every school is different.
  • mom2twogirlsmom2twogirls Registered User Posts: 2,025 Senior Member
    @Luanne you might want to buy a Subject test review book for Bio (or get one from the library). Your son could look through it to see if most of the information expected was covered in his high school course. He may even want to chat with his teacher and show the teacher and ask whether taking the subject test after the high school level course would work or if he should wait until after the AP course.
  • LuanneLuanne Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    @mom2twogirls that's a great idea. I will do that!
  • NolaCARNolaCAR Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
    I agree with @vistajay - none of the colleges D17 applied to had any interest in SAT subject tests, but she only applied to 6 colleges, so maybe they weren’t representative. As for S22, I may try to have him take an ACT his sophomore year just for the practice. I definitely plan to have him take an ACT prep course. Something we didn’t do with D17 and wished we had. I have no idea how to find a good ACT prep course, though. Anyone have any recommendations? We live in a rural county so a virtual/online one may be our only choice. And when do you usually take a prep course? I’m assuming the fall of junior year? (Our HS gives the ACT in February of Junior year).
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 701 Member
    edited January 17
    For students interested in engineering, many colleges either require or "recommend" SAT Subject tests. Some colleges only have these requirements for certain majors, so exercise your due diligence in your research.

    As far as studying for standardized tests, you should consider two things. First, practicing timed/proctored tests is very important to sharpen time management and "guessing strategy" skills. However, if problem areas arise as indicated by consistently lower than desired scores, you need to refresh on the specific topic.
  • LuanneLuanne Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    We've noticed some schools require and some recommend the subject tests. I just figure take them and have them if needed.
  • OrangeFishOrangeFish Registered User Posts: 668 Member
    We are skipping the subject tests. The schools on S22's list do not "suggest" or require them. Works for me! S has enough standardized tests to take.
  • sfSTEMsfSTEM Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    This past August, the prepscholar website compiled a list of schools and their various positions on SAT Subject Tests. It's not all colleges (e.g. no Rose-Hulman, RIT, etc.). But it gives a feel for which schools are interested in applicants' subject tests.

    You can see schools like Cal, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Lehigh have the tests as recommended. Others have them as required: Rice, Harvard, Caltech, Cornell. *Some* schools only have the SAT Subject Test recommended/required if you also submit the SAT itself. If you only submit the ACT, then no SAT tests are expected (e.g. Duke).

    Plenty of schools don't expect the SAT Subject Tests at all.

    CC doesn't like prepscholar URLs (my comment gets put into moderation when I include a link to the article). If you're interested in reading the article, just google: 'Complete List: Colleges That Require SAT Subject Tests'. In those search results, there's a second site, thoughtco, which also lists schools interested in applicants' SAT Subject Tests.

    Note: I personally haven't gone through all these colleges' websites to verify prepscholar/thoughtco findings.
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