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SAT subject tests are NOT truly optional for middle/upper middle class applicants at elite colleges!


Replies to: SAT subject tests are NOT truly optional for middle/upper middle class applicants at elite colleges!

  • LA91116LA91116 Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
    Pennmother, we're in a public high school so there is no nuance!!! Once I'm able to PM, I'll message you as I'm really curious to hear how your daughter chose Penn. I really want my DD to go but they are seriously weak in her area of study. I had such an interesting experience there decades ago, and I kind of want to share it with her, regardless of the fact that the program may not be a good "fit". I know, I'm just like everyone else, but is that so wrong?!!
  • sylvieiasylvieia Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I took literature and math2 and they helped a lot with my admissions, but i got 790s on both. I would say dont take them if you aren't prepared.
  • LA91116LA91116 Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
    edited March 13
    Stupid question @sylvieia but how do you know they helped? Did you get any feedback from the admissions office?
  • lykia99lykia99 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I am new and don't have lots of experience with college admissions, but son 1 was admitted to Princeton without SAT Subject Tests. He only submitted his SAT scores. I'd call us upper middle class as my wife is a Foreign Service Officer. I suspect that what they liked about my son is that he was raised largely overseas. As far as I can see, that was his only "hook". He got a few other offers, also all without SAT subject test scores.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,476 Senior Member
    SAT2 tests can help in admissions if the scores are high, even if the school does not require them or says they are not considered. I know that with two of my kids, specific mention was made of their high SAT2 scores by admissions officers at their colleges, and in one case, by a coach. In the athlete's case, his SAT scores were a bit on the low side for admissions, and first two years of grades were not great. That the SAT2 scores were higher than the SAT1 numbers, showed that he had a good comprehension of those subjects. The other one had abysmal ACT and SAT1 test scores, but high grades, and the high SAT2 scores reinforced those grades.

    I think SAT2 scores are very important for kids who are coming from schools that are not well known to admissions offices of highly selective colleges. If a high school is not on the radar of admissions of a college, they have more difficulty gauging the quality of instruction, how the grades are given out and there is sometimes doubt as to how well the student knows the material of courses taken. There are schools that have very very few kids going on to private colleges, particularly the most selective schools, and they tend to get the short shrift if there is no evidence of hardship or disadvantage in the profile. High SAT2s can be a game changer in such cases.

    Low SAT2s are not advantageous to submit. In fact low SAT1s are not, if you can get away without submitting them as we did with some schools for my low scoring son. Fairtest schools truly does ignore the omission of test scores, I can attest, as we did not submit any of them to the group of those schools,and son was accepted to all of them.

    AP test scores from junior year and earlier, certainly give weight to the transcript. Again, kids going to schools not well known by admissions offices, it gives another view of where the student stands among those who do submit those scores. I know that SAT2 and AP test scores can be very important in the application process of homeschooled kids.
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