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

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

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,362 Senior Member
    OP, your post is what I tell many of my students. In the area where I live, many students are aiming high. Another thing to consider: if all the competition submits them, and you don't, you have just weakened your app. Again, this refers to schools as detailed by @skieurope .
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    While you may not need them for admissions, FL subject tests are used by some schools for language placement. This can be a worthwhile one to take, even at the end of senior year, particularly if your college has an FL requirement. Worth doing the research to see if it could help you in your college.
  • stressedgirl21stressedgirl21 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    I have a question- is this also the case for students from public high schools that aren't very wealthy or good or competitive? If necessary I know that my family could afford to pay another 50 dollars for a test, but I didn't even know these existed until I saw them listed on the sign up for test registration, and I didn't know what they were for. Nobody in my school takes these- I mean literally nobody. We just assume they're for rich smart kids applying to Princeton, and our guidance counselors never mentioned them to us. Also a whole lot of kids in my school get fee waivers (though I don't) for the SAT and they probably wouldn't get them for the SAT subject tests so maybe that's why they don't tell us about them.
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 2,305 Senior Member
    Excellent PSA, @Penn95.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,362 Senior Member
    @stressedgirl21 read skieurope's posts on this thread. Schedule a meeting with your counselor and discuss which subject tests you might do well in. If you are aiming high and and are not hooked, you should consider taking two subject tests, especially if you are not taking any AP clases or tests.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 38,469 Super Moderator
    I have a question- is this also the case for students from public high schools that aren't very wealthy or good or competitive?
    @stressedgirl21 I answered your question in post #6.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,213 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    I have a question- is this also the case for students from public high schools that aren't very wealthy or good or competitive? If necessary I know that my family could afford to pay another 50 dollars for a test, but I didn't even know these existed until I saw them listed on the sign up for test registration, and I didn't know what they were for. Nobody in my school takes these- I mean literally nobody. We just assume they're for rich smart kids applying to Princeton, and our guidance counselors never mentioned them to us. Also a whole lot of kids in my school get fee waivers (though I don't) for the SAT and they probably wouldn't get them for the SAT subject tests so maybe that's why they don't tell us about them.

    "Recommended" instead of "required" is meant to cover students in high schools like yours where students tend not to be told about SAT subject tests until it is too late.

    It is the students in upper middle class to wealthy district schools or private prep schools which have college-admission-express trains running starting in 11th grade or earlier, where students are advised of all of the usual requirements and recommendations early enough that they can plan for them without as much time pressure, who should treat "recommended" as "required".
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 22,902 Forum Champion
    edited October 2017
    Another voice agreeing with the post. I heard an admission officer from an Ivy school say that they made the SAT II optional in order to make admissions more accessible to poor and rural students who either don't have the money to take the exam or a way to readily get to an exam center.
  • 4junior4junior Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    edited October 2017
    CC told D that unless her subject test scores were markedly higher than her regular SAT scores it was not important to test/send. If your scores or gpa are inconsistent then subject tests can weight your profile one way or another; but if you have a very consistent profile they are not going to matter either way. Not submitting will not be an automatic 'ding' against you, in fact it can make you look less 'helicoptered' which in the landscape of competitive HS is not a bad angle IF it fits your profile. This is for top LAC only, I hear other things about different types of school and certainly for Ivys they are warranted.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,637 Senior Member
    I do wonder why APs are so discounted in the application process WRT SAT2s, if students have solid scores in solid AP subjects, why are they not considered equal to SATs? Some of them would be harder than SATs. no?
  • 4junior4junior Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    Sybylla, APs are easy to study for with a clearly defined curriculum. Subject tests less so, esp ones like Lit. Many schools do not teach an AP curriculum so the tests are irrelevant to a wide range of students.
  • observer12observer12 Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    edited October 2017
    Is it possible that SAT subject tests are more important for middle class and upper middle class students coming from public schools and unknown private schools than for students coming from well-known privates that seem to send disproportionately high numbers of their students to very selective colleges?

    These would not be students who can't afford the fee. These would be students who attend private high schools well known to college admissions officers who feel so confident of the academic standards that they see no need for all the students they admit from the school to provide 2 or 3 extremely high subject test scores.
  • planner03planner03 Registered User Posts: 1,358 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    Also a whole lot of kids in my school get fee waivers (though I don't) for the SAT and they probably wouldn't get them for the SAT subject tests so maybe that's why they don't tell us about them.

    CB provides waivers for 2 sittings of the SAT as well as 2 sittings of the SAT II.. I think it is more of an issue of not being aware of the SAT IIs than cost.
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