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

Penn95Penn95 2283 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
edited October 2017 in College Admissions
I just wanted to post this because I have seen quite a few profiles of kids from upper middle class backgrounds, with top grades and scores applying to the ivies and other elites without having taken the subject tests because they think they are optional.

The subject tests are not really optional for such kids. The tests are truly optional only for kids from low income, very underprivileged backgrounds.

If you come from a middle class or above background and want to have a decent chance at these types of schools, please do not neglect to take subject tests.
edited October 2017
157 replies
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Replies to: SAT subject tests are NOT truly optional for middle/upper middle class applicants at elite colleges!

  • MomtogirlsMomtogirls 18 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I agree completely. According to what has been said at our (high income/high performing) school, sat 2 is required. They name it recommended as to not deter lower income/performing high schools students who may have not been told the sat2 is a 'thing'.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    That is what we tell students who ask out here.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 3821 replies48 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    It isn't just a necessity to take them, though, you have to do well. Kids I know who do SAT2s and have less than mediocre scores don't really get the message that this is not better than none at all. It is more like a sign to take note of.
    edited October 2017
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  • Penn95Penn95 2283 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    @Sybylla absolutely, this is definitely true. But it is especially frustrating to see kids with great SAT scores and strong profiles who could probably have scored very well on the subject tests, mess up their chances because they didn't get the memo.
    edited October 2017
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  • ProfessorMom1ProfessorMom1 367 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    It might be helpful to students if we qualify what "elite" means. Are we talking, for example, top 25 of USWR rankings for both universities and liberal arts colleges? Top 10? Top 50? Where does one draw the line? For someone with limited (but available, if necessary) funds applying to schools in that 25-50 rank bracket, can they safely skip the subject tests?
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  • abdcfabdcf 139 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    ^ Would like some opinions regarding my above post. Anyone else have any specific knowledge about NU or talked to an admissions officer from there like I did?
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  • PetraMCPetraMC 778 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    Yes, this is what our college counselor said last year to the whole class. "It's not optional for YOU."
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  • GatormamaGatormama 1045 replies20 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Please tell me this is not the case at other than elite colleges? I don't think I can handle more test-taking in this household. Kid is aiming for general publics/LACs, def. not top-tier.
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  • GatormamaGatormama 1045 replies20 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Phew. Thanks.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78278 replies691 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    skieurope wrote:
    Almost all publics (except as examples top UC's and UGA don't consider them and do not want them).

    Some UCs recommend SAT subject tests for certain majors or divisions (mainly engineering or science) but not others: http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/requirements/examination-requirement/SAT-subject-tests/
    edited October 2017
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9245 replies497 threadsRegistered User 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 .
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5731 replies10 threadsRegistered User 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.
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  • stressedgirl21stressedgirl21 40 replies16 threadsRegistered User 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.
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  • hebegebehebegebe 2672 replies38 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Excellent PSA, @Penn95.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9245 replies497 threadsRegistered User 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.
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