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SAT 2 Subject tests - how many?

hs2020kidhs2020kid 96 replies19 threads Junior Member
For the schools that recommend SAT subject tests - most are asking for 2 tests with only Georgetown asking for 3 tests (AFAIK). However some of my classmates are taking like 4/5 tests - does having more test scores help? More precisely: for competitive college admissions (MIT/Ivies/Duke etc) - if they officially recommend 2 tests, will they be 'more' impressed with 4 or 5 tests? or they just pick top 2 and ignore others.

I have 2 good scores and thought I am done (since all the colleges that I am applying - including reaches like MIT/Ivies 'recommended' only 2) but now after seeing that my classmates have 4/5 scores, I am second guessing my earlier decision. Any thoughts - should I add one more in Oct test? (if I am able to prepare).
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Replies to: SAT 2 Subject tests - how many?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83774 replies743 threads Senior Member
    The usual thought is that extra subject tests would be useful mainly in unusual circumstances, such as confirmation of grades in home school or other non-traditional course work.
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 414 replies19 threads Member
    I don’t think it helps at all to submit more than the required number, unless you have a low SAT/ACT and are trying to overcome it. 2 good scores is plenty. Sure, take more than 2 if you are trying to score higher but only submit your best 2.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1654 replies8 threads Senior Member
    Two are all you need. Note MIT requires a math and a science SAT2. If your indicated major at other colleges are not STEM focused, having a good non STEM SAT2 may help. For the colleges you are talking about, you should be in mid to high 700's. In all cases, just submit the highest 2.
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  • oldfortoldfort 23505 replies308 threads Senior Member
    My kids' GC asked all students to take 3 because some schools required 3 SATs. I don't recommend more unless you could be sure to get high scores on all of them. It is best to focus on 3 and do well. The GC also recommended for the students to take the subject test after completing that particular course in school. My kids' school didn't teach Chemistry to the subject test, therefore the students were discouraged from taking the Chemistry test, but to take the Biology test instead.
    My older daughter's private school was very good with English Literature, and she did very well with the Literature test. My younger daughter moved to an international school junior year and the school didn't teach the English Literature well, her scores weren't as high even with tutoring. My message here is be targeted when taking SAT II tests because the schools will see them.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 41016 replies7681 threads Super Moderator
    does having more test scores help?
    No. More does not equal better.
    they just pick top 2 and ignore others.
    They will likely focus on the top X or maybe X+1, where X= number requested,.
    will they be 'more' impressed with 4 or 5 tests?
    You run the risk of them being less impressed with a one-dimensional drone that has nothing better to do on a Saturday.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 2468 replies37 threads Senior Member
    There's one scenario in which taking more than 2 tests might be helpful, at least doesn't hurt. My S took 3 tests (math 2, physics, and US history) in a single and only sitting (at the time when he wasn't sure what he wanted to major in, and even which colleges he would apply to). He had good admission results so it certainly didn't hurt. The colleges probably saw that he didn't optimize it for the sake of getting better test scores. He even sent scores unseen to four colleges which at the time required all test scores sent (and three of those four he never even applied to later).
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2432 replies39 threads Senior Member
    If you have 2 very good scores and don’t intend to apply to Georgetown, I see no need for it (I’m not aware of any other school currently requiring 3, let alone ‘some schools’)

    There’s always a chance that you can improve one of the scores, but that would be tough in October - you’re not far enough through any new subject, and are 4 months removed from previous courses. Maybe retaking one where you are now in the AP version of the class. But if you have good scores, no.

    Piling on will not impress anyone, with the homeschooling/etc. exceptions noted above.
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  • hs2020kidhs2020kid 96 replies19 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for all the comments/advice.
    I have 800's in Math2 and Physics (another 800 in math1 but it maybe redundant - took all three tests on a single test date) - am targeting Math/CS majors. I will stick with these two and may not go for another subject test. Decided that my time is well spent in other areas - especially essays which are going slow for me.
    thanks all.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83774 replies743 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2019
    Math level 1 is of no value if you have an 800 in math level 2. The 800s in math level 2 and physics should be fine unless you apply to a college that wants three or wants subjects that those two do not fulfill.
    edited August 2019
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  • dropbox77177dropbox77177 266 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I think you are fine. Our student also has 800s in math level 2 and physics and we've advised them not to take any more tests.
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