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Should I report this SAT Subject test score?

reallypanickedreallypanicked 62 replies29 threads Junior Member
Hello everyone!

I currently have a 1550 SAT, 35 ACT, and an 800 Math 2. However, I just cannot manage to snatch a second subject test. Recently, I scored a 720 on the Physics subject test. I only took AP Physics 1, though I am currently taking AP Physics 2, and I never took the AP Physics exam.

I'm applying to a good number of T20 schools. Most of them recommend subject tests. Will I be fine only submitting my Math 2 score? Should I even bother submitting my Physics score? Would I be disadvantaged in any way?

Thanks!
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Replies to: Should I report this SAT Subject test score?

  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1528 replies30 threads Senior Member
    IMO, unless the college requires 2 subject tests, do not submit a 720 as it’s 60th percentile. My approach is if it’s not going to help your application, why submit it.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1140 replies16 threads Senior Member
    While this is true, OP says most of the schools recommend Subject Tests, which really means they expect them unless there’s a financial hardship (which is hard argue if you’re already reporting one score).

    For those who don’t recommend them, only send Math. For the others, I’d send both. Sending one will certainly raise the assumption of a hidden second test, and the imagination will probably run worse than a 720.

    Will It disadvantage you? Well, no score or a 720 will disadvantage you against other applicant with 750+, that’s just reality. Just like their 1490 will be a disadvantage when compared to your 1550.

    Prepping and taking it again is an option.
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  • yearstogoyearstogo 659 replies30 threads Member
    DS scored a 800 on SAT Math, SAT Math II, and SAT Chemistry; 5s on AP Phys 1 and AP Chemistry, but scored a 780 on the SAT Physics subj test. (he felt he was much stronger in physics than Chem)

    He also selected to report the scores to 5 of his colleges, so he was a bit concerned that it would not look great since it puts him in the 80th percentile and he feels like he is stronger than that in Physics. He said the questions he thinks he missed were general physics history type questions.

    He is taking the F=ma, AP Phys C and doing Phys research so he hopes if he does well in those it will still look good when taken into account with the rest of his app.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39604 replies7189 threads Super Moderator
    edited October 20
    yearstogo wrote: »
    DS scored a 800 on SAT Math, SAT Math II, and SAT Chemistry; 5s on AP Phys 1 and AP Chemistry, but scored a 780 on the SAT Physics subj test. (he felt he was much stronger in physics than Chem)

    I'm struggling to wonder how this is not a humblebrag. He only scored a 780, and thinks this will look bad? Additionally, assuming he's already applied, what's done is done, but for the benefit of others, DS is suffering from some major misconceptions (or got really bad advice), namely:
    • Any college that requests/requires Subject Tests only asks for 2 (except Georgetown that asks for 3). More does not equal better. Sending 3 is fine. Sending more will not dazzle an AO with the applicant's brilliance.
    • If the college requests Subject Tests, AP scores are not used in lieu (except for a handful of colleges like Georgetown). Nor will AP scores offset bad Subject Test scores.
    • Some Subject Tests are basically 2 sides of the same coin, and will bo counted as one test. Examples are Math 1 and Math 2, Bio-E and Bio-M, Spanish and Spanish with Listening
    • AOs are not sitting on the floor with charts cross-referencing percentiles. It is important to understand that for several subjects, the percentiles are depressed because so few colleges request Subject Tests, that the ones that do are the ultra selective ones. As a result, it is the high achieving kids taking the tests.

    Now going back to the OP, reporting the 720 really depends upon the college. For some colleges, like Harvard. "recommended" means you need to submit unless there's a really good excuse. For others, like Princeton, "recommended" means "optional;" they can enhance an application, but not submitting them will not be a negative.
    edited October 20
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2485 replies5 threads Senior Member
    maybe a humble brag, but I think it was more the percentile than anything, and to be fair, a 780 in physics, would be a little disappointing for a top stem student. It doesn't mean an applicant is disadvantaged to the OP's question though.
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