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Taking SAT IIs with A Levels

londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
My son has just achieved a good set of GCSEs and will be looking at some top 20 schools when he applies for US universities next year. He will be taking A Levels in Maths, Chemistry, History and Economics when he starts Sixth Form next month. He will take SATs in November and SAT IIs next spring and AS levels in May/June. As his school workload will be pretty intense this year, we are trying to figure out what will be the least onerous route for SAT IIs so he can piggy-back on the school work he is already doing for A levels. History is out, as his A level syllabus is mostly 17th century. Therefore, I think that Chemistry and Math are his best options for SAT IIs. Is that right? Also, what is better, SAT II Math or SAT II Advanced Math? Thanks, Londondad.

Replies to: Taking SAT IIs with A Levels

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 37,552 Senior Member
    SAT Math 2 - math1 is almost useless.
    SAT subjects are roughly at GCSE level so he could check out the curriculum and take them this Fall, while his GCSE curriculum is still fresh.
    http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-subject-test-preparation
    If he took a foreign language, that'd be an easy choice. Literature and Math 2 could easily round that out but check out the chemistry exam too.
    Regardless of how good his GCSE's are, don't limit yourself to Top 20 (and I assume that on top of that, you're talking national universities and not looking at top20 LACs.) You'd run a high risk of a shut out.
  • feyfeyfeyfey Registered User Posts: 24 Junior Member
    Language SAT subjects are far, far harder than GCSE level. GCSE languages teach almost nothing. Also, Math 2 tests things which are not covered until 2nd year A Level Maths, if at all.

    (From recent personal experience.)
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 37,552 Senior Member
    feyfey, I'm not sure what ALevel qualification you're talking about, but GCSE language is at CEF A2 level and SAT Subject is at CEF A2 level too. In fact good GCSE language students (those with A-A*) tend to be at CEF B1 level, ie., above the level required for SAT subjects.

    Math2 requires Geometry, Algebra, trigonometry, and general precalculus. Considering A-Level math is calculus, and calculus at AP Calc BC level at that (further than BC for those who take Further Maths), and keeping in mind that 2/3 Math2 is at the Algebra/Geometry level, it stands to reason that A-Level Math is MUCH harder than math2, even if SOME questions on math2 aren't included in the GCSE curriculum - but someone enrolled in A-Level should be fine self-studying the couple concepts not already covered.
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    Thanks for the helpful comments
This discussion has been closed.