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SAT Subject tests retake

CaringMom07CaringMom07 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
hi ,

My daughter is rising Junior. She took SAT subject test chemistry last year and MATH 2 and biology this past June.
She got 5 in AP Chem, AP Bio and AP calc AB and BC. She studied barron's books for subject tests and dr chung for math test . When she took practice tests from those books, most of the times she scored more than 770 in all three subjects .
But she scored 720 in chem , 730 in bio and 760 in math2 in actual tests. . She is frustrated too as she knows the material but somehow not getting score in tests. so my question is whether she should take Bio and math2 again this august or just forget about it and concentrate on SAT which she will take in October or November ? Any suggestions on test taking strategies?


Replies to: SAT Subject tests retake

  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,604 Senior Member
    Those are good scores. The kids who take these tests tend to be the cream of the crop and only one or two careless mistakes can really bring down a score. FWIW my younger son retook a 720 in Bio and got exactly the same score the second time too. He got into Vassar, Tufts and U of Chicago. (Didn't have the grades for the most selective colleges.)
  • IxnayBobIxnayBob Registered User Posts: 4,109 Senior Member
    I would forget about the subject tests. My son got one, ONE, question wrong on the old 3-part SATs and got a 760 on the math portion (a few years ago, there was a particularly brutal curve when he took it). To add insult to injury, SAT characterized it as an easy question, what he said was a "count on your fingers" kind of question. It would have been nice to get a 2400, but so much nicer to be "one and done." How did it happen? A cow flew by and distracted him. It happens.

    Even the most selective schools understand that a student's efforts on one particular weekend morning do not define the student. And, 700+ are good scores.
  • CaringMom07CaringMom07 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thanks mathmom , Ixnaybob
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,214 Senior Member
    Retaking these tests is not necessary. Admissions does not work like that. There really is no difference in chances between a 730 and a 790. This is just one set of tests. Her time is better spent pursuing activities that interest her.
  • oldschooldadoldschooldad Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Since your daughter has two more years of high school, she can easily retake another round of subject tests at end of junior year, especially since she'll likely be prepping for AP tests anyway. If she were a senior I'd agree with others and say move on. But she's a junior so she has an extra year so no harm in aiming for another good SAT subject test next May or June. I assume she'll be doing some AP classes so those might take care of most of the prep for SAT II in those subjects. Pick a couple of your two strongest subjects and do some practice tests just to make sure you're used to subject test format. The good news is she already has three good scores and experience taking the tests. Scores in 700s for soph are pretty good.

    My suggestion--focus on SAT I (or ACT) for now. Worry about subject tests later. No need to add stress over summer. I bet she can get some top scores with only a moderate amount of extra studying.

  • IxnayBobIxnayBob Registered User Posts: 4,109 Senior Member
    @oldschooldad, good catch, I missed the rising junior part. OP craftily hid it by making it the opening sentence :)
  • oldschooldadoldschooldad Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    ^^No worries. Username identifies OP as a mom, which means she is accustomed to men not paying attention
  • IxnayBobIxnayBob Registered User Posts: 4,109 Senior Member
    ^^ haha, and here I had prided myself on being the exception that proves the rule, the feminist male who really listens to women! Oh well.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,355 Senior Member
    In general it will depend on her proposed major and if she is applying to tippy top schools. However, I see she already has two semesters' worth of calculus by the end of sophomore year-wow! The SAT math subject test is on precalc math, she should not hassle with restudying it when her HS math credentials will be way beyond even the usual math major applicant.

    Do NOT waste time with retaking subject tests. She should do free practice SAT/ACT tests before taking either of them. With her knowledge and skills base she does not need to waste time and money on prep classes. The 5's on AP exams mean something- this means she learned the material expected and her school did a good job teaching for those courses. Some kids who are test proven gifted may get an A in class but not a 5 on the AP exam because the school didn't do a good job. It's studious cousin with an A/3 and son end senior year with a C/5- both had the same composite score on an earlier talent search testing. Son did not do the work by then, sigh. Having a 2400 SAT score did not mean acceptances, either.

    So, mom, you have it right with the "forget about it". btw- why fall of junior year instead of spring? National Merit uses the PSAT scores for determining eligibility.
  • CaringMom07CaringMom07 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thanks compmom, oldschooldad, wis75. Your suggestions will help her make the right decision.

    You are a patient listener. Will not hold missing out the first line against you :).

    She will have a full plate with 5 AP classes planned for next year. So pushing SAT to late in the year is a bit of a concern.

  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 6,946 Senior Member
    A cow flew by and distracted him.

    WOW!!! I'd be distracted by a flying cow too!!! :)
  • IxnayBobIxnayBob Registered User Posts: 4,109 Senior Member
    ^ that's an old phrase I picked up in my bridge playing days. When a partner looked at you with a "how could I be playing with someone who would make that bid/play" look, you'd say, "sorry, I was distracted by the cow flying by." It defused the situation, and reminded partner that to err is human.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,355 Senior Member
    I do not understand how taking many AP classes has anything to do with taking the SAT or ACT. In fact, being academically stimulated by those classes should make for a better knowledge and skills base. A top student does not need to spend much time prepping for the tests. Merely a familiarity with the format- obtained by a session or two doing practice exams. A late test date would be fall of SENIOR year, not spring of junior year. You are proposing an EARLY testing, when she is less prepared than she will be after a few months of rigorous classes.
  • dowzerwdowzerw Registered User Posts: 2,214 Senior Member
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 12,525 Senior Member
    A top student does not need to spend much time prepping for the tests.

    I'm not sure this is true for math.

    A student who is advanced in math is typically taking math classes where they work on problems far different from those on the SAT or ACT. Such students might have difficulty with the SAT/ACT math simply because it's math that they studied several years earlier, and their ability to solve those particular types of problems is rusty. So some time spent in preparation for the test might be worthwhile.
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