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BS Class of 2020 Thread

GoatMamaGoatMama Registered User Posts: 1,158 Senior Member
Created by a clueless @GoatMama egged on by @AppleNotFar, and that's not the first thing GoatMama has ever done against her best judgement.

This should be a safe place for parents of BS 2020 students to communicate, support each other, and share information about all aspects of the college application process.

Happy 2017 to everyone! According to Apple, 2020 is around the corner...

Replies to: BS Class of 2020 Thread

  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    Nicely put @GoatMama

    Best not to blink :)
  • MA2012MA2012 Registered User Posts: 1,221 Senior Member
    With one just done with college applications I can't really think about college for DS2.

    One piece of advice for parents - have your kids think about standardized testing when appropriate with their courses. For example Math subject test is recommended after Pre-Calculus. DS1 spread out his testing and was done by the end of 11th grade. He had time to study/retake SAT or ACT in senior fall if necessary.
  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    That's very helpful @MA2012 thanks! What's the suggested timeline for the other tests? And I imagine we need to look at some admissions requirements to figure out how many need to be taken?

    I was also wondering if kids study for the PSAT prior to taking it or do they just prepare by doing SAT prep? I struck up a conversation with another parent in a BS admissions waiting room when DC was applying last year and she told me that her 8th grader had begun SAT prep right after her kid had taken the SSAT. Back in my day I did a few practice tests and took the SAT once.
  • GoatMamaGoatMama Registered User Posts: 1,158 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    And here is a list of colleges that require or recommend subject tests:

    If asterisks appear in a sentence, then the word/website is not allowed, and should be edited. Link deleted.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    Postive peer pressure ;)

    Due to the "****" in the link above I ran a search for "complete list of colleges that require sat subject tests" and found the referenced page. Thanks!

    Looks like 3 subject tests to be on the safe side.
  • MA2012MA2012 Registered User Posts: 1,221 Senior Member
    Most that mine applied to asked for 2 subject tests, if any. He took 4 total and self reported where asked on the common app. If applying for a STEM field, many schools prefer Math and a science. Math 2 is only specified at MIT and Cal Tech - others will take either Math 1 or 2. Some schools say send subject tests if you have them, but if money is a factor don't feel that you have to take Subject tests. Some schools say ACT OR SAT and 2 subject tests.
  • MA2012MA2012 Registered User Posts: 1,221 Senior Member
    DS1 did minimal prep - none before 10th grade PSAT and once he saw his scores, none for 11th grade PSAT either. He took the SAT in 7th grade for JHU CTY, and had a very good baseline score. He took a practice mock SAT and ACT at a local test prep center and that was about it for prep. His school offered PrepWorks access for free, but he watched one video and didn't like the format. Khan Academy now has SAT prep. Many people do prep more and DS2 will probably do some prep work. DS2 had a few English tutoring sessions before SSAT at local test prep center and we might use them for SAT prep, but I'm not thinking too much about that now.
  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    Thanks a bunch @skieurope @MA2012 and @doschicos !

    Georgetown is on "the list" for the time being but based on the above I'm thinking that kid should wait to see if it stays on the list as it gets shortened before planning that 3rd subject area test.

    Am I correct in assuming that the science tests should be taken after the AP course and not just after the regular course? For example, kid is taking chemistry right now, but not AP so kid needs to wait until the AP course is completed to take the test, right?

    And for the Math 1 test if kid needs to wait until after the pre-calc sequence has been completed, when would kid take the Math 2? Would a good Math 2 score help applications to STEM programs at schools other than MIT (on the list for now) and Cal Tech (not on the list)?

    So so so glad I never had to do this!
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 19,689 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    One of my kids took Math 2 after precalc and did fine, not near perfect but definitely a solid score, without any prep. The BS recommends Math 2 for students decent at math. Other child who isn't friends with math only took Math 1.

    One of my kids had Georgetown on the long list. When it came down to culling out some schools for the short list, it got the axe partially due to that 3rd subject test and it having its own application.
  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    Many many thanks @payn4ward !
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 42,097 Super Moderator
    edited January 2017
    Am I correct in assuming that the science tests should be taken after the AP course and not just after the regular course?
    No, you are incorrect. But you are not alone; many students here on CC think the same thing.

    Subject Tests test HS material; AP tests test college material. I can't speak for bio, since I never took. However, there are huge gaps in any combination of AP Physics courses (1/2/C:Mech/C: E&M) and what appears on the Subject Test. Similarly, AP Chem is more depth than breadth vis a vis the Subject test.

    Any Subject Test is designed to be taken after the appropriate college-prep course, although there will always be students who feel more comfortable taking it after AP.

    From personal experience, I probably could have received a higher score after AP Chem, but I decided that the time and effort needed to prep for the additional few potential points was not worth it. For Physics, there is no way I could have surpassed my score if I took it again after AP Physics; the material gap was just too wide.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 5,049 Senior Member
    Remember that your kids are at PREP school so they can get an education and the rest can fall into place. I'm guessing your school will send out something sophomore year saying "here's what you should think about now" and it will include subject test guidance.

    My understanding is that so many kids do well (800) on Math 1 that you're better off doing Math 2 if you're math-y. A good score on Math 2 is better than a perfect one one Math 1. (And if you're not math-y, you can find other tests.)

    I think one of the best things you can do with your freshman, in conjunction with their advisor, is figure out what you think the next 3 years will look like for classes. Take a couple AP exams sophomore year, and where there's a choice, don't take your hardest classes (don't play to your strengths) junior year. That year is really visible in the admissions process , so taking a couple of particularly challenging (for the student - no need to avoid rigor where it is exciting ), classes can take so much time and energy that it's impossible to shine where you normally would. Your child can be strategic in when classes are taken to keep the load reasonable for him/her. You can always adjust the plan as you move forward, but thinking about the balance can help a lot. DS did not and there was much to regret by the end of junior year. (Not that he didn't end up at a great LAC in spite of it) but it was a rough year and a stressful college admissions cycle.

    @payn4ward , thanks for your post. I needed that!
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