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(Prospective premed) Should I take science SAT II tests? If so, bio or chem? If not, which ones?

mangoeslovermangoeslover Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
I will be taking the Math II test at the end of the summer and I am trying to decide on which other tests to take. I am applying to top, ~Ivy League schools so I think the SAT II's can help my application. I am deciding between US History, Literature, Chemistry, or Biology for my second test, although I am considering a third test. Here is some information.

US History - Just took APUSH and it was a pretty easy class for me (95%+ all year round). The AP exam was a little hard because I forgot some specific information, but overall, it was manageable.

Literature - English is one of my stronger subjects (ACT: 36 Reading 36 English, SAT: 750 Reading/Writing) However, I haven't taken a Lit class. I took AP Lang this year, but I've heard that doesn't really prepare you well for Lit.

Biology - I'm considering Bio because I am going to do premed. However, I took Honors Bio (~95%) my freshman year so I've forgotten most of it and will have to study a lot (i.e. reteach myself the material) over the summer.

Chemistry - Again, I am considering this because I want to do premed. I took Honors Chem (~97%) my sophomore year so it's more recent, but I've forgotten a lot of it and will have to study a lot over the summer, too. Honors was pretty easy for me as it was math-based. It was when we got to the more conceptual stuff towards the end of the year that I had a harder time understanding stuff. I heard that the SAT Chem test is comparable to the AP Chem test, which worries me as it is very difficult.

Which test(s) should I take? Should I take two or three? None of the schools I'll be applying to ~require~ SAT II scores, but I think they will help my application so I am going to be taking them anyways.

Thank you~!

Replies to: (Prospective premed) Should I take science SAT II tests? If so, bio or chem? If not, which ones?

  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 6,925 Senior Member
    edited May 20
    It doesn't matter what tests you take, unless the school specifies. Some require math, chemistry or physics, I believe. Conventional wisdom says that the best SAT 2 tests are the ones that you just did AP tests for, as long as you feel confident. It will not make a difference in admissions becasue so many students change their major, and collegs know this. As a rule, you want to score over 700 in any SAT 2 tests for the schools that require them.
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 2,464 Senior Member
    Take the ones you will do best at. This is usually the material fresh in your mind, but expect to have to study for any of them. Get the big blue book of practice tests to see how well your classes matched the SAT syllabus and how well you would score.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 27,159 Super Moderator
    edited May 20
    Conventional wisdom says that the best SAT 2 tests are the ones that you just did AP tests for
    Such conventional wisdom is usually spouted by HS students on this site who have yet to go through the admissions process. :)

    Conventional wisdom is that if you are taking the subject test, you should do so at the end of the year in which you take the class. In the sciences, the AP classes may reinforce certain concepts that were learned in the intro courses, but these courses cover far less breadth than what is covered on the Subject Tests. Some students feel the need for that reinforcement, while others score quite well after having thaen honors bio/chem/physics.
    It doesn't matter what tests you take, unless the school specifies.
    Agreed. Take a 3rd if you want so you have some options, since only the top 2 will generally be considered. But it's not like any college will say, "Oooooh, this kid took 3 Subject Tests, so he must be a better candidate." Good luck.
  • mangoeslovermangoeslover Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    edited May 20
    Okay, does me wanting to do pre-med play a role in any of this? Should I demonstrate that I can excel with science? If it helps, I am considering a neuroscience major (but then again, I am also considering mathematics and economics, so who knows).

    Another thing, how difficult is the Biology test compared to the Chemistry test? Which one should I take? It's been awhile since I took either class so I will have to do a lot of self-study.

    Also (sorry, lots of questions!), which are the best prep books? Or online resources?

    Thanks for your help everyone! (:
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 27,159 Super Moderator
    Okay, does me wanting to do pre-med play a role in any of this?
    No. Pre-med is not a major. Again, if a college suggests a science test, take a science test. Otherwise, it's your choice.
    how difficult is the Biology test compared to the Chemistry test? Which one should I take?
    Difficulty is relative, and based upon your own knowledge. Take the one on which you'll score better. Take a practice test in each to gauge which is better for you.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,209 Senior Member
    Agree. Pre-med is not a major. Take the SATII you feel you can perform best on. It is that simple.
  • mangoeslovermangoeslover Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    Thank you all for your help!!! I'll keep this all in mind. I've been getting mixed reactions from everyone I've been talking to, so I'm still not sure if I should take a science SAT II... But still, thanks again! (:
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 27,159 Super Moderator
    I've been getting mixed reactions from everyone I've been talking to
    Start by eliminating advice from any people who have not actually been through the process themselves or guided a student through it recently. :)
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