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Should I retake my Math II subject test (again?)

highsckidhighsckid 16 replies9 threads Junior Member
I took the Math II subject test this summer and scored a 760 which is about 50th percentile. I took it again a week ago, but I don't think I got an 800. I've heard that you should only submit the score if you get an 800. If I don't get an 800, should I take it again or should I try something else? Would it look bad to take the same subject tests 3 times?

Also keep in mind that come from an upper middle class and technically I could afford classes for sat prep although I chose not to (not sure if that's a disadvantage; I just feel like it's not moral for me to do so).
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Replies to: Should I retake my Math II subject test (again?)

  • skieuropeskieurope 40110 replies7416 threads Super Moderator
    edited December 2019
    I've heard that you should only submit the score if you get an 800.
    You heard wrong
    Would it look bad to take the same subject tests 3 times?
    You'd be the poster child for over testing, even though few schools will see all your attempts. Your time is better spent elsewhere.

    The question is really moot until you receive your scores back, but unless you are applying to MIT or Caltech, not getting an 800 will not be the reason you are rejected.
    edited December 2019
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1629 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    highsckid wrote: »
    I've heard that you should only submit the score if you get an 800.

    Curious - where did you hear this?
    highsckid wrote: »
    Also keep in mind that come from an upper middle class and technically I could afford classes for sat prep although I chose not to

    Are there SAT Subject Test prep classes? I’m not clear about how to keep this in mind regarding whether to take a Subject Test a third time.
    edited December 2019
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  • TheReject01TheReject01 6 replies4 threads New Member
    It depends on which school you are applying for and which major. But as general, not getting 800 is not a catastrophe. In my opinion, 760 is a good score for most schools especially if you are not applying for a science major. However, I do recommend to retake if you can afford it. Maybe you will be able to get 800 or just get 780 or 790
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  • highsckidhighsckid 16 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Update: I got a 780. Is that okay? My main goal is Yale, but I feel like they would want me to get an 800 especially since I'm Asian and upper middle class.

    Also, I know someone else in my grade who is literally the same everything as me (we took the same classes and got the same grades) except they scored higher than me on both the Subject test for History and Math. We also got the same score on the SAT. They're also applying to the same schools as me...do you think that 800 would make a difference?
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1587 replies22 threads Senior Member
    This is why I like Georgetown’s submit all tests policy. My DS got in EA To GTown with one subject test that started with a 5. 3 others started with a 7.
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  • Sunny66Sunny66 289 replies14 threads Member
    "I know someone else in my grade who is literally the same everything as me"

    I would not look at it that way. Your recommendation letters, essays, and ECs will differentiate you -- not tiny stat differences.
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  • highsckidhighsckid 16 replies9 threads Junior Member
    My parents said I should take it again-- they said I'm already that close, why not just aim for an 800 next time. Is it worth it?
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40110 replies7416 threads Super Moderator
    highsckid wrote: »
    My parents said I should take it again-- they said I'm already that close, why not just aim for an 800 next time. Is it worth it?

    Historically, you have a 50/50 chance of it increasing. Which means you have a 50% chance of it decreasing. Personally, I think you time is better spent improving other aspects of the application. As I said, a 780 vs 800 will not be the deciding factor. No AO will say "OOOOH, an 800. Let's admit."
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  • highsckidhighsckid 16 replies9 threads Junior Member
    My parents and I just got into an argument today about whether or not to take the math subject test again. They told me that every single kid they know got an 800 on the math II subject test and no one got a single point lower. They listed at least 10 people. So I suppose there is evidence that people in my area tend to score higher on the math II test then?

    They also told me that I should take it for my own good because the math on the test is useful; if I can't do the basics on the test then I'm basically stupid and I shouldn't take other math classes like Multivariable calc. Also my mom recommends that I apply to an engineering school and they need 800s on the math II test apparently.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2972 replies51 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    highsckid wrote: »
    My parents and I just got into an argument today about whether or not to take the math subject test again. They told me that every single kid they know got an 800 on the math II subject test and no one got a single point lower. They listed at least 10 people. So I suppose there is evidence that people in my area tend to score higher on the math II test then?

    I'm sorry that you and your parents are having a difference of opinion. Bottom line is unless your parents saw these kids' CollegeBoard accounts, they don't know other kids' scores.

    780 is absolutely high enough for just about any school....it is true that many admitted applicants at MIT and CalTech have a score of 800, yet a 780 would not be the primary reason if an applicant were rejected.

    Perhaps show your parents the replies on this thread? They are all from posters who are knowledgeable in the college admissions process.

    What does your HS GC say about the 780? Might they support you with your parents?

    IMO, You have more important things to focus on then taking the subject test again.

    Also my mom recommends that I apply to an engineering school and they need 800s on the math II test apparently.

    Do *you* want to major in engineering?



    edited December 2019
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  • sattutsattut 1006 replies81 threads Senior Member
    It can't hurt to take it again. If you do, I would make sure you do a lot of study first, particularly from the Official Guide and Barrons. Not that much point taking it again just hoping for a better score..

    Yale is very holistic. Getting a bunch of 800s on subject tests will not get you in there. I haven't seen your whole stats etc., but if you are Asian with top academics, you can apply to top Ivies, but may only get into a couple of top 30 schools or whatever.
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  • highsckidhighsckid 16 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Mwfan1921 wrote: »
    I'm sorry that you and your parents are having a difference of opinion. Bottom line is unless your parents saw these kids' CollegeBoard accounts, they don't know other kids' scores.
    They showed me screenshots so I think they are most likely right.
    Mwfan1921 wrote: »
    What does your HS GC say about the 780? Might they support you with your parents?
    I haven't talked to my counselor yet about the 780, but I feel like he would say it was fine. But on the other hand, the only people
    Mwfan1921 wrote: »
    IMO, You have more important things to focus on then taking the subject test again.
    That's what I told them but they told me that I have to get an 800 because everyone else does (my 780 was basically 60th percentile) and because the knowledge would benefit me.

    Mwfan1921 wrote: »
    Do *you* want to major in engineering?
    Well, I was talking to my mom about engineering school; basically what she said was if I applied to an engineering school, I would still have a chance to switch back into a liberal arts education, but if I applied to a liberal arts school, I would not be able to attend their engineering program. So applying to an engineering school would offer more flexibility. And I currently don't know what I want to do in the future so I feel like that flexibility could be important. But I'm not sure if she's right about it; perhaps that's not how engineering schools work.

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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3510 replies11 threads Senior Member
    OP, do you have an 800 on the other subject test? You haven’t mentioned what other subject test results you have.
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 219 replies17 threads Junior Member
    there are plenty of good engineering schools that will take you with a 780. I don't know what kind of a community you live in where parents are sharing their kids' SAT II scores but it's not healthy. don't take it again. you are fine, but your mom needs to chill out.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40110 replies7416 threads Super Moderator
    edited December 2019
    they need 800s on the math II test apparently.
    For the 3rd time, you are wrong. You really need to find better sources of information.
    if I can't do the basics on the test then I'm basically stupid and I shouldn't take other math classes like Multivariable calc.
    This is the stupidest thing (and most inaccurate) that I have heard in a looooong time. I'm assuming that both parents scored an 800 back in the day. eyeroll.
    They showed me screenshots so I think they are most likely right.
    I highly doubt that 10 kids voluntarily gave your parents screenshots. If your parents somehow got access to them, there are serious security/privacy/FERPA concerns here.
    edited December 2019
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5864 replies1 threads Senior Member
    "(my 780 was basically 60th percentile)"

    If a 780 is the 60th percentile, then it is because an exceptionally skewed sample of exceptionally strong students are the only people who take the math 2 SAT subject test.

    780 is a great score. It is adequate for MIT and Caltech, and excellent for anywhere else, even for Yale.

    Yale is a very high reach for every student, even students with an 800 on the math SAT, and being Asian will not help you. You definitely need to focus on other schools where admission is more likely. However, whether you get in or not, the difference between a 780 and an 800 on one SAT subject test will not be the reason.
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  • SouthoftheriverSouthoftheriver 6 replies0 threads New Member
    Followed CC for quite some time, but this is my first post. I’m really interested in this topic. From what I’ve read, the Academic Index used by top-tier colleges gives equal weight to rank/grades, SAT/ACT score and subject test average. If this is true, wouldn’t working for the highest subject test score possible be very important? Seems like it could be easier to raise a subject test score than an SAT or ACT score?
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  • skieuropeskieurope 40110 replies7416 threads Super Moderator
    edited December 2019
    From what I’ve read, the Academic Index used by top-tier colleges gives equal weight to rank/grades, SAT/ACT score and subject test average. If this is true, wouldn’t working for the highest subject test score possible be very important? Seems like it could be easier to raise a subject test score than an SAT or ACT score?
    The Academic Index is primarily, although not exclusively, used for recruited athletes, as well as to benchmark athletes vs non-recruits. And yes, in days of old, before the magma cooled, and before colleges changed standardized test requirements, the Subject Tests were a part of AI. Few colleges now require Subject Tests, so how those colleges now calculate AI is somewhat of a mystery, since few say publicly.

    A 780 vs 800 on one Subject Test probably converts to a one point difference on the 240-point AI scale.

    Regardless, an 800 with a crappy essay or lackluster ECs or lukewarm recs will not guarantee admission to Yale. Indeed, an 800 with a fabulous application will also not guarantee admission.
    edited December 2019
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  • sattutsattut 1006 replies81 threads Senior Member
    Your parent are acting really nutty and off base. However, if you can study for subject tests and get higher scores, that will help your application. 780 is close to perfect. I would focus more on other subjects if you have lower scores in them.
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