Does self-studying an SAT II look good?

<p>I've never taken a Physics class and will not be able to during high school due to time constraints. However, I am interested in learning Physics on my own this summer for fun if I have time. I was thinking it might be good to use this as an SAT II self-study opportunity as well.</p>

<p>For background, I am applying to several top schools among others (no tech institutes). None of them require three SAT IIs, although Johns Hopkins recommends up to three and many applicants to Ivy Leagues send more than two. I am already done with Bio (780) and Lit (700), both of which I am satisfied with and am planning to send. I realize that self-study takes a lot of time, which is why I would not study for a third SAT II solely for admissions purposes. I am probably going to major in Biology, but I am open to other options (such as physics) that I have not yet had exposure to.</p>

<p>I have two questions:</p>

<p>1) Would admissions officers note that I have never taken Physics and therefore be more impressed with a high Physics score?</p>

<p>2) Would it be useless to have two SAT II scores from the same discipline (as long as I send my Lit score as well)?</p>

<p>Thanks for your advice.</p>

<p>1) Admission officers would probably not note that you had self-studied. I'm pretty sure they just look over your subject test scores. I doubt if they check to see if every score matches up with a corresponding class.</p>

<p>2) No, it would not be useless. Your lit score (700) is a little low for top colleges. If you score 750+ on physics, it may be beneficial. However, the impact would not be significant.</p>

<p>This would be a large time investment. Self-studying physics well enough to score 750+ over summer is no easy task. If you were doing this solely for colleges, I would consider it a waste of time. You can spend your time on EC's..:)</p>

<p>That said, if you really want to explore physics, this might be a passable idea. However, I'm wondering why you didn't take one of the math subject tests. Scoring 770+ on Math II would take less study time, and improve your admissions chances.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Thank you for your response.</p>

<p>1) That's what I thought as well. Is there any place to note this kind of thing on the application to emphasize it more, since they do notice when applicants self-study APs, right?</p>

<p>2) I agree that my Lit score is a bit low for top colleges. However, I am just not a natural at Lit. I studied a lot to get the score that I got. This was my second time taking it. I was able to raise a 670 (first time) to a 700 (second time) by luck.</p>

<p>I also agree that it would take a lot of time. I may not study Physics simply because I have many other things to do, including an internship. The reason why I can't take Math II easily is because I have not yet taken Pre-Calculus. I am also not good at math, which is why I am studying a lot for SAT I math this summer. (I realize that I need to improve on math especially since I am interested in the sciences, but it will have to be more of a long-term process.)</p>

<p>I do not think the time investment of studying for a third SAT II is enough to warrant its value of a second 750+ score UNLESS it is interesting for me personally. I will have to see how my schedule works out. It probably won't happen unfortunately. :(</p>

<p>Good luck to you in your endeavors as well!</p>

<p>I have decided that I will not have time to study physics. Thanks for your advice though.</p>

<p>Self-studying for physics is definitely possible, if you've had an interest in it over your whole life. Like, I actually have Physics next year in High school, but I knew I needed the subject test because it is a probable major for me. Therefore, I studied for a couple of hours for about 10 days preceding the test and went through the PR book on it, and was able to pull off an 800. However, I already had a pseudo-physics class my freshman year, and I've always been very interested in it, just haven't gotten much formal training. But it's definitely possible to do; I'd just like to point out that it doesn't necessarily take all of summer.</p>

<p>@mxmmstudent: Thanks for your opinion. I have actually not been interested in physics for my whole life, but it seems really cool. I agree with you that it's possible to study well without studying the whole summer. However, I have an internship that is way more tiring than I expected and I'm away from home. So it probably won't work. Thanks anyways!</p>