How important are SAT 2s at non-Ivies?

<p>SAT2s are recommended or optional at some 2nd tier schools. When I've asked the admissions people, I've gotten answers like "we can't look at them because they are not required" or "they can help but not hurt" or "they matter more for scholarship applicants." One school said they don't look at essays too carefully because they know kids get help from parents and teachers; they'd rather look at the SAT2 Writing, which is recommended but not required. Often the applications include space for SAT2 scores - not that it matters, since they will get them on the CB official reports anyway. Do any of you wise and experienced folks have any insights here? </p>

<p>I also am wondering what "good" SAT2 scores even are, considering only a small percentage of college bound students even take them? This board is so skewed to the top kids that it is hard to evaluate whether SAT2 scores in the mid and high 600s are good enough. Percentile-wise, they don't seem to be, but again, the test takers for SAT2s are a prety rarified group. Then again, they are also applying to non-Ivies, so are part of the applicant pool too.</p>




<p>The new SAT will include an essay much like the SAT 2 in writing. My understanding is that once the new SAT is in place (this coming spring), the SAT2 in writing will no longer be offered as it would duplicate the SAT writing portion.</p>

<p>Thanks for that info, but I am asking about applicants applying this year, with scores from the old SAT1 and current SAT2s.</p>

<p>Any advice/experience would be most helpful! Thanks!</p>

<p>It seems that you are getting the answers from the admissions office when you ask, so I don't understand why you are rejecting the answers from the source, and coming to us who can only guess!</p>

<p>Each school treats SATII's differently.</p>

<p>I think if you want to know what 'good' scores are, you have to look at the percentage rank, not the absolute score, then you can see 90% or 75% etc.--but I'm just guessing.</p>

<p>The percentages of the SAT II's have to be viewed in context. Except in California, only about 10% of the kids that that take SAT's also take SAT II's. In general, the top kids will be taking the SAT II's. Take the Math IIC - a 750 is 74%. But, on a national basis, only the top math kids take the SAT II. So 74% in a mixture of math geeks and serious academics is not too shabby.</p>

<p>What the SAT II's do is provide support for your transcript, as they show whether your A's and B's mean anything other than grade inflation. One of the rules of thumb that I have seen is that your SAT II's should exceed (by a little) the average of your SAT I score. So if your SAT I is, say, 1300, it would be a good thing if your SAT II's were generally above 650. In this example, breaking 700 in your field of major interest would be a good thing. </p>

<p>I have seen elsewhere on this board that SAT II's are particularly important if your HS does not have an established relationship with a collage. If your SAT II's are ballpark, the college knows that you have managed to learn something in your HS career.</p>

<p>Good question...and Ohio maes a very good point re: only 10% of kids taking SATs the comparison isn't across ALL kids, rather the kids with whom you are directly competing for spots at elites. Thereofre, they might be a valuable tool in surveying the direct competition (other kids taking them in order to apply to the same set of schools). </p>

<p>My son's SATII scores are lower than his SATI. He's in that mid-high 6 area on IIs....consistently. Let's hope it's good enough cus it's not going to change now:)</p>

<p>Our son took Case at its word when the admissions rep told him that the SAT 2's were totally optional and that their absence would make no difference in admissions or scholarships. He got his application completed early and was accepted and offered a $17k President's Scholarship.</p>

<p>BTW, he decided early on that he would not take any SAT 2 exams because he was tired of standardized testing by the time he was a senior having taken the Iowa's in elem school, the SAT in 7th grade for the CTY program, the PSAT in 10th and 11th, and various state exams. This decision became a major screening criterion for him with Chicago and Edinburgh being the most selective schools which did not require SAT 2 scores. Edinburgh accepted 3 AP's in lieu of the SAT 2's. In the end he did not apply to either.</p>

<p>I think my daughters college SATll were reccommended not required. as her high school had everyone take at least 2 she submitted her scores. Although it is technically a tier two school if you are using USNews calculations, I believe the academic rigor is equal or exceeds most top 50 LACs, it was a slight reach for her to get in, and I think her scores from her SATll made the difference.
If the school recommends it, I would submit them, it can only help.</p>

<p>In California the UC's require them and they aren't Ivy or anything. It certainly can't hurt if you take them and can only help. Just the fact that you took the time to take them is good. Choose the Writing one, a math oand one other of your choice. Each one is only an hour long. Not too much skin off your nose.</p>

<p>Citrusbelt is right - and if you look at the California SAT II reports, you see the what the score distribution is like when it is the majority of the population taking it - a lot more like the SAT I distribution.</p>

<p>Also, a little brush up on the II's seems to go a long way. My son's IIC score went up by 70 points from his practice test to the real thing with maybe 10 hours of work with the Kaplan book including a couple of practice tests.</p>

my kid isn't retaking the SAT I - and probably should because of his math score. He is sick of the beastly things too - just has the writing to take and he's done. Ah well, fingers crossed for both boys and <em>all</em> the kids on CC. They've got more energy than I do!</p>



<p>I disagree with this strongly. That SAT 2s reflect the quality of the school district you go to, I'll concur with. That they say you got grade-inflated A's because you did as good as you could in that district is a put-down to every student who doesn't go to a rich public or private school. My S had a 1500+ SAT in a district that averages about 900. I don't think that the fact that he only broke 750 on one SAT 2 (700 on only one more) says anything about him other than he's a really bright kid who did the best he could in a limited setting. Luckily, the pretty selective school he sought to attend felt the same way.</p>

<p>Thanks for your comments and advice. At this point, my S has taken all the SAT2s he'll take. Once he retakes the SAT 1 in Nov., he'll be done. I was just trying to get a handle on whether his SAT2 scores would help, hinder or make little difference at all. With all the factors at play, we'll probably never really know! </p>

<p>I've been lurking for a few weeks, and have appreciated the good counsel offered by members of the Parent's Forum in many different areas, as well as the thoughtful exchanges on various issues that have come up here. Thanks again.</p>

In addition, the SAT II results also reflect not just quality but emphasis of programming. Since by design they are tests that are mostly multiple choice, they are well suited to academic curriculi that are oriented that way and have content that reflects the SAT II content. And then, for some kids, they also reflect additional prep time as well- of course. </p>

<p>I think kids wait too long to start taking some of the SAT II's- whether they don't anticipate them or don;t realize that some are really tied to content they covered well before senior year is not clear.</p>

<p>"...they are tests that are mostly multiple choice, they are well suited to academic curriculi that are oriented that way and have content that reflects the SAT II content." </p>

<p>Robyrm, that is really true. My S took the SAT2 in US History shortly after the AP and found the content similar but not the same - many more little history facts on the SAT2. He got a 4 on the AP, a 650 on the SAT2 and an A in the class at a private school where A's are very hard to come by (they do not weight the GPA and haven't had a student graduate with a perfect 4.0 in more than 30 years!).</p>

<p>Schools that require the SAT2s even view them differently from each other. Some just give them a lookover, some are critical in the academic assessment with heavy point values. the academic index used by ivies heavily weighs in the SAT2s. </p>

<p>The SAT2s can show how prepared a student is for college work, particularly if he comes from a school that is not a known quanitity. A kid with high SAT1 scores, top greats and recs stating that he is the best student in ever from a school with a curriculum that does not cover the subjects well may be a risk. Garland, your son's scores were fine in that they were in the high range though not the highest. Had he come up with 500s in the SAT2s, they may well have had a negative impact on his admissions decision as the question of whether he would have been academically ready for a tough college curriculum may well arise. SAT2s are important for homeschooled kids (they generally ask for 5 of them for that category) because it gives some basis for assessing the curriculum the kids are learning. Similarly, the high SAT2s with high grades can somewhat mitagate a low SAT1 score, something I believe was a factor for my girls who scored in the 1200s for that test but well over 700 in each SAT2 they took.</p>

<p>Does anybody know: When you "release" your SAT scores to a school, do they automatically also release SAT IIs? Or can you withhold SAT IIs?</p>

<p>SAT choice no longer applies, so all scores, both SAT and SAT II are released.</p>

<p>All SAT2s are released, unless you took a test when Score Choice was still possible. Not often true for today's juniors and seniors, but my son did take a SAT2 as a HS freshman and Score Choice still holds for that score.</p>

<p>We're also trying to assess the importance and role that SAT II's play in the admission process. General question: would SAT II scores that break the 700 mark be acceptable for schools such as Vassar or Tufts? How about state schools such as UVA and William and Mary? I know they are just one piece of the puzzle but can we be somewhat confident that the those scores will serve to confirm a solid transcript or must they be in the high 700's or even 800 range?</p>