Should I take a third subject test? (Already signed up)


I am applying to several highly selective universities in T10. I already have two subject test scores of Math 2 (800) and Chemistry (800). I am signed up for the Physics test, and can probably get an 800 if I study a lot (AP physics isn’t offered at our school), but I don’t know if its worth it, especially cause some schools are not even going to look at the subject test scores…

Should I take it or not? And if I get an 800, will it help me at all? My mom says that it will help more because AP physics isn’t offered at our school and I am majoring in Computer Science.


You need to see if/how many Subject Tests are required for your school list. Piling on with a bunch of those won’t help.

Unless a college you are applying to requires three SATII exams a third high STEM SATII score will not add to your application. I’d think you can find something better to do with your time.

@“Erin’s Dad” around 50% of my schools have “recommend at least 2 subject tests”, and the other half are optional.

@happy1 do u think that since my school doesn’t offer AP physics, getting an 800 on the physics subject test will be more impressive? I ask because the main reason my mom wants me to take it is that computer science kids often take AP Physics C, but I only self-studied for AP Physics 1

No. No college other than Georgetown asks for 3 Subject Tests. You must have something better to do with your time. No AO will swoon over 3 tests. And in the 10 minutes they spend on an application they will spend zero seconds analyzing how you achieved a score.

Agree with @skieurope You already have proven your strength in the STEM field with the two 800’s. I looked and even Georgetown isn’t requiring SAT II exams this year due to covid.

With a 35 ACT and two 800 SATII’s you should consider yourself finished with standardized tests. A third SATII in another STEM discipline won’t add any meaningful information to you application. College admission officers are not looking for testing drones.

Again, there have to be better things you can do with your time rather than study for a third SATII – work on your essays, spend time on ECs, read a good book, enjoy being with friends and family (even remotely) etc.

@happy1 @skieurope
thanks for the valuable feedback. I’ll return my study book and do something else with my time.

There are many parts of the country, like here in the SF Bay Area, where 2021’s are still trying to take just their first SAT, let alone a SAT subject test or a 3rd subject test.

I agree, I think you’re done with the two 800’s. Now if you can get an 800 in the Literature subject test, that would REALLY be impressive. I’m kidding of course.

Your mom is correct. Take the physics test. By the way, she is always right.