Which SAT Subject tests??? Help!

<p>Generally speaking what are thre first three SAT subject test taken. I'm assuming Math I, Math II, and Biology... is that right? Also how many of these subject test do most students take?</p>

<p>You take only one of the Math tests, not both. Most schools don't care which, but you should check the web sites of schools you are interested in. Not too many schools require three. Most that do, require one of the math tests, one science (most don't care which, but a couple of engineering programs want chem or physics), and one humanities, usually unspecified.</p>

<p>I never figured out the right mix of testing needed. Son took Physics SAT II, but by the time he finished his highest level of math at HS, he took the AP test for it and saw no point in taking the SAT. Same with Biology, etc. Do you need to have SAT II's AND AP exams for the same subject?</p>

<p>I don't believe any of the schools that required SAT II subject exams accepted AP scores in lieu of the exams. Although my son did have official transcripts of his AP scores sent to schools at the time of the applications, none of the schools required them. The SAT II scores are often used for admission decisions, but in theory AP scores are used for placement, but not admission.</p>

<p>Not even all "elite" schools require SAT II exams. A student should be doing some research into the requirements before signing up for the tests, especially if review will be necessary.</p>

<p>"Do you need to have SAT II's AND AP exams for the same subject?"</p>

<p>No. You need to have whatever SATIIs the schools you are applying to want. In most cases that is any two of your choosing. A few schools still ask for three. Some programs, usually science-oriented, specify the SATIIs they want to see, as other posters have said.</p>

<p>AP tests do not substitute for SATIIs in admissions at any school I've seen. They can supplement an application and/or be used for placement or credit.</p>

<p>So it is quite likely that a student who is taking an AP class might also take the SATII in that subject, since they are used for different purposes.</p>

<p>What really puzzles me is the logic around the Writing part of the SAT. A lot of schools used to require 3 SATIIs: English and 2 others. Almost all of those schools now say they only require 2, since the SAT now has the Writing section. But then they say that they aren't USING the writing section. This makes no sense at all to me.</p>

<p>I'd take Math 2 if you are in or have taken pre-Calc, one of the sciences and US History if you are taking AP US History. Otherwise whatever you think you'll do best in. But do check with the requirement of the schools where you think you'll apply.</p>

<p>Thanks for the clarification.<br>
I've wondered about the writing part of the SAT also. Wonder when schools will figure out what to do with it.</p>

<p>A poster on another thread recently pointed out that many schools are now including Writing scores on the published Common Data Sets, indicating that it is now being used for admissions purposes.</p>

<p>From the OP... Actually none of the schools my D is applying to REQUIRE SAT II's. Some do say "considered if submitted". My concern is they may be used for merit aid purposes... but I'm not sure. As it is looking like a two hour round trip drive to the test site I'm wondering if we should even bother. Do colleges who don't require SAT II's use them to decide who gets merit aid? Anybody.....</p>

<p>Having just gone through the cycle with my daughter, schools that used to require 3 SAT IIs tended to say they were very familiar with the Writing and used it. These same schools also said that they seldom bothered to read the essay.</p>

<p>My son really didn't want to take the SAT IIs, but I "encouraged" him to take the standard engineering-type ones (as I recall, Chem, Physics, Math). Turned out not one school he applied to needed them. I suspect they didn't use them either, as he scored ridiculously high on them considering he did no preparation, but got a "normal," expected amount of merit aid from his schools.</p>

<p>Well, that is a good question, Nightingale. Unfortunately, no one really knows for sure what the tipping point was for merit aid. My son did report four SAT II scores, 780s and 800s in a variety of fields, and he did in fact get a huge amount of merit aid, including to very good schools. On the other hand, he had a strong record all around, including a reported AP record, high SAT I, and so on, so perhaps the SAT II did not give them any more information.</p>

<p>Wouldn't it be nice to really know so one could advise others?</p>

<p>The SATII exam situation is very strange. I've just become aware that my 14-year-old S should probably take the physics SATII at the end of this year, and he probably should have taken math and bio last year, if he is going to need them. But this is a big if. He is just starting 9th grade. How are we supposed to have any idea what colleges he is going to apply to? From what I hear, the 12th graders who have their list at this point are ahead of the game. And I've just learned that there is a great deal of variation in what is required. His choice seems to be to take the exams very early, and almost certainly take more than he will need, or wait until he knows what he needs, and then need to study because he'll be several years past taking the courses. How do others deal with this?</p>

<p>Karen, on your second question, about the Writing Part of SATs: You don't even have to search for the CDS's any more. If you go to the College Board's web site, search a college, and then click on the SAT-CLEP button, you can see exactly how they're treating the writing component (which can include "no college policy as of now"). Here's a link to one school, just as an example, that's using the writing score extensively: in admissions decisions, in advising, and as a check on the validity of the college essay.</p>

<p><a href="http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/CollegeDetail.jsp?collegeId=1328&profileId=6%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/CollegeDetail.jsp?collegeId=1328&profileId=6&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>NYMomof2, My son was not so early as yours, but he did take two of them in 10th grade, math II and bio, pretty standard for a kid interested in engineering/sciences/computer science. If your son takes math, bio and phyics at the end of this year, he may be done. Or, he may need to add a history at some point, but I bet not.</p>


<p>My S took his first SATII in 9th grade because he was taking AP-Chemistry.<br>
Unless you really want to save money, the best thing to do is to take SATIIs at the conclusion of whichever class best prepares a student for the test. The SATIIs take one hour each, so it's not a huge investment of time. Some students take more than 3 SATIIs; the adcoms will consider their best ones, unless there is a stringent distribution requirement (Harvard asks for 3 of the student's choice; others require they be in different disciplines).</p>

<p>Taking an SAT II in eighth grade just risks losing the score to College Board's automatic policy of poofing the scores of test-takers below ninth grade. (I know because it happened to my son, but fortunately we got the score put back on his permanent record.) A good mix of SAT II test scores in a child's favorite subjects never hurts. The Math Level 2 is an implicit requirement at a few strong math colleges, and I think an explicit requirement at one or two of those.</p>

<p>I just read the thread so far to make sure I have something new to offer by posting.</p>

<p>You didn't mention your kid's strength areas, academically, but my youngest was a very gappy applicant (powerful in English and History, average (no, wretched) in Math and Science). The SAT-II's turned out to be his highest scores numerically of any of them, better than his SAT's. Through the SAT-II's he demonstrated his ability in the single subjects from his strength area, so it added credibility to his candidacy as a whole, I felt (who knows, really...). </p>

<p>Where he applied, some -- not all -- schools on his list of 8 wanted "any 2 tests," so he only took them in his strength subjects. Once he saw the scores were great, he just added that on to the apps for schools that didn't ask for it, as frosting. He stuck it in anywhere he could, even if it was in the "anything else you want to tell us" short answer.</p>

<p>Eldest was a more across-the-boards student, very capable but not brilliant in the maths/sciences. He took the harder math SAT-I, then always kicked himself because he thought perhaps it would have been better to have turned in something north of 750 in the easier test instead of his 690 or whatever it was in the harder test. None of it mattered, since he got in to half the places
on his list and chose one. </p>

<p>Middle D also is gappy in skills (again, poor maths and sciences) so avoided any math/science SAT-I's like the plague. She didn't even apply to places that asked for a math or science SAT-I, but put them on her list if they said
"any 2 SAT-I's."</p>

<p>NYMomof2, my son forgot to take the Math SAT2 the year he finished Pre-calc, he still got an 800 taking it a year later when he took the rest of his SAT2s. He could have taken the Biology SAT2 as he took high school bio in 8th grade, and AP in 10th, but in the end we figured his AP score proved he knew bio, and he took the SAT2 in something he enjoyed more - physics spring junior year when he was taking the other SAT2's as well. It sounds like your kid is highly accelerated in math and science. I am willing to bet he'll do just fine whenever he takes them. Ideally though, sign up for SAT2s in May or June of the year the courses that align best with the tests. i.e. if he's taking AP Bio or Chem or Physics take the SAT2 at the end of that year. (But look over practice tests first, the Physics C AP is only part of the material.) AP US history aligns very well with the SAT.</p>

<p>Thanks to all for the advice and information. My S is almost certainly going to end up in science or engineering, so he might as well take the math SATII (which one?) and the physics exam this year, and maybe the history exam next year. That should do it, from what I can tell. </p>

<p>I don't mind the money (although I hate to throw more money than necessary at the College Board), but there are an awful lot of Saturday mornings taken up by tests when you add everything up.</p>