SAT Subject Tests
A few customers have asked me what SAT Subject Tests their children should take, and when. I’ve told them all the same thing – to check with the colleges to which their children are going to apply and see if the SAT Subject Tests are necessary for admissions, used only for placement, or not used at all. Some elite colleges and universities require two or three SAT Subject Tests. If you’re looking for a liberal arts education, I’d recommend the Literature, whatever foreign language with which you are familiar, Math Level 1 or 2, and the science at which you are best.
If you’re looking at majoring in science or engineering, perhaps you should read the following excerpt from the UC Berkeley application Site: http://admissions.berkeley.edu/selectsstudents
“UC Berkeley is among the more selective universities in the country, becoming more competitive each year. Due to student demand, selectivity varies among Colleges, and—in the College of Engineering—among majors; for example, it is more difficult to gain admission to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences major than to the Mechanical Engineering major.
For applications to the College of Letters and Science and Natural Resources no consideration is given to the indicated major in the review process. However, for the professional colleges of Chemistry, Environmental Design, and Engineering demonstrated interest in the major is also taken into consideration. Furthermore, in the colleges of Chemistry and Engineering, Berkeley faculty in these disciplines have asked that readers place added emphasis on sustained achievement in mathematics and science, and have indicated a preference that these applicants take the Math Level 2 SAT Subject Test and a science test (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) that is closely related to the applicant's intended major.”
In the end, you’re best getting in touch with the college of your choice if you want to know what SAT Subject Tests to take, and when. I recall arguing with my well-meaning but misinformed high school guidance counselor, who argued “You take these tests when you are at the PEAK of your knowledge –at the end of your senior year.” I ignored his advice, since it was past the PEAK of the application deadline for the colleges and universities that demanded I provide the scores with my applications at the end of December.
Deadlines and requirements vary from institution to institution, so please get the information directly from where you intend to apply. Think of the last time you took advice from someone who was dead certain he or she knew what he or she was talking about, convinced you to follow his or her advice, and cost you money time, or embarrassment when the advice was completely wrong? For example my friend insisted “They don’t ticket you for parking on the street overnight – that’s only in the winter when they’re plowing snow!” That one cost me fifteen bucks a long time ago, in a suburb far, far away… Did my friend pay my parking ticket? Nooo… Getting parking ticket’s one thing; missing out on admission to your dream college is something completely different – a whole new level of awfulness. Get the information from the college, not guidance counselors, your friends, or me… Hope this helps! J
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Author: John Linneball Who did you think? ;-)
I'm the proprietor and only tutor for this business; that's why I named it after me.