Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

That is the question. SAT II subject tests are pretty much the AP and SAT I combined but shorter. Yup, it’s only one hour long each. But, whether it is literature or biology, is it worth it to take the SAT II Subject tests or is it just a waste of time? Well, that is what I’m here to help you out on. I’ll give you the pros and cons to taking it, as well as give you advice on how many and what you should take. Maybe after reading this, you will have a good idea of what it is and whether or not you should take it.

Why You Should

1. Because You Have To

Whether you see this as a good thing or not, sometimes colleges require you to submit at least two or maybe even three subject tests. So when you are doing college applications, make sure you check every school you are applying to, to see whether or not they require them. Some schools that do require them just want to see how well you know the subject, especially if they are related to the major you are applying to. However, you shouldn’t let the fact that they do require SAT II subject tests stop you from applying. It never hurts to try it out, right?

2. You Are Well Versed On The Subject

If you have already taken the course in school, why not give it a shot at taking the SAT II subject test? It is basically the same thing you learned in class, especially if you have taken the AP course. It’ll also be a breeze for you, if you speak another language fluently, such as Spanish or Chinese, that has an SAT II subject test. However, even though you already learned everything you need to know for the AP test or for the regular course you are taking, it is still a good idea to do one or two practice SAT II subject test to make sure you know how the tests will be like. Some concepts that you have learned before may not appear while some concepts that you haven’t even heard of may be on it. Just make sure you study a least a little bit and check out what concepts the subject tests test you on so that you will go in well prepared.

3. Show Colleges You Know The Subject Well

For example, if you are applying to be a business major, you should submit a math subject test score. It’s just a little extra that might or might not, depending on the college, that will show how well you understand the subject. If you know you can do well on it, it doesn’t hurt to take it, right?

Why You Shouldn’t 

1. It Cost Money

Unfortunately, like the SAT I, you are required to pay for the SAT IIs. The good thing is, it’s less expensive than the SAT I. The bad thing is, you have to pay for each test you take. So if you are only applying to colleges that do not need them, think about whether or not you really need to take them to show the colleges you can do really well in that subject matter. Sometimes a school doesn’t require them, but will strongly recommend it, while others really don’t care all that much. However, there is good news! There is a fee waiver available if you are eligible. You can check whether or not you are eligible here.

2. Takes Too Much Time To Study 

This won’t really be a problem if you have already taken a course on the subject test you want to take. However, if you are taking a French subject test and you have absolutely no knowledge of French, that is when it will definitely take too much time out of your life to take it.

What You Should Take & How Many

Take subject tests that will be relevant to your major. For example, if you are applying to be an engineering major, you should probably take Math II, and a science of your choice. Yes, there is Math I and Math II. Do some practice tests or look at the content on both to see which one you think you will do better. Also, be wise about how many you want to take. Even if you are well versed in many subject areas, you shouldn’t be taking more than three or four, especially if they are not related to what you want do in college. This will waste money and time. You can only take three subject tests in one sitting anyway. But similarly to the SAT II, if you don’t like your score the first time you take it, you can always take it again.



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the author

Chloe is currently a student studying at a international school in Hong Kong. Her favorite subjects are biology and chemistry. When she is not cramming for her tests or rushing to finish her homework, she enjoys scrolling through Tumblr, checking Instagram, and watching TV shows (Castle fan over here!) religiously. Her obsessions include Grumpy Cat and K-pop.

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