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lefteh's avatar

Which SAT Subject Tests should I take?

Asked by lefteh (9324 points ) May 14th, 2008

I need to take three to fulfill the admissions requirements for several of the colleges that I would like to apply to in the coming years. My best subjects are humanities and math, and I’ve taken French for a few years. Which tests are the easiest to prepare for and the least of a pain to take?

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10 Answers

benjamin6's avatar

I would take english, the harder math test (if i remember correctly there was an easy math and hard math…the hard math was not much more difficult). I DO NOT recommend doing any foreign lang tests…high school foreign language programs don’t prep you well for them.

hannahsugs's avatar

Depending on how much math you’ve taken, I would recommend taking the Math 2 one. (I forget what it’s actually called, this is 5 years in my past by now!) What I was told is that it’s much easier to get a high score on the Math 2, because it’s all in relation to the other people who are taking the test on the same day as you. So many people get perfect scores on Math 1, because it’s easier, so if you miss 1 or 2 problems, your score drops very fast. But the Math 2 is harder, so very few people do perfectly, and you can miss several problems and still have a perfect or near-perfect score. Just make sure you have the necessary background and you’re up-to-date on all the concepts.

Beyond that, if you feel comfortable with your French, take that one. The Literature one shouldn’t be too hard either, if you like humanities. Take whichever ones you have the most background in or have taken most recently (if you did really well in chemistry a few years ago, that’s not as good as if you did fairly well in bio this year, in my opinion).

Good luck!

nikipedia's avatar

A hundred years ago when I applied to college some schools had guidelines, like requiring the now-defunct writing test or at least one of the math tests. Check with the schools and see if they have any advice; otherwise, play to your strengths, dude.

Also, timing is a big factor. I strongly, strongly, strongly (strongly!) advise taking standardized tests at the last possible minute. I’m guessing from this question that you’re a junior? In which case you should do your SAT IIs in June as soon as your relevant coursework ends and SAT I in October and/or November and/or December.

NVOldGuy's avatar

It looks as if nikipedia said it all. That answer looks good to me.

lefteh's avatar

Thanks all — great advice. I think I’m going to go with Math 2, US History, and English.

timothykinney's avatar

I took Chemistry and Math 2C because I was applying for a natural science degree. You should link your SAT Subject Tests to your proposed major. Most schools of note will have you applying to a specific program (although you can change your mind once you’ve enrolled). The Subject tests are not difficult, they just expect you to know the basic concepts of the discipline. Good luck!

pinky134's avatar

Hmm.. though the time may alredy be past. I’d recommend taking ones you don’t have to study for. Like the Literature test which is basically reading comprehension. It landed me a perfect score which helped shore up my terrible slacker grades. So if you’re not into studying factor that in.

lefteh's avatar

@pinky: Not too late, I have yet to take any Subject Tests. I appreciate your input.
Literature is reading comprehension? I figured it would be related to literary history. Is it similar to the reading that is on the SAT itself?

pinky134's avatar

It’s like the critical reading section on the regular SAT. Except slightly harder. All the stuff you need to know for it is on the test. So you’d read a section then answer questions about it. You don’t have to have outside knowledge about the books or anything. It helps if you’re a fast reader, otherwise the time might cut you off.

lefteh's avatar

Thanks, pinky! I’ll probably take that one then.

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