Test-Optional Trend: Should I Take an SAT II Subject Test?  

From Bowdoin to Brandeis, liberal arts schools (and even some not-so-liberal arts schools, like GW) across the country are rolling back their testing requirements. So, what does this mean for you and your SAT II plans? In short, nothing.

Don’t Get Stuck

If you are a junior, you are likely in the last leg of what has been one of the most grueling Iron Man style-races of your life. Like a weary wanderer stranded in the desert, you’re seeing something shiny on the horizon and it looks like salvation, or at the very at least, a reprieve from the heat. Alas kids, it’s just a mirage.

We know what you might be thinking: “why would I waste my valuable time on SAT IIs when my top-choice school doesn’t even accept SAT IIs?” The truth is, a lot can change in six months. Believe it or not, your interests might, too. Even if your heart is set on a test-flexible school like Middlebury, you want to give your future self the freedom to change should he/she want.  

The sister of one of our writers was dead-set on going to school in California and everyone knew it. In fact, in lieu of a superlative, her senior yearbook page simply read “California, here we come.” It came as no surprise that she applied early decision to a Claremont school. But one day, the week applications were due, she was sitting in study hall and realized her interests had changed. She walked into the college counseling office and pulled her application. Luckily, this was back in the day when most schools required the same standardized testing, so she still had options. She went on to get into some great schools and ultimately ended up at Tulane. But what if she hadn’t given herself the option?

Plan Wisely  

So, our expert advice is to take SAT IIs; at a minimum, we recommend taking at least one in the realm of humanities and one in the realm of STEM. You should take them right after your final exam in the corresponding class, even that means taking the Bio SAT II at the end of your freshman year.  Register early so you secure a spot (you can always cancel). It might be a little bit of extra work, but you will thank yourself later.

Need help making your application as strong as it can be? Reach out to us here. We’re experts in advising kids on how to maximize their admissions potential.