Should I take SAT Subject tests?Answered
I've heard a lot about SAT subject tests and I'm unsure if I should take them. I'm a rising junior interested in law, political science, and liberal arts colleges, so would it benefit me to take those tests, or should I just not waste my time and focus on studying for the normal SAT?
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It depends on how competitive the schools you plan to apply to are. If you're aiming for liberal arts colleges like Amherst, Williams, or Swarthmore (or Top 40 research universities like the Ivies, Vanderbilt, Rice, etc.), then you should have subject tests to be a competitive applicant. But if you're not aiming for that level of competitiveness and are instead looking for the best fit among other liberal arts colleges — ones that might be a bit more regional — then I wouldn't worry as much about the subject tests.
Now that most colleges do not require SAT Subject tests and some even have gone Test Blind on SAT Subject tests, for 90% of applicants taking them does not serve any real benefit. That being said, I feel that if you do well on certain subject tests, submitting high scores will either confirm that you are very strong in your STEM spike or other academic passion. It can only reinforce for the application reader that your test scores correlate positively to what is in your transcript Grade and Course Rigor wise. The other practical purpose for the SAT Subject tests is if you had some gaps in your grades where you got some Bs in Math for example. If you present a 770-800 Math Level 2 Score, it might compensate for those B grades and not penalize you for getting them in a core subject. With the limited time you have, it's more important to figure out what the biggest deficiency is in your college profile and fill that void ASAP.
I think you should take the SAT subject tests at least once. Those will be especially important if you plan on applying to competitive schools.
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