My school did not offer AP/IB classes. Will it affect my chances? Also should I take SAT subject test year?
My school did not offer AP/IB classes. Will it affect my chances? Also should I take SAT subject test year? Most universities made it optional. And should I take both ACT and SAT?
1) no; colleges only consider AP/IB courses if your school offers them. then, they would compare how many you took to how many were offered to develop the “rigor” aspect of your courseload. your school doesn’t offer any so you can’t tea them regardless so it’s okay
2) if you are applying to top/elite schools, then yes - you should take either 2-3 of these tests. Aim to be 75-85th percentile or above. use this chart to determine what that score would be since it varies for every exam. https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/sat/pdf/sat-subject-tests-percentile-ranks.pdf
3) no; take either the act or sat. i recommend you do 1 practice test of each and determine which one you do better on. you can google “sat to act” or “act to sat” conversion scales to find out what the equivalent scores. (i.e. if you get a 1430 SAT and 28 ACT you should take SAT since a 28 ACT = 1330 SAT and a 1430 SAT = 31 ACT). there’s no point in studying for/taking both since you only submit one score. there are just two different options as to which test to take.
Hope this helps!
For your first question, your high school not having AP/IB classes won't necessarily affect your chances at a certain college, because colleges will know that your school doesn't have any AP/IB classes, and they will evaluate your application based on that context. With that being said, colleges also will accept students who utilize every opportunity they can find, so you should look into taking Honors classes or Community College classes (If you have those available to you.) If your really up for it, you can even self-study for a specific AP class and take the exam, which would definitely portray you as a hardworking student to college admission boards.
For Subject Tests, there are some colleges that actually require certain SAT Subject tests, so make sure to look at those guidelines for whatever college your applying too. Moreover, Subject tests serve as an application enhancer, but they only really enhance your application if you do well on them. If you are really good at a certain SAT Subject or are willing to study very hard for a test, by all means take the test! But if you don't think you'll get a good enough score, I wouldn't suggest it, as you can save time and money.
For SAT/ACT, you should definitely take both. Some students do better on the SAT and other students do better on the ACT, you won't know unless you take them atleast once. After you take one attempt of each, you should figure out which one you like better, and focus on studying for that and take a second attempt of that test (if you are not satisfied with your first score).