Students sit through the SAT test for almost four hours.
They carefully write and revise their college essays countless times.
And grades are the culmination of their schoolwork over the entire semester.
All of these components, while essential, are considerable investments that require a large portion of a student's time.
But... what if there is a way to appeal to schools, and all you need to spare is just sixty minutes?
Image from 60 Minutes on CBS
Everyone has a favorite subject; so students will be happy to hear that the extra spice for their applications actually pertain to the material they learn in school. SAT II Subject Tests are standardized, multiple-choice exams, scored from 200 to 800, that key in on one specific subject. Scoring highly on these exams allows a student to further showcase his strengths to schools. There are individual tests for various subjects such as History, Chemistry, and Math; so every student will be able to find a test that parallels his aptitude. An application with a high GPA, strong SAT scores, and at least two SAT II scores will be extremely difficult for colleges to refuse.
For the value these tests provide, students should still approach these tests with proper planning and preparation. Blindly taking random SAT II's, hoping for good scores on a prayer, will cost one time (those sixty minutes stack up after all, just like your Netflix binge runs) and money. Students should select at least two tests to take and score highly on: grades, AP class placement, and personal confidence act as good indicators to keep in mind when choosing an SAT II.
Once they decide, students need to register for exams on College Board. Ideally, AP students should try to take the corresponding SAT II around the same time as AP exam, while the content they've studied remains fresh in their heads. Even without having attended an AP class, students can supplement their knowledge of a subject with SAT II prep books and tutoring. Generally, it is recommended to take the SAT II for a subject after you've completed the class for it in school, on any level.
While recommended above to take SAT II's that one is sure to do well on, having scores from distinct subjects work to one's advantage as well. If your application flaunts your prestigious math skills and internship at a lab, why not take the SAT II for Literature to show your well-rounded nature? And vice-versa. These tests act as an opportunity for students flex their academic muscles, but it's also a chance to reveal hidden talents. Just keep in mind that getting a perfect score on a native foreign language test, such as the Korean SAT II for Henry Kim, will be as impressive as the faucet running water.
The SAT II is a serviceable tool for all high school applicants. These tests polish college applications and augment a student's understanding of a subject. For counseling and tutoring on SAT II tests, book a FREE diagnostic test or consultation session here. If you have any questions, call us at (212) 686-5077 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.