As if general standardized testing isn’t enough, there are even more tests that you can (and depending on the situation maybe should) take. These tests are known as the SAT Subject Tests. There are many myths out there about the Subject Tests, a few which are true, and many that are false. Let’s take some time to talk about these myths and straighten out the rumors about SAT Subject Tests.
Myth #1: You have to take them.
ou have to take them.
You absolutely do NOT have to take the SAT Subject Test(s) unless you plan on applying to selective schools. In fact, Harvard only recommends two tests: “While we recommend that you submit two SAT Subject Tests, you may apply without them if the cost of the tests represents a financial hardship or if you prefer to have your application considered without them.” Georgetown, on the other hand, strongly recommends three. Neither of these strongly competitive colleges states that these tests are required on their websites, and these are two very selective schools.
Myth #2: You have to take at least 2.
You have to take at least 2.
Since you don’t even have to take the Subject Tests, you definitely don’t have to take at least 2. Other than taking Subject Tests because they are recommended, you would really only consider it if you need an additional data point(s). For example, let’s say you are considering majoring in Chemistry and you took AP Chemistry. In your first semester, you got a B, but in the second semester, you got an A. You might want to consider taking the chemistry subject test so that if you score well, that data point backs up the A. If you don’t score well, then no worries, you don’t have to submit your scores.
Myth #3: Taking it is better than not taking it.
Taking it is better than not taking it.
As mentioned in the above paragraph, the Subject Test can be used as an additional data point, so if you score well, it can only help you. Conversely, if you score poorly and send the scores, it does not help your admission. A good score really depends on what test you are taking, and you’re intended major. Typically, a “good” reportable score, is at minimum a 700 as this is certainly considered a competitive score in The Bay area.