Fewer Students are Taking Them. Few Colleges Require Them. How SAT Subject Tests can Greatly Increase Your Competitive Advantage
Why take the Subject SAT Tests if fewer students are taking them? Well, precisely because fewer students are taking them!
Remember, college admissions are very competitive. The acceptance rates have fallen precipitously in recent years, as the number of seats remain the same while the number of applicants have increased dramatically--from all over the world. So how do you compete?
According to the Washington Post, there is a problem with Subject SAT tests. People do not see the value of them, especially given the existence of AP classes. Why take the SAT subject tests when you can take AP classes and showcase them in your scores? Well, one reason is that not all high schools offer AP classes, while SAT subject tests are available nationwide. Another reason is that the subject tests enable students to stand out by showing mastery in a given area. This is important for schools like MIT. It asks applicants for one score in math and one in chemistry, biology or physics.
“We do find they’re helpful and predictive,” said Stuart Schmill, MIT’s dean of admissions and student financial services. Some students perform better on a math subject test than on the math section of the SAT or ACT, Schmill said. In such cases, he said, additional scores can “give us more confidence to admit those students.”
What about AP Tests, which are designed to measure college-level work? Schmill said students often take the AP tests in May of their senior year, too late for applications. He said that MIT publicizes the subject tests in marketing materials because many potential applicants are unaware of them.
Top schools require the subject tests. Harvey Mudd College requires one subject test in math and one in any other field a student chooses. Some major universities recommend that students with engineering ambitions send math and science scores. Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities, and a few others, recommend sending two subject test scores. Georgetown University strongly recommends three.
The lesson here is that if you want to get into a top college, you should take the subject tests. And given the fewer students are taking the SAT subject tests, you can increase your chances of standing out and getting into the school of your choice.
The main reluctance of students to take the subject tests is the stress of taking tests. This is primarily due to a false premise that tests are useless. Nothing can be further than the truth.
Testing is a great way of studying. In fact, experts now say that testing is better than studying, with the latter consists of re-reading the same or similar text over and over again. So studying for tests helps you become a better student and you learn faster.
If students eliminate the premise that tests are primarily to measure their IQ, or their worth, they will become better test takers. If there is one thing you can take away from this blog it is that testing is better than studying. Do not look at tests as a test of your self-worth.
If you need help in learning faster, testing smarter and scoring higher on your standardized tests, do not hesitate to contact us.