Page 7 - KnightTime News Winter 2019
P. 7

KNIGHTtime News
  By Natalie Ford
At the same time you are thinking about courses for next year, you might also begin wondering when and if you should consider taking SAT subject tests. And just what are subject tests, anyway? Here are the basics: administered by the College Board, there are twenty different subject tests offered in five topic areas including English, history, math, foreign languages, and science. Students can expect each test to last about an hour, and they will be scored on a range of 200- 800. For more information about when the tests are offered, how to register, and where the testing sites are, you’ll want to refer directly to the College Board website.
Now, let’s talk about when and
if you should take them as well
as how many. These days, there
are fewer and fewer schools that require subject tests. The first place to look for this information is on the specific college’s admissions website. You can also find this information on SCOIR. As you
start exploring, you may become familiar with the seemingly elusive language that colleges are using to say they recommend students
The What, If, How, and When of
to take subject tests, regardless of whether you took the SAT or ACT. The history behind the change
from requiring to recommending these tests has to do with colleges and universities recognizing that mandating so much testing became cost prohibitive for some students and their families across the country. Worth noting is that there are fee waivers that can also help
to offset the cost for students who qualify—come see your college counselor if you have questions about this! If this is not the case for you and your family, our general advice here at Menlo is for students to plan to take at least two subject tests if the colleges you’re interested in, or might become interested
in, recommend them. There are a few rare exceptions where you’ll need more than two subject
tests: Georgetown University recommends three, and schools
in the UK may require up to five.
So it’s important to find out these answers sooner rather than later to give yourself plenty of time to meet their expectations. Keep in mind, students cannot to take the SAT and SAT subject tests in the same day, so plan accordingly. It’s always wise to
refer to the College Board website for the most up to date information so you don’t miss registration deadlines, announcements, or logistical information.
Now you might be wondering which tests to take. A general rule of thumb is to take the tests in which you think you’ll perform the best. Here’s a caveat: if you’re thinking about pursuing engineering in college, check the college’s website! A lot of engineering programs want students to showcase their abilities in either math I or math II, as well
as either chemistry or physics,
or sometimes even biology. Our teachers have helped compile a really helpful resource correlating coursework at Menlo as it pertains to subject test preparation, which will help you determine when
the right time might be to take
the subject tests. In most cases, students take subject tests during their junior year, unless they’ve taken a class in sophomore year that aligns nicely with the June testing date. Don’t hesitate to ask your teachers for clarification. And as always, please come see your college counselor for guidance in mapping your testing plan out.

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