Preparing for College

Retaking a Perfect SAT II

Question: I got a perfect 800 on the SAT II Writing test, but my writing-sample subscore was a 9 out of a possible 12, and so I'm troubled. I consider writing my strength, and I'm worried that the 9 will cast some doubt on my abilities. How much attention do colleges pay to SAT II subscores? Would it be worthwhile for me to take the test again?

Congrats on your fine SAT II score. In our opinion, college admission committees will pay little or no heed to your subscores, but what they might see is a big red flag that reads "Beware: Obsessive-Compulsive Perfectionist Ahead," if you retake the test. Thus, we advise you to give yourself a pat on the back and relax.


If writing is your strength, then you can strut your stuff when you compose a killer application essay. That's far more important than a subscore.