Preparing for College

Penalty for Retaking SAT Subject Tests?

Question: Do you get penalized for taking a Subject Test twice? I want to take the Subject Test in chemistry after an honors chem class then take it again after AP Chem next year.

Although far more students retake the SAT I's than the SAT II's, there is certainly no penalty for doing either. If you check out this recent College Confidential discussion thread, you'll see that some students have been very pleased by their score gains after second tries on Subject Tests.

Note, however, that many colleges do not honor the College Board's "Score Choice" option. So if you do take the chem test twice, you will be expected to report both scores to “All Scores” schools. Even so, the colleges will only officially “use” the best one. Note also that a growing number of colleges that previously required two — or even three — Subject Tests no longer require any at all. Subject Tests — even when not mandatory — can still be a good way to show off strengths (such as chemistry) that aren’t covered on the SAT and ACT. But this only works if the scores are strong. If they aren’t so hot, you’re better off not submitting them at all when you don’t have to.

Good luck. Good luck. (That's for both tests. ;-))