Preparing for College

Should Senior with Perfect Math and Science Scores Take More Subject Tests?

Question: In the fall I plan on applying to highly competitive schools to major in either science or engineering. I just received my SAT subject scores and I got 800 in Math II, 800 in Physics and 800 in Chemistry. I could still take one or two more tests in October. Do you think I should do so in order to diversify or does it look better to have a solid record in science and engineering? I'm guessing that I could probably score in the 700s in Literature and World History. Also, on the SAT I got 800 on CR. Does that help? It was my highest section score.

Good question! Your current scores are obviously outstanding, and you certainly don’t have to take additional Subject Tests, especially because you plan to major in science or engineering. But, as you already seem to realize, at the most selective colleges many of your “competitors” will be submitting scores in a broad range of areas … math, science, history, language, etc.

So … my vote would be to take one or two more tests outside of science and math, if you don’t think that this will push your senior stress-o-meter into the Danger zone. (And focusing on your senior classes and grades is far more important than test prep.)

Alternatively, if you have already taken AP exams in any areas besides science and math and done well on those exams, then the AP scores will show off your diverse talents and you can skip the extra Subject Tests and sleep in on those autumn Saturdays. :)

(posted 6/25/2012)