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More Subject Tests or SAT for Ivy ED Hopeful?

Question: I am applying early decision to an Ivy league and I have taken the ACT (high score) but not the SAT. My two subject test scores are low and I was wondering should I take another subject test to get a higher score or take the SAT?

Some of the Ivies will allow students who took the ACT with Writing to skip the Subject Tests. It depends where you are applying. Of the Ivies that offer Early Decision, Penn, Columbia, and Brown do not require Subject Tests from students who took the ACT. (For breaking news on Penn Subject Test recommendations … not requirements … see the bottom of this post.) At Cornell, specific Subject Tests are required by some “schools" within the university, but not by others, regardless of whether or not you took the ACT. Dartmouth does expect two Subject Tests except from students for whom the test fees present a financial hardship.

Note, however, that many students who apply to these hyper-selective institutions will submit strong Subject Test scores, whether they have to or not. The scores will show strength in areas (e.g., foreign language, history, bio, physics, chem) that the SAT and ACT don't cover. So if you send in ONLY your ACT score, you may be putting yourself at a slight disadvantage. On the other hand, if you send in crummy Subject Test results, you may be putting yourself at a GREATER disadvantage.

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