Not all SAT tests are created the same. There’s the SAT Subject Tests and the SAT Reasoning Test. Generally, people know the SAT Reasoning Test, as those scores are the ones published over and over in the newspaper and on college admissions offices webpages – simply referred to as the SAT. However, SAT Subject Tests are also offered to students, prompting uncertainty amongst college bound students whether to take or not take the tests.
The head-scratching confusion is warranted. The tests have been required, then un-required for college admissions eligibility at colleges, and currently are sometimes required, but only at select colleges. Checking the specific testing policies at each campus can help applicants make informed choices about taking or not taking the SAT Subject Tests, as well as which specific subjects to choose.
For Freshmen through Juniors, unsure about exactly where s/he will apply, erring on the side of caution and taking SAT Subject Tests can provide students with as many options for applications in the future, given the varying nature of the requirements. Also, in general, since only scores that are considered helpful will be factored in admissions decisions, there is not a downside to taking SAT Subject Tests. Lastly, scores from SAT Subject Tests provide additional information about a student’s qualifications for admissions, regardless of being required or not. Probably not a favorite answer, given who wants to wake up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to take tests that may or may not be required, but a short term sacrifice may make for a long term gain.