Every year, students take a plethora of tests in preparation for college. Whether it be the SAT or AP exams, there seems to be an exam for everything. One such test is the SAT subject test which is also administered by the College Board. These tests can be taken throughout the year and involve many different subjects – from languages to sciences – that represent a large variety of topics and interests.
However, due to the amount of tests students already need to take, many wonder whether it is necessary to take another and what good it could possibly do for them. SAT subject tests are not merely another test students should take, but can seriously help a student’s path to college. According to an article by Green Test Prep, “SAT subject tests can’t get you rejected from great schools, but they can get you accepted,” showing that there is an importance to taking these subject tests and that high schoolers should not just disregard them in favor of only taking AP tests or not taking any tests whatsoever.
When crafting an application to a college, students need to consider their strengths and weaknesses as well as what they would like to focus on in the future. SAT subject tests can help students show what they are good at and act as support to proving their true commitment to an area of interest. Sophomore Katie Zhang, who recently sat for the Chinese SAT subject test, agreed, saying, “I feel that it is a great opportunity to display our knowledge of specific subjects, supplementing work that students have put in throughout the years.”
During high school, many students also participate in extracurriculars that impart a great amount of knowledge on each individual. For example, a student may have gained a fair deal of knowledge about any one topic through an internship. SAT subject tests allow students to show these gains in a quantifiable way and their continued interest to do well in these fields.
In Montgomery County, a large portion of the students are bilingual or even multilingual, fluently conversing in many different languages. SAT subject tests are available in a lot of languages, including Spanish and Korean, languages that are not offered as AP tests, allowing students to show their language skills in a quantifiable way. Language skills are becoming increasingly important as the world moves towards a larger global scale constantly, and taking these tests will help students harness the growing importance of language and communication.
Many colleges recommend or even require taking these subject tests, including most of the top colleges in the United States. Some colleges even use the subject test in order to place students in appropriate level courses or to get college credit for introductory courses, making it a worthwhile investment to save money and time in the future. For example, at Harvard University, a score above a 700 in a language subject test will satisfy the language requirement, allowing a student to choose a higher level language course.
Though SAT subject tests are lesser known and taken when compared to the SAT, ACT, and AP exams, they should not be overlooked. These tests can greatly benefit students in their college applications and in their future college careers. Taking these tests may seem like a hassle, but they are definitely beneficial and key for students to show their strengths.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Laura Yao of Richard Montgomery High School