Pros and Cons of Taking SAT Subject Tests

If you’re considering taking SAT Subject Tests, you may be wondering about the benefits and detriments. There are things to consider and it’s important to weigh both the pros and the cons before deciding on whether or not a Subject Test is the right choice for you.

Students sitting around a table with paper and pens.

Pro: It Can Boost Your Application (Or Even Be Required)

Subject tests can be a wonderful way to show off your skills when it comes to a specific topic. It can give that extra boost your college application needs and let a school know how knowledgeable you are in the subject. Often times, it’s your major, so you’ll be showing that you’re serious about the coursework and willing to go the extra mile.

Sometimes, more competitive schools actually require that you take an SAT Subject Test to get into a specific program. It’s a good idea to double-check this well ahead of time before the application due date so you can be sure to have your score in on time.

Con: It Can Be a Lot of Extra Work

You’re already likely doing ACT / SAT prep work. You also have extracurricular activities, classes, homework, applications for colleges and scholarships, and, potentially, a job. Often times, you may already be studying for your finals or midterms. The SAT Subject Test can be a lot of extra work during an already stressful time.

Just like any other test, you need to have study time set aside for your specific Subject Test. Some schools may also require you to take more than one. And just like the SAT or ACT, it’s a good idea to take the Subject Test more than once to try to improve your score. Sadly, combined with all your other work, college prep can eat up a lot of your time during your junior and senior years.

Pro: You Can Time Your SAT Subject Test with Same Subject Finals in High School

Luckily, there is a way to combat the “lot of extra work” con. It’s a good idea to actually time your SAT Subject Tests with your same subject high school final if possible. This can actually reduce the amount of studying you need to do with your Subject Test as you’ll be killing two birds with one stone.

If you’re studying to take a Spanish final or midterm, for example, you may have also heard that the SAT subject tests include languages. If want to take the Spanish Subject Test, this is the perfect time to prepare for both. However, the scheduling won’t always work perfectly like this, but it can work to your advantage if it does!

The best thing you can do when it comes to the SAT Subject Tests is to plan ahead. Having a schedule in mind can help you juggle your busy senior year and get the Subject Tests done. However, there’s no denying that these tests can truly help give your application that extra boost it needs, especially if you score very well. It also shows schools you’re willing to go the extra mile.

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