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Articles / Applying to College / SAT II for Soph?

SAT II for Soph?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Oct. 13, 2004

Question: Should I take the World History SAT II after I finish AP World History this year? I am only a sophomore, and I don't know many people who have taken SAT IIs at the end of their sophomore year. Additionally, I would like to know which SAT IIs the competitive colleges prefer to see. Are you limited to only three?

You should definitely take the World History SAT II this year. It's always a good idea to try the SAT II as soon as you've completed the corresponding course, assuming that you won't be taking a more advanced version of it later on (e.g., if you are taking chemistry now but will take advanced chem next year, you'd be wise to wait.) It's actually fairly common for sophomores to take SAT IIs, especially students pursuing challenging academic programs, as you are.

While competitive colleges don't have "favorite" SAT IIs (especially now that the Writing SAT II is being abolished due to the new writing section of the SAT I), they do like to see a diversity of tests. For instance, if you can score well in history, math, and science or in history, science, and foreign language, it will "look better" than submitting two math scores and one in physics or two language scores plus English lit. You get the idea?

You can only take three SAT II tests during each test administration, but there is no limit to the number you can take overall. While colleges do pay the closest attention to your three best scores, they will see all of them, so if you are able to do well in a variety of areas, it can certainly boost your chances at decision time.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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