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Articles / Applying to College / Are SAT Subject Tests Required for High School Student at Community College?

June 20, 2007

Are SAT Subject Tests Required for High School Student at Community College?

Question: My daughter is a high school junior but is taking most of her classes at a community college. Will she still be required to take the SAT II Subject tests since she is already doing primarily college-level work?

If your daughter is applying to colleges that require the SAT II Subject Tests (and many of the more selective schools do, although not all) then she still MUST take them, even if she is doing college-level work right now. Note, however, that there are many colleges that require the Subject Tests but will accept the ACT instead of BOTH the SAT I and the SAT II. So, if your daughter has taken--or expects to take--the ACT, then she may not need the Subject Tests.


However, I still urge her to take the SAT II's. This way, she will be sure that she keeps all of her college options open and will not have to eliminate colleges from her list due to insufficient testing. Also, the Subject Tests often enable a student to "show off" a strength in an area that the SAT I or the ACT does NOT cover (e.g, foreign language, history, sciences). Note, too, that a few colleges and universities will require SPECIFIC Subject Tests for all applicants. (Typically, these are schools with a techology focus that demand tests in math and science.)

One other thing ... you daughter might also want to look into taking Advanced Placement exams in her strongest subjects. Even if she is not in official "AP" courses in high school, students who have done work at the college level can often score well on these tests and can earn college credit for good results. These tests are not required but might be something for your daughter to also consider IN ADDITION TO the SAT II Subject Tests but not IN PLACE OF THEM. Assuming that she still has ties to her high school, she should talk to her school guidance counselor about this.

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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