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Articles / Applying to College / Should Prospective Business Major Take Bio Subject Test?

July 18, 2012

Should Prospective Business Major Take Bio Subject Test?

Question: I'm planning on studying business. I took both SAT II's for Spanish and got an 800 on the two. I took Biology Honors and with some prep I feel pretty confident. Should I take the SAT II Biology test? Is it worth my time and money or do business schools don't really care about science standardized testing?


I can't answer this question in a vacuum. In other words, to respond responsibly, I'd need to know a lot more about you and where you're applying.

But, here’s what I CAN tell you: If your colleges require Subject Tests OR if they are highly competitive OR if you feel you will be a borderline applicant, then anything you can do to show off your strengths will be worthwhile ... even if this includes taking a test in a field unrelated to your prospective major. (And a college that requires TWO Subject Tests will not let you fill that requirement with two Spanish tests.)

Also, "The Dean' sees that your name is Spanish. Colleges might suspect that you speak Spanish at home and thus won't give great importance to your Spanish SAT results. (However, if you DON'T speak Spanish at home, this should be indicated on your application. In general, being Hispanic and bi-cultural is a plus in the admission process. So if you are, be sure to say so, even if it means that your Spanish test results won't carry a lot of weight.)

If you decide to take the bio Subject Test, you can wait until you see the score before sending it to your target colleges. Even though you would sacrifice your four "free" score reports, it might give you peace of mind to hold off until you've had a chance to check the results. (Some colleges on your list might require that you send scores for all tests you took. If so, you will be on your honor to do this. But most colleges will not need to see your bio results, if you decide not to send them.)

¡Buena suerte!

(posted 7/18/2012)

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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