Sunday, February 23, 2014

College Crash Course Part 10: SAT II – Showcase Your Child's Smarts

If your child is strong in a particular subject, the SAT II is a great way to show off his strengths, causing college admissions counselors to stand up and take notice. 

Like AP exams, colleges put a lot of stock in the SAT II Subject Tests. In fact, some Ivy League and top-tier universities require at least two SAT II Subject Tests to be taken before a student is even eligible to apply to that university.

Like CLEP, the SAT II Subject tests are created by the College Board to assess college level knowledge of a subject. Also like CLEP, colleges are often willing to grant credit if a student scores well on the SAT II exam.

However, it is generally said that the SAT II exams are very difficult. My daughter took the SAT Literature exam and found this hour-long exam to be much more challenging than the actual English section of the SAT. But she scored higher on the SAT II Literature exam than she did on the SAT English exam and received six hours of college credit for the exam upon entering the University of Georgia.

If your child plans to take a SAT II Subject Test, he should take it immediately after completing the course associated with that exam. There are 20 different exams covering English, math, science and foreign language. The test dates are determined by the College Board and you must register on their website in order to take the test (just like with the regular SAT). Not every test is offered every month, so it’s important to check the dates well in advance. You can find all the information you need at

As with Dual Enrollment, keep in mind that if your child has a specific field they want to study, placing out of the beginning level courses is not the best way to shine in college. You want professors to see your child’s potential and you want to make sure your child learns the specific contents of the course the university teaches before entering the next level course.

If your child feels strong in a particular subject, why not have him take the SAT II Subject Test? It could make the difference between an acceptance letter and a rejection letter.