Dec 2, 2011

Colleges Requiring Subject Tests are Few and Far Between

If you’re confused about which colleges require or recommend SAT Subject Tests, you may want to check out a wonderful webpage created and maintained by the Compass Educational Group (Compass Prep) of California.

Similar information may also be found on the College Board, Common Application, or Universal College Application websites, but going any of these routes generally involves clicking through numerous webpages and may be limited to a specific subset of “member” institutions.

The beauty of the Compass Prep table is that all the schools requiring, recommending or considering SAT Subject Tests are contained on one easy-to-understand chart.

Of the thousands of colleges and universities located across the country, only about 100 use SAT Subject Tests in their admissions decisions, and no colleges in the US technically requires three. Georgetown and Johns Hopkins recommend three, which in admissions-speak usually translates into requires.

In addition to Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, other local schools “strongly” recommending subject tests include the University of Virginia and Washington and Lee University.

According to Compass, about thirty colleges and universities require two Subject Tests, but a large portion of those will allow students to substitute the ACT with writing. About seventy other institutions either recommend or simply consider Subject Tests in their admissions processes. And Compass Prep lists them all along with solid explanations of how schools are likely to interpret or use the scores requested.

Compass Prep is quick to warn that no list can “replace the nuances of a school’s specific policy.” Students are directed to school websites or admissions offices for the most accurate (and up-to-date) information. Used properly, however, this handy reference tool can save students considerable time and aggravation.

This Saturday marks the last SAT test date for 2011. If you missed the deadline for December SAT registration, you may be able to test standby. This means going to a test center on test day with a completed registration form and payment. For more information, visit the College Board website.

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