Good News! If you submit the ACT, many colleges will waive Subject Tests requirement for admissions. Many students and parents are not aware of this "loophole" and lose a big advantage in the admissions process at some highly selective colleges.
This waiver can be a great advantage in college admissions. For one, it can mean taking less tests the junior and senior years (giving students more time to focus on classwork). Secondly, many students find the ACT much easier than the Subject Tests.But you still need to study for them!
Note: If you are not sure what Subject Tests are then make sure to read my article "What are the SAT Subject Tests?"
Of the sixty or seventy colleges require or recommend the SAT Subject Tests, there are several that will accept the ACT as a replacement for SAT and Subject Test scores. This is great news, especially for students who are not great test takers.
When I meet with a new student, one of the first things I do is figure out if the student will be applying to colleges that require or recommend Subject Tests. Then we look at how many of those colleges will waive the Subject Test requirement if the students submits ACT scores instead. If a student seems strong on the ACT and will be applying to highly selective colleges that require Subject Tests, the student may be better off preparing for the ACT test (and skipping the SAT altogether).
If you plan to apply to any of the colleges above, then you may want to consider taking the ACT. Or, at minimum, take a practice ACT test to find out if the test is a good match for your strengths. If so, you may want to consider focusing your test preparation on the ACT only and skipping the SAT test entirely. Many of my students have successfully used this approach. For many students, it may be easier to attain a strong ACT score (30-36) than a strong SAT (1400+) and strong Subject Tests (700+). If you are weak on the Subject Tests, then strongly consider taking the ACT, especially if you will be applying to colleges that require Subject Tests.
There are still some highly selective colleges that will NOT waive Subject Test with ACT score. That means, no matter what, you will need to take at least two Subject Tests to gain admission.
SAT Subject Test Dates
October 1, 2016
November 5, 2016
December 3, 2016
January 21, 2017
May 6, 2017
June 3, 2017
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