My son is a sophmore in HS right now. His dream is to go to USNA but of course the chances of getting in are so slim that he needs to plan for civilian college. He is currently taking AP World History and has been told by his teacher and guidance counselor that he should take the SAT Subject Area exams in World History (and Mathmatics I) NOW as the coursework is fresh in his mind and most selective civilian colleges require at least 3 of them. I took a look on the USNA site and SAT Subject Area exams are not required. The College Board allows students to send their scores on the SAT Subject exams to colleges. Should my son send his scores to the SAs? Or should he send only his SAT scores?

My son (Class of 2014 appointee) took SAT II subject tests in Math I , Chemistry, and Physics at the end of his junior year, and requested that the scores be sent to USNA, as well as his other top choice colleges (he had heard it was a good idea for competitive colleges). We have no idea whether or not they ended up in his USNA application record somewhere, but we felt that it wouldn't hurt, especially as we didn't have to pay to send them - USNA was one of the colleges he selected to have all SAT and ACT scores sent to automatically. He scored very highly in all these tests and chose to include his scores in the resume that he sent in with his nomination applications. I think it is worthwhile if the student is strong in the subject area and is not going to get too stressed about taking the tests - it simply adds to the strength of your academics. It can also useful for all your plan "b" applications.

Thanks. My son is taking the AP exam in World History on May 13. The SAT subject exam is on June 5. Since the AP exam is over the teacher will be reviewing for the SAT Subject exam with the students who are taking it. It should not be stressful for him because he has to prepare for the AP exam anyway. He wants to take the Math because it covers math through Algebra II, which he is taking now. He is taking an SAT prep class and scoring very high on the math (he thinks he can get a perfect score!!!) so he is already prepared for this exam. Thanks for the advice. My son's "plan b" schools are all very high quality schools so he has to take these exams at some point anyway.

SAT II tests Make SURE he takes the Math II SAT Subject test. Most "plan b" schools won't accept the Math I test. Good Luck!

I would highly recommend waiting until you complete Pre-Calculus to take the Math II subject test. I took it after I completed Algebra II and I honestly didn't recognize a third of it...and I got an A in Honors Algebra II at a school that is regarded pretty highly academically. I cancelled my scores before I even left the room. Then I took the test again after taking Pre-Calculus and it was a piece of cake.

He has not had Precalculus yet. The Math I covers material through Algebra II/Trigonometry. He will have Precalculus next year.

Ugh - my junior has been deliberating the same thing - what possible backup schools would need the subject tests. He talked to a bunch of his teachers - in this area very few kids take the SAT (all the ACT instead), let alone the subject tests. We finally decided it would be worth him taking them since he's had AP Calc & AP Chem this year, plus AP US History so this would be a good time to take it before he forgets it all (and right after all the AP exams in the next few weeks). Went online and went through the whole application process last night only to find out that the only school giving it in our area is now full and the options are all 1.5 hours away. Guess we have to discuss how badly he wants to take them now! Sigh.

I wouldn't bother with the Math I. You said selective schools want three subject tests and that's true, but they definitely don't want to see Math I if you're able to take Math II (and he will be by the time he's applying). Some schools won't even accept the Math I subject test. It's only like 9 extra bucks or something like that to add on another subject test so taking Math I isn't that big of a waste, but it is a waste all the same (in my opinion). Just have him take the Math II at the May/June test date of his junior year.

The way the guidance counselors and teachers put it to the kids is that the kids should take an SAT subject test at the same time that they are completing the course material for that class. So when you are at the end of AP World History, take the AP exam in May and the Subject test in June. They say when you are done with Algebra II take the Math I. He is already going to be at the test center to take World History so he might as well take Math I. He will take Math II next year after Precalc, Chemistry after AP Chemistry, and American History after AP American. It never hurts to have more good scores.

tallbutshort - curious what schools you're looking at that only accept Math 1. My youngest is taking the subject exams in June (yes, we got his registration in while there was still space available so now we'll be driving to two sites ) and he said nearly all the schools he's looking at (and I know one is MIT) asked for either Math 1 or 2. Both my younger boys are in Calc, so they're both taking Math 2 anyway but just curious. He's actually taking Math 1 & 2 and Chem since those are the only ones he's had so far (he's a freshman) and as you said, it's only $9 more so if he's going to be there anyway, we figured it was worth taking both maths. Incidentally, I sent you a PM regarding a different topic.

Well to be honest there aren't any schools that I'm looking at that don't take Math I. However, one of my friends was planning on taking Math I and decided not to after talking to the school guidance counselor. He told her that there are a lot of schools that either don't accept the Math I or don't look favorably upon it. I don't know for sure which schools these are, but I have heard in the past that the entire UC system doesn't consider Math I.