Monday, May 10, 2010

Missed the SAT II Deadline?

Last week marked the last day students could register for the June SAT exams without a late penalty. As I've been hearing from multiple people, this deadline was actually a bit moot because most New York testing locations were already full. But, don't despair. All is not lost. Even if you are a 10th or 11th grade student that had hoped to take an SAT Subject test in June, you still have a few options.

(Remember: The majority of colleges do NOT require SAT Subject tests and many schools will accept the ACT with Writing in place of the SAT and Subject tests. If you had not planned on taking any subject tests, don't worry, many people never end up needing them. Keep reading though as the same information can also apply to the regular SAT)

1) Test Standby
      This is the most risky option because in addition to costing additional money (See fees here) you are also never guaranteed a spot when you test Standby, so you could easily get all pumped up and ready to take an exam on Saturday morning and then get to the test center and find out they cannot accommodate you. However, if you are determined to test this June, it is one option to try. Keep in mind, you cannot use a fee waiver if you test Standby and you will need a paper registration form filled out.  Given that no 10th or 11th grade student should be in a 'do or die' testing situation, I would probably go with the next option.

2) Test in October - the first offering of the 2010-2011 Cycle
     SAT Subject tests are designed to cover material that is not included in the regular in-school coursework. The idea behind and SAT II is to indicate how much of an 'expert' a student is in a particular subject. It is intended to be an assessment of knowledge above and beyond a traditional high school course. As a result, it may actually be in your favor to get a book to study from over the summer, enrich your current knowledge base for the subject, and test in October when you have had a few months extra to prepare. This takes a lot of self motivation, but if you truly have a high aptitude in a subject, this should be something you actually look forward to.

3) Really do some meaningful college research to see which colleges actually require the exams. You may realize that your time is better spent preparing for, and improving, your SAT I score.

Bottom line, don't beat yourself up for missing the chance to register for the June exam. Regardless of if you test Standby, test in October, or don't test at all it will all work out in the end!