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How many SAT Subject tests to take in one day


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#1 Grantmom

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

We are left with only a few dates left to take the SAT and the SAT subject tests, and I am trying to figure out the best timing.  It seems to me like it would be a lot to try to take more than two on one day.  What do you think and what has your experience been?  DS wants to take the Chemistry, Physics, and Math SAT Subject tests still.  Would it be crazy to try to take Chemistry and Physics on the same day?  That sounds less than optimal to me, but we have so few dates left.  (DS is a junior.)  Can you take a test in the first and third hours? As in, could you take the first test, take an hour break, and then take your second test during the third testing time that day? Or do you have to take them in a row?  Also, how does it work?  Do you have to say which tests you want to take in what order?  Or do they tell you in which order you have to take them?

 

Thanks for any guidance or advice!



#2 regentrude

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 03:14 PM

Two in the same day sounds fine. My DD did that; she took physics and math in the same session. Much better than ruining more Saturdays with testing.

 

I do not know whether they would let you take a one hour break; I doubt it, because they will give you the test booklet that has all the tests at the beginning of the session, and you could have presumably looked at something and would then have extra time to ponder. Also, I would imagine a student would want to get it over with and not sit there for an hour idle.

If I recall correctly, you can do them in any order you want.

 


Edited by regentrude, 12 May 2017 - 03:19 PM.


#3 Job121

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 04:26 PM

Two in the same day sounds fine. My DD did that; she took physics and math in the same session. Much better than ruining more Saturdays with testing.

 

I do not know whether they would let you take a one hour break; I doubt it, because they will give you the test booklet that has all the tests at the beginning of the session, and you could have presumably looked at something and would then have extra time to ponder. Also, I would imagine a student would want to get it over with and not sit there for an hour idle.

If I recall correctly, you can do them in any order you want.

DS  took chemistry and physics same day. Like regentrude said, you cannot take an hour break in between the tests. It has to be back to back. There is no order assigned for SAT subjects since they will give you the whole booklet. So you can take up to any tests in any order you want on that day. 



#4 Gwen in VA

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:09 PM

Two in one day is fine. Several of my kids survived and even liked their scores afterwards!

 

I have heard several people say that three in one day doesn't work so well.



#5 Hoggirl

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 10:29 PM

OP, why do you want your ds to take three? Don't most schools usually only require 2? Are more being required because of homeschooling?

#6 JanetC

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:03 PM

We're new to this, as my first didn't need any. Kid 2 did one as a sophomore, one as a junior this month. ACT in June. SAT in the fall if necessary.

SAT has a new fall test date in August so there's a little more time in early senior year for another test sitting if needed.

#7 mumto2

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 04:38 AM

I just want to say while it's definitely not for every kid I wouldn't rule out three exams in one sitting just because people don't recommend it. Dd did do 3 exams on 3 occasions. One time was a retake because UPS lost her exams (all the schools tests) so really twice score wise. Ds did two back to back once....both math. We were applying to British University so all those scores really were useful. No regrets.

Dd did her hardest one first, her definition was more along the one where being fresh might give a higher score(Math 1 because of the need for perfection the first time and Latin the next times). Then did what she considered to be a palette cleanser (French first time, Lit the next). Went on to the third exams. She did get an incredible score on one of her third exams so it can be done. The other third exam came back with the score we anticipated so she doesn't feel like she made a mistake taking three in a day. Because of our long drive time she just wanted to be done. Also some language exams have fewer test dates which was also part of dd's situation.

One thing to remember is another exam can be added on the day. If your dc feels ready he just takes the second or third and is billed later. This won't work for a language with listening but I believe all the other exams are in their booklets. My kids say it could be done easily. You can also skip taking one you signed up for if you aren't feeling ready on the day. You pick your order when you sit down. Because my dc's were taking 2 of the exams together but in different orders the Procter just sent them on separate bathroom breaks....they were the only ones testing that day.
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#8 Sue in St Pete

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:17 AM

OP, why do you want your ds to take three? Don't most schools usually only require 2? Are more being required because of homeschooling?

Ds considered applying to Emory.  If I remember correctly, they required at least 3 SAT Subject tests (math, science, lit) from homeschoolers.  It didn't matter if they had 69 CC credits.  :cursing:

 

Ds took 3 one day and 2 another day (repeating 1 of the earlier tests).  I will say that ds did not do very well across the board even though he generally tests well.  His math score was decent, but chemistry, biology, and literature were embarrassingly low.  CC must not teach to the SAT subject test.


Edited by Sue in St Pete, 14 May 2017 - 10:20 AM.

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#9 Hoggirl

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:49 AM

Ds considered applying to Emory. If I remember correctly, they required at least 3 SAT Subject tests (math, science, lit) from homeschoolers. It didn't matter if they had 69 CC credits. :cursing:

Ds took 3 one day and 2 another day (repeating 1 of the earlier tests). I will say that ds did not do very well across the board even though he generally tests well. His math score was decent, but chemistry, biology, and literature were embarrassingly low. CC must not teach to the SAT subject test.


Ds did three because Georgetown wanted three from everyone. I do distinctly remember during the info session at our on-campus visit that they wanted homeschoolers to have something like six or seven!

I agree with you about the frustration. I can understand the desire for schools to want some sort of outside verification beyond mom grades, but DE OR Subject tests OR AP tests should work equally well.

I don't know how it is now, but when ds took the Subject Test for Chemistry, there was a weird true/false section. I was glad we were aware of it and had prepped for it, because I can see where one could be thrown for a loop encountering that unexpectedly.

I think it's also important to remember that students who take Subject Tests are self-selecting as mostly only upper-tier schools want them. So, the curves can be really tough as the pool of testers tends to be academically strong anyway.
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#10 maize

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 07:46 PM

Back in the day...I always took three at a time because I figured it was the best value monetarily. I enjoyed test-taking though and I don't think I ever took 3 different STEM tests in one day. I think two is quite reasonable though, at least for a strong test taker.
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#11 Grantmom

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 11:24 AM

How many times is "too many" to take the SAT?  We are trying to balance out the remaining SAT dates before college applications are due.  We did absolutely no standardized testing until AP classes.  (Not an approach I recommend to anyone!)  So, taking these standardized tests has involved some practice just getting used to timing and things like that.  It wasn't a huge learning curve, but there are definitely advantages to having test-taking practice.  Once you've had one real-life practice, would it be better to just continue doing test prep and practice tests on your own until you feel like you are ready to take the "real thing" again?  Or does it help to take it a few times?  Is three too many?  I feel like even though some schools says they accept the Score Choice thing, if you do that, aren't they going to think you might be trying to hide the fact that you took the test 10 times?  I don't know, I am sure I am overthinking this!



#12 JanetC

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 12:34 PM

I'd say three is the max you should do.

Prep. Take it once. See if you got the score you want/need. Repeat up to two more times as needed.

The part I screwed up was only looking at test dates and not everything else going on in my kid's life. She has two test dates where she tests in the morning and has a dance recital that afternoon or evening. That means evening "tech week" at the theatre when she should be home resting or studying!

#13 Arcadia

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 05:55 PM

DS wants to take the Chemistry, Physics, and Math SAT Subject tests still. Would it be crazy to try to take Chemistry and Physics on the same day?
... Can you take a test in the first and third hours? As in, could you take the first test, take an hour break, and then take your second test during the third testing time that day? Or do you have to take them in a row?


Has he tried a chemistry practice test followed by a physics practice test or vice versus? The SAT physics test is 75 questions in an hour, chemistry is 85 questions in an hour, math is 50 questions in an hour.
My oldest is doing math and physics which are his strongest subjects next month but he gets tired after doing a practice test each back to back, so three subject tests in a row won't work for this kid of mine. We are using Barron's for test prep since he has forgotten some topics in math and in physics.

The subject test are done in a row. They have a toilet break though at the test sites that my kids took the general SAT at, so the kids who took 2 subject tests came out around 11:15am. Those who took three subject tests came out with my kids.
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#14 Grantmom

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:41 PM

That's a good point.  When he does practice tests, he should do multiple ones together to see how that goes.  I am thinking chem, physics, and math might all be too much in a row.  But likely math and one or the other could be paired.