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easypeasy

Did an SAT-Subject-Test school make an exception?

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Have any of your dcs applied to a school that had a requirement for homeschoolers to take 1-3 SAT subject tests and did that school make any exceptions if your dc did not have those tests?

DD2 made a broad choice earlier this year to not take any SAT subject tests and eliminated any schools requiring them from her long list. It was a fairly easy choice and left a lot of schools she likes on her list, so she didn't sweat it. She's a senior this year, taking a gap year next year, and will be a music major.

Due to shifting circumstances, one of those schools has risen in her interests by quite a bit. It is a very competitive university with a fiercely competitive music program. So - a longshot school as it is. It requires SAT subject tests (two, I believe) for homeschoolers.

She is currently signed up to take the SAT tests in May and June (she didn't take her first ACT/SAT until Dec '18, so she's playing catchup as many of the unis she's applying to will accept those summer test dates) and doesn't want to redesignate one of those as a subject-test date... but maybe she should?

She is planning to call the university itself and ask this very question, but I'm wondering if anyone has ever had a school make an exception if asked to their SAT subject-tests-for-the-homeschoolers rule? She'll have AP, CLEP, and dual enrollment alongside a stellar academic and extracurricular record. The "average" ACT score at this school is 30-33.

 

 

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I know of one but it was about 8-9 years ago. A friend's son was accepted into a Virginia uni that requires 3 SAT II tests for homeschoolers. He went in Army ROTC and he never took those SAT subject tests. My friend thinks they really wanted the ROTC money however that works. I have no clue!

Edited by Angie in VA
had wrong number: 3 not 2 SAT IIs required
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It really, really depends on the school.

I have a friend whose homeschooled kid took multiple AP's instead of SAT II's because they didn't grasp that they needed to potentially do both for college admissions, and they made an exception. It was a smaller school that seemingly had more flexible admissions while being selective.

The school both of mine chose for their 4-year is very strict, but in there they want AP's unless it's a foreign language SAT II.

Go figure.

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I have heard of it anecdotally in recent years. (I think there was someone on here this year who mentioned it.) However, if you are looking at a school that has a 15% acceptance rate overall or less (and you'll want to see what it was for the 2019-2020 class), you are looking at a lottery school. Chances of acceptance when the student has all of the requirements at or near the top of the range (so ACT would need to be 33 or higher in your example) are still low. Not having one requirement is going to lower those chances even more unless the student has a significant enough hook (URM, recruited for sports, professor who has pull with admissions, big donor family, etc).

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Yes. Not for me, but for my friend. High ACT score, lots of APs, no SAT2s. Got scholarships at schools that had SAT2 requirements.

Of course, I wouldn't recommend ignoring the requirement, but in your case where your daughter changed her mind, I would certainly contact the school and/or simply apply.  I'd apply unless i was told there is absolutely no way without the SAT2s. Schools make all sorts of unadvertised exceptions if they have good cause. 

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Not subject tests, but GED.  My dd applied to school that we didn't even know required it for homeschoolers until someone else mentioned it.  I called them and told them to withdraw her application bc she was not going to take the GED.  They contacted me a few days later and said they were waiving the requirement.  She ended up being invited to that school's competitive scholarship weekend. 😉

But, her stats easily put her in their upper quartile and the school was not super competitive.  I think that makes a difference.

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Since she is going as a music major, is the admission audition based? I think she might have a chance if her audition is excellent than if she were applying as a math major.

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2 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Since she is going as a music major, is the admission audition based? I think she might have a chance if her audition is excellent than if she were applying as a math major.

 

She will need to be admitted into both the university and the music school separately. We’ve heard that the professors in her particular instrument have “some sway” with admissions for their favorite applicants. Music being music, we won’t *really* know where she falls until acceptances come in. 😂 

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I suspect that schools who say they want SAT subject tests actually just want outside verification of achievement.  So a kid who has outside coursework, AP exam scores, really high SAT/ACT scores, etc. probably has what they're looking for without the SAT subject tests.

Of course, I'm saying that with no actual knowledge of anything.

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Your best bet is to approach the college and ask. 

Sometimes the school has a formula for admissions and they want the Subject tests to get a data point that they feel is missing or less useful from homeschooled students like gpa or class rank.

Sometimes it is an old requirement that is still on the website and asking can spur them to reconsider.  One college near me dropped the subject test requirement from 5 tests to 3 tests and then to subject tests as one possible way of demonstrating readiness. 

I think it's worth asking even if the subject tests are required of all students.  Georgetown has dropped the mandatory subject test requirement for the next cycle.

On the other hand, there is research that suggests that subject tests scores can do a good job of predicting freshman year academic success, and that they are better predictors than the regular SAT or gpa. So a school might not be willing to drop the requirement. 

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My ds applied to Rhodes without SAT 2 tests. I feel like I had heard from someone else that they got admitted without them. I can't remember now (he was class of 2016) but there was some reason we thought he had a shot without them (and they were also a free/easy application). He did not get in. He was waitlisted. However, they were very clear that it was his lack of interest that was the issue. He applied EA and we got letters, emails, all year to the effect of "we want to admit you but you have to show interest." They kept basically saying he was in, if he would just visit or do a phone interview or something. It is fuzzy now but at the time I felt it very clear that it was his lack of doing anything to show interest that was the issue. Never was there any mention of missing SAT 2 tests. His application was always shown as complete in the portal. They were right not to admit him and protect their yield because he never was motivated enough to visit them or show interest. Of course I don't know for sure but I really think that had he visited he would have been admitted without the SAT 2 tests and without any explanation as to why he didn't take them. 

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Totally anecdotal, but DS didn't have the 3 subject tests Emory and Oxford want from homeschoolers (he had 2), and he was waitlisted at both. We didn't ask if they'd make an exception; he just applied and waited to see what happened (we did ask an admissions person at Oxford when we toured there--specifically we asked if they'd accept AP tests in place of subject tests (I still don't understand why schools don't do this, since AP tests are far more involved than subject tests and in many cases cover the same subjects)--and were told no). So I can say that they didn't just toss his app out because he didn't have the third test, at any rate. Incidentally, his portal showed the whole time that he had submitted all 3 tests even though he hadn't. I don't know if it's because they looked at his app and decided to ignore the lack of a third test or if that was just a mistake. 

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I've also heard anecdotally about various requirements not being met and the student is still admitted.

No matter what they say, I'd submit her application anyway.  (I wouldn't even bother calling and asking.)  They may not even know whether they'd waive a testing requirement unless they know who they are waiving it for.  

If she's planning on taking the exams by the end of senior year, they may even make a provisional decision contingent on her test scores ultimately.  Good luck.  

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Well, this is very encouraging, thank you! She thinks she'll retain her last SAT date as a regular SAT and will just roll the dice with this school, since so far it's the only one she's looking at that requires those subject tests. If it's meant to be, it'll work out in her favor... 🙂  She has a strong shot at both the uni and the music school so long as they don't insist on those subject tests, so we'll see what happens. (strong shot meaning as strong as anyone else’s chances... she knows it’s a long shot and a good sprinkling of luck will have to fall onto her application & audition!) 

Thanks! 🙂

Edited by easypeasy

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Like a lot of schools with holistic admissions, there's probably not a hard and fast rule, but a lot depends on what else she is bringing to the table. If she is an exceptional candidate in other ways, it likely won't matter.

That said, my oldest daughter (who has major test anxiety) ultimately regretted her decision to forgo the subject tests. She was waitlisted (3 schools) or rejected (1 school) at the schools with the subject test requirement. Her SAT was quite good (perfect verbal score even).

Honestly, I'd re-designate one of those dates as a subject test date rather than plan on two SAT sittings. If her SAT is not what she wants, she could re-take in August or later. Not ideal, but doable.

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On 4/29/2019 at 10:52 AM, EKS said:

I suspect that schools who say they want SAT subject tests actually just want outside verification of achievement.  So a kid who has outside coursework, AP exam scores, really high SAT/ACT scores, etc. probably has what they're looking for without the SAT subject tests.

Of course, I'm saying that with no actual knowledge of anything.

University of Toronto fits into this category. They want AP/IB scores from US applicants, but told us that they would be fine accepting DD’s college transcript in lieu of test scores. 

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Is this Northwestern?  I don't think it will work.  In fact they set it up such that if you apply as a homeschooler your application is marked incomplete until the SAT2 scores are in and is not evaluated.  My kid had a 34 ACT/32 DE credits w/a 4.0 so he is a qualified applicant.  We e-mailed admissions about it and said no way.

My kid did try it this year, he made the exact choice about SAT-2 because he is pretty deep in music and extracurriculars and he kid is a music applicant too but no go.  Not likely affordable or us and got other great offers anyway.  I regret spending the money on that app because I'm pretty sure that's why he wasn't considered at all.

I do suspect many schools would be more flexible with a kid with other data.  But NU is definitely not in our experience.  ETA - I haven't heard positive things about USC in this regard either but I wouldn't let my kid try more than one of these.  Disregard of course if you're referring to somewhere else.

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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We're now looking at SAT dates - - - are we correct in that it appears she can take SAT tests during her gap year? Because, if so... well, that fixes everything easily enough. The school-in-question requires three SAT IIs, so giving up that last testing date doesn't do her any good if they insist upon it. But, if she can take two in August and one in October, then all is good. From what we're finding online, it seems that is allowed?

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If she is not putting in applications during her senior year, then, yes, she could do the subject tests during gap year. I missed the part where she was taking a gap year. If that's the case, I'm not sure I would have her do SATs in both May and June anyway. Maybe do some quality prep for the SAT and do a single sitting in August. :-)

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1 hour ago, GoodGrief1 said:

If she is not putting in applications during her senior year, then, yes, she could do the subject tests during gap year. I missed the part where she was taking a gap year. If that's the case, I'm not sure I would have her do SATs in both May and June anyway. Maybe do some quality prep for the SAT and do a single sitting in August. 🙂

 

This might change everything 😂 We’d never thought to consider that the gap year gave her more time for testing. Off to rescramble those eggs! 😊

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On 4/29/2019 at 1:05 PM, kokotg said:

Totally anecdotal, but DS didn't have the 3 subject tests Emory and Oxford want from homeschoolers (he had 2), and he was waitlisted at both. We didn't ask if they'd make an exception; he just applied and waited to see what happened (we did ask an admissions person at Oxford when we toured there--specifically we asked if they'd accept AP tests in place of subject tests (I still don't understand why schools don't do this, since AP tests are far more involved than subject tests and in many cases cover the same subjects)--and were told no). So I can say that they didn't just toss his app out because he didn't have the third test, at any rate. Incidentally, his portal showed the whole time that he had submitted all 3 tests even though he hadn't. I don't know if it's because they looked at his app and decided to ignore the lack of a third test or if that was just a mistake. 

Fascinating.  We did ask at Emory (ds graduated high school in 2014) and they were adamant that they needed the 3 SAT subject tests.  It didn't matter to them that he had 60+ CC credits.  He did take them, but wound up not applying to Emory.  IMO, stupid rule.

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