ACTs in Lieu of Subject Tests

ACT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT Exam

Few colleges accept ACTs in lieu of SAT Subject Tests.

We received the following e-mail today from a high school guidance counselor:

Dear Ivy Coach,

Am I misinforming our families when I indicate that almost universally the ACT plus Writing is accepted in lieu of the SAT Reasoning and Subject Tests? I have an inquiry from a parent and it has given me pause.

The inquiry reads: It appears that many schools either require or recommend the Subject Tests. My daughter hasn’t been planning on taking the Subject Tests because she will be taking both the SAT I and the ACT + Writing. My impression was that ACT + Writing is very often accepted instead of the Subject Tests. I realize that the colleges vary in their policies, but it appears that more schools than I’d expected still want the Subject Tests. I’m now concerned that perhaps it is wise to take one Subject Test in the spring.

The last thing I want is for a student to overload on testing, yet I also want to provide good counsel. Where better to turn than to my colleagues?

Sincerely yours,

H.S. Counselor

Dear H.S. Counselor,

Although it would be ideal if all colleges were to accept the ACT in lieu of Subject Tests, very few colleges actually have this policy.

Something that the parent said in her e-mail to you makes us wonder why she’s planning on taking one Subject Test instead of two or three? The Subject Tests are designed for students to take three exams on one day. Besides, colleges that require SAT Subject Tests typically require at least two, and there are a few schools that require three exams. There are also some colleges that require specific tests.

Our best advice is for you to tell your student to call each college on her list and ask the questions. Hope this helps.

Ivy Coach


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