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Subject Tests vs. APs

Many of our families have been pushing off their Subject Tests to the month of June instead of stacking them right before the AP exam, and we applaud that move! The additional month will allow students to study separately for the exam and really knock it out of the park. Of course many students don’t want or need to take the subject tests in the first place, but for those of you who are planning on using them as another indicator of academic success or who are applying to the few schools or majors who require them, it is best to study, be prepared, and ace them.

Many of our families have asked why they should study separately for the AP’s, because the AP test is the end-all, be-all exam for their content. It’s 3 times as long and not only requires deep understanding, it also has a multiple choice section similar to the Subject Test, so isn’t that enough?

It’s enough to do moderately well on the test, around a 670/680, without additional studying if they are at the top of the AP game (4 or 5). However, that’s what almost every student is scoring who is a strong student. It’s not enough to stand out from the pack at the top schools or majors. And for so many of you who find it helpful but necessary, why would you want to take time out of your weekend and take a non-necessary test to not-stand out? Especially because not that much additional time is needed to ace the tests.

The next question is how much additional time is needed. It depends on the test, and it depends on where your student is with the material. The fastest way to answer that question is to take an official practice test with us for $10 each (or order the book from Amazon for $17 and take at home) and see where your score is. And then we can go from there to determine what the best course of action is. But at least you would know what score you’re expected to hit without studying and make a decision that’s best for you, instead of showing up test day unprepared.

Any questions? Please reach out to us via phone or email and we’d be happy to help.

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