View Full Version : SAT2 vs. AP tests

02-12-2016, 07:54 AM
Since Luv2HS asked about SAT2 tests, I thought I'd start a new thread about those and AP tests.

SAT2 tests measure knowledge of high school level subject matter. These are hour long, all multiple choice tests. Like the regular SAT, test dates are offered throughout the year. These are typically required of the more elite colleges. Some others make them optional or suggest homeschoolers take them as outside "proof" of knowledge. A student can take up to three different tests in one exam date.

AP tests are supposed to test college level knowledge of the subject. These are not necessary for college admissions, but I'm sure they certainly don't hurt for homeschoolers to have, again as outside evaluation of the student. Depending on the score of the test (usually a 4 or 5 out of 5), students can receive credit in that course at his/her future college. These are only offered once in May over the course of a week. For example, calculus may be on Monday while physics is on Wednesday. These are 2 hours long and consist of both multiple choice and free response answers. For homeschoolers, you would need to find a local high school that will allow your student to come and take the exam along with their students. My local ps was difficult to work with so we ended up at a local catholic private school. Contact a guidance counselor for that information.

In all honesty, dd did not take either SAT2 or AP tests. Ds took two SAT2 tests (physics and math 2) and one AP test (computer science). Both had so many dual credit courses in the same areas the tests cover it seemed pointless to do more.

Practice questions for the AP test can be found here (https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/takingtheexam/preparing-for-exams).

Info about the SAT2 test is here (https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests).

Tests prep books for either can be found at Amazon, BN, and the like.Sometimes try your local library first for a copy.

02-12-2016, 11:23 PM
I was going to come back and answer that comment but I am at a Doctor Who con, so you beat me to it!

One of the important thing to remember about the SAT 2s is that you want your kid to take them right after they finish studying a subject. If you don't know if you will use them later, it wont hurt to take the test and file them away. It is easier to take them and say you don't need them, than it is to suddenly find out a college is asking for them and then having to scramble to get them taken.

My son who is in traditional high school was required to submit SAT 2 tests to to several colleges. The most common request is the Math 2. (There are two levels of math and nobody seems to want math 1.) Schools that are STEM oriented will often ask for a science as well. Sometimes science or engineering schools within larger colleges will strongly suggest students submit SAT 2 science scores. Berkeley, did, for example.

When touring colleges I noticed that several asked for homeschoolers to submit SAT 2s as well. It is one way to verify a "mommy" grade.

Also, as I posted in the other thread, the UCs allow testing in place of a-g requirements. School also sometimes allow you to skip the entire college language requirement with a high SAT 2 language score.

If you are planning on a lot of duel enrollment you may not need a ton of tests, but my homeschooling kid will probably have limited community college classes so I want to make sure we have testing.

02-20-2016, 01:56 PM
I'm having my son take the SAT subject tests in science at the end of each year because 1) he tests well and 2) it proves he's covered at least the minimum material. Haven't done the AP tests yet, not sure we'l bother.

02-20-2016, 02:35 PM
ScienceGeek The reason that you might want to do the AP tests is for the ability for your son to get college credit for classes. Many schools, including most public universities, allow a student to skip classes based on AP credits, but not for SAT subject tests. Advantages include going into college with enough credits to be considered a sophomore or junior, which could possibly allow your son earlier registration and the ability to get into classes because he has access before other students. It can also save you thousands of dollars if he can skip classes.

It totally depends on the college, however. For my graduating son, if he attend a UC he will probably go in at a sophomore or even a jr and only need to stay 3 years. If he attends his top choice private schools it will allow him to skip over intro classes but not graduate early.

My younger son will take geography next year through the charter but I am going to use the AP book as a guide and try to get him an AP credit. They don't have an SAT 2 for geography. Geography is supposed to be one of the easiest AP tests.

02-23-2016, 04:04 PM
On a related note: How do access AP tests as a home schooler? My 8th grader did Science Olympiad this year and fell in love with enviromental science. We've been using an AP guide for some of the event prep and I'm half wondering if she could pass the test. If nothing else, it would help me with my woefully poor record keeping this year.

02-24-2016, 06:14 AM
The tests are given on a date in May. You'll need to contact a local school to see if you child can take the test there and if they offer that particular test. I'd do it soon for this spring. For my son, I had to call three schools before I found one that offered the Computer Science AP. The list of dates for each test this spring can be found here (http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/exam/calendar/index.html). If you poke around that site a bit you'll be able to find some practice tests and other info.

02-24-2016, 01:03 PM
Registration for AP is NOW! The tests are in May. I would contact schools ASAP since they have to collect fees and order testing materials. Since environmental science is not a typical core classes, your best bet is to contact a large high school. They are more likely to offer the more obscure tests.

Carol. Did you pay the high school directly or did you go through the college board for payment?

02-24-2016, 01:27 PM
Carol. Did you pay the high school directly or did to go through the college board for payment?

It's been a couple of years, but I think I paid the school directly.

Bham Gal
02-25-2016, 11:18 PM
You people are AWESOME. I would never be able to figure this out on my own. It really helps for planning with middle school. Big thank you!