The SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level II can be beneficial to students applying to top tier colleges and universities. Taking it allows a student to evaluate his or her capabilities in higher level mathematics, such as precalculus, that are not heavily tested on the Mathematics Level I or SAT Reasoning Tests. The extra math may cause some head scratching, but it can be beneficial.

Boost Chances of Admission

If you are proficient in mathematics and you are applying to subject test schools, then consider taking this test. Keep in mind, however, that not all schools require subject test scores and some will completely disregard them. Pay close attention to individual university’s policies; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for instance, does not require SAT II scores, but encourages the Math II test specifically. For other schools that want two or three scores of your choice, it is advantageous to pick at least one math or science. If you are a solid math student, look up some practice questions. If you think you can be successful on the test, take it. Like the sections of the SAT Reasoning Test, each subject test is scored out of 800; the average for Math II is a 648.

Use the Score for Math Placement

Schools like Chapel Hill use the Math II in lieu of a traditional math placement exam. Unless you already have an AP Calculus exam score, it is to your advantage to take this subject test if your university considers it for your placement score. Some schools even use subject tests like AP exams and offer credit exemptions for high scores.

High Chance for Success for Advanced Math Students

Approximately half of the test is algebra. Students in precalculus or calculus classes generally have strong backgrounds in algebraic concepts and have teachers who are more than willing to go over the type of questions on the exam with them. The exam consists of fifty multiple choice questions, which students in higher level maths should be able to effectively work through.

The Mathematics Level II subject test is daunting for most students, but in reality it can be a blessing in disguise. Many students applying to “name” schools who require scores from SAT IIs already have strong mathematics backgrounds, and have a good chance of success on the test. Furthermore, many colleges take the score into account for math placement, and it is advantageous to take the test while material is still fresh and a high score will allow to choose which math, if any, you want to pursue as you begin your college career.