The safest source

Vincent in our Princeton, New Jersey office returned from a NACAC affiliate conference recently with a meticulously researched guideline handed out at one of the sessions which detailed those colleges that still require SAT Subject Tests (there are fewer of them than there were last year).

But the handout also served as a good reminder of just how important it is for students to go directly to the source—the college’s own admissions website—to find out about testing requirements. In fact, the disclaimer on the handout recommended exactly the same thing.

Many schools had Subject Test requirements that were so complex it was like trying to complete a logic game. Here’s an example from UC Irvine, which has varying requirements depending on your intended major:

Henry Samueli School of Engineering: Math Level 2 and a science test (Biology E/M, Chemistry, or Physics) closely related to the applicant’s intended major.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences: Biology M, Chemistry, and/or Math Level 2
School of Physical Sciences: Chemistry and Math Level 2 for chemistry, earth system science, mathematics, and physics majors.
Program in Public Health: Biology E, Biology M, and/or Chemistry for public health science majors; Biology E, Biology M, and/or World History for public health policy majors

Bottom line: the only way to make sure that you don’t miss application requirements is to visit the websites of each of your colleges. Don’t rely on guidebooks, hearsay, or any other source. It’s too important not to take the time to get the information from the people who will actually be reading your application at each college.