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Duke University
Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What SAT IIs Should You Take if You Plan to Study Business?

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When you’re in high school, you normally take the PSAT, the SAT, and perhaps the ACT as well. That’s enough testing to get you into college right? Alas, not always. If you’re an prospective business student, you may be expected to take additional SAT II tests, as is true for many other majors. Which ones should you take if you plan to study business? Read on to find out.

A Quick Review: What are SAT II Tests?


SAT IIs (also known as SAT Subject Tests), are a supplementary component of your college applications. The College Board administers these hour-long, subject-specific tests in a variety of academic disciplines, from Physics to World History. Selective colleges sometimes require SAT II scores to get a better sense of applicants’ strengths. If a student is homeschooled, it’s even more likely that a college will require SAT IIs.  


For the most part, students get to choose which SAT IIs they wish to take. However, some colleges may require or recommend the number of SAT Subject Tests the student should take, or the subjects themselves. These sort of restrictions definitely exist if you are applying to some of the top colleges as a prospective Business major.


You MUST Fulfill the University’s Requirements


Before you look at any of our advice below, make sure that you verify the admissions requirements for the schools on your college list to see if there are any SAT II tests that you must take. For example, many universities require that prospective business students take the Math II test because they want to ensure that you’ve achieved proficiency in certain mathematical concepts that are necessary to the major.


Lately, many colleges have been moving away from requiring SAT Subject Test scores to simply recommending them. While this means that you may not technically need to take SAT Subject Tests to apply to that university, you should take their recommendation to heart. If you think you can study adequately and do well on the tests they suggest, you should definitely do it; it could be a helpful addition to your application.


Here are some examples of schools that require or recommend their applicants to submit SAT Subject Tests:


  • Georgetown University: Georgetown University recommends that all candidates, regardless of whether they’ve taken the SAT or the ACT, submit three SAT Subject Test scores. They do not specify which tests to take.



  • Carnegie Mellon University: The Tepper School of Business recommends, but does not require, that students submit two SAT Subject Tests. They suggest that one of the tests be the Math Level II exam. Any second test is welcome, but they prefer that it be in the science field.



  • Bowdoin College: At Bowdoin College, SAT Subject Test scores are just considered for most applicants, but two are required for students who were homeschooled or who attended a high school without grades. Bowdoin is actually test-optional though, except for the special cases listed above. If you are one of the students who is required to take a subject test, you should take either Math Level I or II and a science test.


  • Brown University: This prestigious college requires that students who apply submit the SAT and two SAT Subject Tests, or ACT with Writing. Program in Liberal Medical Education Applicants should submit at least one science Subject Test.


The Math II Exam Is Key


If your college recommends SAT Subject Tests and you’re a prospective business major, the first exam you should sign up for is the Math II. Almost always, colleges will want to see that their business majors have mastered mathematical concepts up to pre-calculus. The Math II subject test fulfills that requirement. Math I is not recommended, especially if you’re applying to a more selective school, as the concepts tested on Math I are not as advanced.


Strong math skills are necessary for business majors, particularly in their finance and accounting coursework. Thus, it is beneficial to study for this test and master these skills now as you will use them again and again in business school. 

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What second exam should you take?


Most colleges who want SAT Subject Tests usually ask for two scores. The Math II test is a necessary first exam, but what about the second exam? Is there a specific test that colleges think is necessary for prospective business majors?


Well, there are two types of exams that you ought to consider taking if you’re thinking of pursuing a business major:


  • A Science Exam: The specific field of science you engage with doesn’t necessarily matter. You can take an SAT Subject Test in biology, chemistry, physics ,etc. However, if you take a science exam, we at CollegeVine recommend that you take a more math-intensive exam such as physics, as opposed to be a more memorization-intensive exam like biology.


  • A Humanities Exam: If you take a humanities exam for your second SAT II, make sure that the subject relies more on fact recall than on abstract contextualization. This means that you should try and take an exam like US History or World History, which involves heavy memorization, instead of the Literature exam, which involves more analytical thinking.


As a general rule, we at CollegeVine do not recommend you take a language exam for your SAT Subject Tests, especially if the language you choose is your native language. However, there is one exception to this rule, and that’s if you’re planning on pursuing a degree in International Business or a trade. Otherwise, steer clear of those.


For More Information


Want to learn more about SAT II tests? See these previous blog posts:


SAT Subject Tests: Answers To Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should You Take SAT Subject Tests?

5 Strategies for Tackling SAT Subject Tests

These Colleges Require SAT Subject Tests


Preparing for the SAT? Download our free guide with our top 8 tips for mastering the SAT.


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Sadhvi Mathur
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Sadhvi is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, where she double majored in Economics and Media Studies. Having applied to over 8 universities, each with different application platforms and requirements, she is eager to share her knowledge now that her application process is over. Other than writing, Sadhvi's interests include dancing, playing the piano, and trying not to burn her apartment down when she cooks!