SAT II Math 1 and 2 high scores - which to submit?

I took both Math 1 and Math 2 and got the same high score on both. Which score should I submit with my college applications? Do I have a higher chance of being admitted if I submit my Math 2 score?

The SAT II Math 2 test covers all the material on the SAT II Math 1 test, PLUS trigonometry and elementary functions. Because of this, a high score on the Math 2 test is going to look better on your application than an equally high score on the Math 1 test - you'll know more about more topics, which in turn means you're probably better prepared for college-level math courses (or so the thinking will go). If you're trying to decide which score to send, definitely choose the Math 2 score result.

In general, I'd recommend the Math 2 subject test over the Math 1 because of the same reasoning. The only reason to take the SAT II Math 1 test instead of the Math 2 test is if you're really weak on the additional material covered or if you have to take the SAT subject test before you've taken precalculus (since a lot of the material on Math 2 is covered in precalc courses). According to, the additional material for the Math 2 subject test lies in four areas. I've listed the material covered by Math 2 (and NOT by Math 1) below by area:

  1. Numbers and Operations. Complex number properties (graphical and other), series, and vectors.
  2. Algebra and Functions. Exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric equations and functions.
  3. Geometry and Measurement. Coordinate geometry and 3-D geometry questions that use concepts from plane geometry; ellipses, hyperbolas, polar coordinates, coordinates in 3-D; more emphasis on properties and graphs of trigonometric functions, inverse trigonometric functions, trigonometric equations and identities, laws of sines and cosines.
  4. Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability. Standard deviations; exponential and quadratic regression.

The best way to check which test is best for you is to take realistic practice tests and compare your scores. If you score >80 points higher on Math 1 and have already taken precalculus, then it's possible that Math I might be a better test for you. I wouldn't rule out taking Math 2, instead, however, unless you've really zeroed in on your weaknesses and reached a plateau in your studying.

Source: I actually had to go through this calculation myself when I was deciding to apply to colleges; I ended up taking Math 2 instead of Math 1 because 1) fewer people took it so 2) if I did well, it would look better on my application. It worked out well for me!

The "80 points higher" figure was reached based on the relative percentile ranks for the Math 1 and 2 subject tests - an 85th percentile score (meaning you scored as well as or better than 85% of students who took the test) on Math 1 is an 800...and on Math 2 is a 720.

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