9 months ago
Admissions Advice

SAT test subject vs SAT?

Can I submit only SAT test subjects to a college if it's SAT/ACT optional? I would only do this if my SAT wasn't that great but my SAT subject test scores were.


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2 answers

9 months ago

Some elite colleges will accept them and consider them while others will not evaluate them even if submitted.

I suppose you can just submit the SAT Subject Tests and not the SAT however to some application readers that will look suspect.

Some will assume you first took the SAT before signing up and taking the SAT subject tests. Others might go one step further and assume if you pursue this path, that you are hiding your lower SAT score. So that might backfire. Consider only submitting the SAT or both the SAT/SAT IIs at the same time but weigh the consequences of only submitting the SAT IIs with no main test score.

Here are the most current policies regarding SAT Subject Tests most of the elite colleges.

Harvard -If you choose to submit Subject Tests, it is more useful to choose only one mathematics test rather than two. Similarly, if your first language is not English, a Subject Test in your first language may be less helpful. You should submit scores from tests taken in the past three years.

Dartmouth College - You are welcome to submit SAT Subject Test scores to illustrate your academic strengths. Not submitting scores will not prevent your candidacy from receiving a full review by the Admissions Committee. If you submit subject test scores, we will include them in our review of your application.

Princeton University - As with previous years, we do not require the submission of SAT Subject Tests. If you choose to take SAT Subject Tests we have no preference for the specific tests applicants might choose to take. If you apply for the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, we recommend that you take mathematics Level I or II, and either physics or chemistry.

Columbia University - Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), SAT Subject Test and other proficiency exam scores are not required, but we will accept your results if you choose to submit them.

Cornell University - SAT Subject Tests are not required or expected for admission to Cornell University

Brown University - Beginning with the Class of 2025, Brown will no longer recommend the submission of SAT Subject Tests. If submitted, Subject Tests will be considered as part of your application. Students who have not taken the Subject Tests will be at no disadvantage in Brown’s admission process.

UPenn - Applicants who do not submit SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Test scores will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process. Students who are able to take the SAT, ACT, and/or SAT Subject Tests and wish to report them may continue with that plan.

Yale University -SAT Subject Tests will not be considered during the 2020-21 admissions cycle. See “Additional Exams” below for more information on these and other subject-specific exams.

Stanford - SAT Subject Tests are optional. Because SAT Subject Test scores can highlight your areas of strength, we welcome the self-reporting of these results in your application. If you have taken a subject test more than once, you may report your highest score.

Rice -SAT Subject Tests: Students who have completed the SAT Subject Tests may submit these tests for consideration. Typically, these tests show mastery within specific subject areas and can show strength, particularly in the STEM fields. Access to SAT Subject Tests were severely hindered through the cancellation of Spring SAT administrations, so students not submitting subject tests will not be disadvantaged.

JHU -Applicants have the option of submitting SAT Subject Tests in one or more areas of interest as a way to demonstrate an academic strength, but they are not required.

Duke - We do not require SAT Subject Tests.

9 months ago

I think you can, but a lot of colleges don't consider SAT Subject scores even if you send them (even MIT says that they don't consider SAT Subject scores in the admission process for the 2020/2021 admissions cycle).

My advice is focus more on other parts of your application, like your essays and the teacher recommendations (think carefully who you are going to ask). They matter more this year. Having great SAT scores is gonna be a boost, but it is not the only important part of your application.


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