SAT Subject Tests

  • SAT Subject Tests
    So, Are the SAT Subject Tests Dead?
    The answer, in a nutshell, is – NO! It is true that the UC system has now made the Subject Tests optional. However, there are still many colleges (i.e. Ivy League and other highly selective universities - see the list at the bottom of this page). Many of the schools who don't require them, they do invite a student to submit Subject Test scores if they feel the score(s) will help their application. In fact, this is the approach the UC’s are now taking with the Subject tests. The UC policy allows individual campuses to “recommend” that students submit Subject tests. Furthermore, several UC majors (like Engineering) do still require one or more Subject tests like the Math Level 2 and/or a science-related Subject Test. For more details on the UC's SAT Subject test, recommendations go to their website:

    selectSo, there really is no downside for students to continue to take the Subject tests. If a student scores well (i.e. in the 600+ range), they have the option of sending the scores and having it potentially help their application. If they don’t score well, they simply don’t send it!



    • Literature

    History and Social Studies

    • U.S. History (formerly American History and Social Studies)
    • World History


    • Math Level 1 (formerly Math IC)
    • Math Level 2 (formerly Math IIC)

    Note: The UC system, along with Stanford, MIT, CalTech, Harvey Mudd and most highly selective schools no longer accept the Math Level 1


    • Biology E/M
    • Chemistry
    • Physics


    • Chinese with Listening
    • French
    • French with Listening
    • German
    • German with Listening
    • Spanish
    • Spanish with Listening
    • Modern Hebrew
    • Italian
    • Latin
    • Japanese with Listening
    • Korean with Listening

    More on the SAT Subject Tests
    When Should Students take the SAT Subject Tests?
    The best time to take these tests is at the point in the student’s High School career where they are the most knowledgeable in that subject.  For example, for students choosing to take the American History or Chemistry elective tests - the end of the Junior year would be best since most students take these classes in the 11th grade. For tests such as Biology or World History, it would be best for most students to take them at the end of their sophomore year - when they are taking those classes. Please refer to the following link on the College Board website for an overview of the Subject Tests:
    Should students do test preparation for the Subject Tests?
    In truth, the best preparation for the Subject Tests is the studying students are already doing as they take these subjects during the regular school year. However, it is still wise for students to familiarize themselves with the test materials, and most Test Preparation services do have preparation classes for many of these tests. Plus the College Board itself has test preparatory materials available at the following link on their website:
    A sampling of Colleges that still require the SAT Subject Tests:
    Amherst College
    Barnard College
    Boston College
    Boston University
    Brandeis University
    Brown University
    Bryn Mawr College
    California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Columbia University
    Cooper Union (some programs)
    Cornell University
    Dartmouth College
    Duke University
    George Washington University (required for some dual degree programs only)
    Harvard University
    Harvey Mudd College
    Haverford College
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Notre Dame (homeschooled applicants must take 3 SAT II or AP exams)
    New York University (NYU) (but ACT or AP exams can substitute for SAT II)
    Olin College of Engineering
    Pomona College
    Princeton University
    Rice University
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) (some programs)
    Stevens Institute of Technology (some programs)
    Swarthmore College
    Tufts University
    University of Pennsylvania
    Vassar College
    Washington and Lee University
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Last Modified on January 2, 2019