We just learned Tufts University is no longer requiring SAT Subject Tests! Very few schools do now. Harvard, MIT, Harvey Mudd and Caltech are among the very few that want all applicants to submit scores from two Subject Tests. Cornell University still requires two test scores for admission to several of its colleges, including Engineering and Arts & Sciences.
It would be easy to conclude that high school students, at least most of them, do not have to take the SAT Subject tests anymore. Not so fast. Many colleges and universities still recommend them, including Carnegie Mellon, and having a strong score can strengthen your competitiveness. In particular, strong Math Level 2 and science subject scores can help showcase your academic strengths and give your application a boost, especially when applying to engineering programs.
Other special programs also still require SAT Subject tests for admission. Northwestern University’s Integrated Science Program asks applicants to submit three scores. Boston University requires two Subject Tests for consideration to the Accelerated Liberal Arts/Medical Education Combined Degree Program.
If you might consider these competitive schools, engineering or accelerated programs, it is important to take SAT Subject Tests to keep your options open. A strong score could also help boost a weaker class grade in the same subject. The best time to take a Subject Test is just after finishing the course in high school, meaning at the end of sophomore or junior year. Needing to think this far in advance catches many students by surprise, but this is the kind of insight that can make all the difference in getting into the program you want.