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SAT Subject Tests in August

The Registration deadline is looming - All the reasons to consider the summer exam option.

Last Updated: Jul 26, 2017 10:00:00 AM

With the College Board’s new summer SAT test date (August 26th) comes an intriguing gambit for high school students who plan to apply to more competitive colleges (and even to those that may not be considered so competitive): taking up to three of the College Board’s 1-hour Subject Tests offered on that date.

If you’re going to be a senior who is applying early, taking one or more Subject Tests in August to improve previous scores or to supplement your application is a superb idea. You have over a month now to prep. Not applying to schools that actually require submission of Subject Test scores? Let us tell you that as a top student, you can – and should – submit Subject Test results even when such scores are not required with your application.

Some important facts to remember for the August test date:

  1. The registration deadline is July 28. (late registration is Aug. 8, for mailed forms or Aug. 15 online or by phone)
  2. The only Subject Tests offered in August are:
    • Literature
    • U.S. History
    • World History
    • Mathematics I* and II
    • Biology E/M
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • French
    • Spanish
      *Avoid the Math I Subject Test that mirrors SAT and ACT math. Always go the Math II route if you’ve taken PreCalc and your Subject Test practice scores are high enough.
  3. Scores should be available to send to schools by September 15, well in time for early deadlines.

Subject Tests & the Ivies

Here are the Ivy League policies regarding the SAT Subject Tests (and remember: “recommended” means submit!):

  • Brown: 2 required with SAT; none required with ACT with Writing
  • Columbia: none required
  • Cornell: each undergrad school has specific requirements
  • Dartmouth: 2 required
  • Harvard: 2 required
  • Penn: 2 recommended
  • Princeton: 2 recommended
  • Yale: 2 required

Demonstrating Academic Prowess

The truth is, most competitive applicants provide four or more high subject test scores, which means taking the Subject Tests on at least two different test dates when they’re offered. If you’ve taken advanced courses (Honors, AP, IB, AICA), but avoid the Subject Tests, your application will suffer in the eyes of admissions.

Remember that these standardized subject-area tests are a way for colleges to compare you to students from across the country who may be studying at schools wildly different from your own. Everyone takes the same Subject Test, so the playing field is level, no matter the high school.

Sat Subject Tests Available In August

Here is a list of the average scores for the Subject Tests offered in August:


Subject Test

Average Score



US History


World History


Math I


Math II


Biology E


Biology M










Practice before August!

Never take a test like this cold. Prepare! There are materials available, and there’s professional instruction to help you with content and strategies. It’s been several weeks since you sat in class, so some quality review time can go a long way. Call us to help you prepare.

Topics: Essays College Admission College Planning Educational-Consulting Subject Test


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