Preparing for College

Is January Subject Test Too Late?

Question: I took an SAT Subject Test in January, and I think I did well, though I won't get my score for a couple more weeks. I already sent the scores from two October Subject Tests to all of my colleges (some that require two Subject Tests and some that don't). If my latest test score is good, should I send it, too, even though it's not required? What if one of the colleges says that December is the last test date they accept ... will they penalize me for sending January scores?

Send the new score if you like it. In fact, to expedite matters, if you have a good relationship with your guidance counselor, ask him or her to fax, phone, or email the score to your colleges as soon as you see it or include it in your mid-year school report, if that hasn't gone out yet. Since the score won't be on the Web until mid-Feb., you'll want colleges to have it as soon as possible. The score isn't mandatory, so it's fine to have it sent by your counselor to make sure it arrives quickly. A self-report by you, however, will not be considered valid.

You won't be penalized for sending a score post-deadline if it's not a required test. Some colleges will pay more attention to it than others will, but there's no down side to sending it in and letting the colleges decide how they will treat it. (Note also that some colleges allow January test scores even if their deadlines have passed by the time they get them.)