As more and more schools step away from testing requirements during the COVID pandemic, many students are wondering which tests to take and which tests to drop, not to mention which of the most selective schools still require SAT or SAT Subject Tests.  Here, the Opus College Prep team has compiled the latest updates on SAT’s, SAT Subject Tests, and TOEFL testing.  

One caveat: For the latest and most up-to-date information about testing requirements, we encourage students and families to visit the websites of each university directly. Each college and university is different in its requirements and with the COVID-19 virus, colleges and universities continue to update their requirements as the fluid nature of the COVID virus evolves. 


The SAT has seen the most COVID-related changes. College Board has added new SAT testing dates in September, October and November and some universities are accepting November test scores where October would normally be the last test students could submit for many schools with a November 1 Early Decision or Early Action deadline. 

While many schools are going test optional, waiving the SAT/ACT, still other universities are holding fast and continue to require it.  For a full listing of the 1200+ colleges and universities that have moved to test optional or test flexible for the SAT, visit the Fairtest website here

For now, we are sharing a listing of selective schools and their SAT Subject Test requirements as of July 2020. 


SAT Subject Required

Text From School Website

Brown University


“With the Class of 2025, Brown University 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.

Columbia University


AP, IB, and SAT Subject Test are not required by Columbia, but we will accept your results if you choose to submit them in the testing section of your Common Application or Coalition Application. Optional SAT Subject Test scores can also be submitted on the Columbia application status page after you have applied. You will not be at a disadvantage should you choose not to take these optional tests or submit the scores to Columbia.

Cornell University

See college for more details.

(optional: 2021 applicants)

Cornell’s requirements depend on the college to which you are applying. (Temporarily optional for 2021 applicants) Cornell University define SAT Subject Test requirements by college/school. The current requirements (by school) are as follows:

CALS: 0 required

Architecture, Art, and Planning: 0 required

CAS: 0 required

Johnson College of Business: 0 required

Engineering: 0 required for 2020/2021 

Human Ecology: 0 required

Industrial and Labor Relations: 0 required



“SAT Subject Tests are an optional part of our review process. 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.”


2 recommended

“While we recommend that you submit two SAT Subject Tests, you may apply without them if the cost of the tests represents a financial hardship or if you prefer to have your application considered without them. … International students generally benefit from submitting Subject Tests and should take them if possible.”



“MIT has made the decision to no longer consider the SAT Subject Tests as part of the admissions process.”


2 recommended

Engineering candidates are advised to take a math (level 1 or 2) Subject Test and the chemistry or physics test.


2 recommended

“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.”

University of Pennsylvania

2 recommended

Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Any two Subject Tests

Nursing: Science, preferably Chemistry

STEM: Math Level 2 and a science test (preferably Physics for Engineering Applicants)

Business: Math Level 2


0 (for 2021 only)

“SAT Subject Tests will not be considered for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.”

TOEFL Testing

For international students, the TOEFL/IELTS test is still required by most schools. Luckily, ETS has has added many online TOEFL tests and has been able to offer students tests from home during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic

Launching October 26th!

Full Application Review Service!

Have your completed application reviewed by an admission expert before you submit to your dream schools.