Apply Early Action to MIT with October SAT Subject Test Date?

My son scored a 2390 on his SAT. He would like to apply to MIT this fall however he will not be able to take his subject SATs until October. He was planning on applying early action to MIT, but he would not have his subject SAT scores at that time. What do you advise? Will his application not be considered until he reports his subject scores?

Yes, your son can apply Early Action to MIT with an October test date for subject tests. When applying Early Action to MIT, you must take all required tests (including subject tests) on or before the November test date; this means that your son's October subject test scores should arrive in time and his application should be considered for Early Action at MIT.

The only issue here is that your son might not be able to see how he does on the test before the scores get sent; on the MIT admissions website, they state the following:

Please allow plenty of time for your scores to arrive at MIT. Keep in mind that it takes at least 4 to 6 weeks for us to receive SAT scores. We recommend that you list MIT as a school to receive your scores when you take the test. If you are an Early Action applicant, and you take the November test, or if you take the January test, you must list MIT as a school to receive your scores or we will not receive them in time for our review.

Theoretically, your son could wait until he sees the October test scores and then decide whether or not to go through with Early Action; since Subject Test scores generally are viewable by students online on the Friday 3 weeks after the test date, the October scores would probably be viewable by around October 21st, which would give him time to review the scores before deciding whether or not to send them and complete the Early Action application (vs. waiting for regular admission). The admissions advantage he'll get by applying Early Action (vs. regular decision) to MIT is significant, but not so much so that he should knowingly risk applying Early Action with sub-700 Subject Test Scores.

Assuming your son is confident in his abilities to do well on the subject tests and to make sure the scores get there on time for consideration with the rest of his application, however, the safer bet would be to list MIT as a school to receive your son's scores when he takes the test to make sure the scores get there on time for consideration with the rest of his application...which would mean your son would be sending the scores sight unseen.

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