Does anyone know if prep schools will require SSAT scores again or will they remain optional?
I think a lot of schools during this next cycle (for fall 2022 entry) will require you to submit testing as part of the application unless you have some sort of extreme circumstances that require an exception. Unless there is some other global disaster (knock on wood) that happens in 2022, scores will almost certainly be required for applicants for the fall of 2023. Secondary schools get applications from students at all sorts of schools, and they need some sort of standardized measure to objectively compare applicants.
More and more institutions are moving away from SSATs and with good reason which is a debate for another place and time. Schools got away from it for one year and that experience may have taught them something…it forces a more closer look at a student’s character.
SSAT scores can be deceptive.
The short answer is most of us do not know. If you are planning to apply next year no one can tell you whether or not you will need to take the SSAT. The good news is that you don’t need to start prepping until summer so you have a while. My guess is that schools will not make this decision until after graduation this year.
Also, just so that you are aware, many schools require something in place of the SSAT - a graded essay and/or a graded math sample. It is not like kids are getting away with doing less work. I think I’d almost rather take the SSAT.
Assume it will be required. In my assessment of reported results here, kids who took the SSAT and submitted results did better in admissions. Even if they did not submit top scores they did better in admissions. Only one school we applied to did not accept scores and they substituted a weird homemade test that maxed out at prealgebra. Frankly, it was a good experience because it showed it wouldn’t fit.
If it isn’t required then you can make the choice.
I would take the SSAT and if it’s not required, you don’t have to submit it. Take the SSAT and assume you have to submit test scores because that very well could be the case.
I submitted my not so impressive 79th percentile and still ended up with almost all acceptances and waitlists. I agrée with @SweetBoy1 , people who submitted scores generally did better.
I think this will likely vary by school. I know some of the schools that are not at the tippy top are moving away from standardized testing, regardless of covid. Just a quick glance at the schools on kiddo2’s list, and all but one appear to be requiring the SSAT for the next application cycle.
It depends on the school and I would bet a lot haven’t decided yet. I only know that Loomis went test optional through next year’s admission cycle.
For those wondering about “SSAT optional” - it’s best to mentally commit to taking it this fall. If it is already on your radar then you are well ahead of the game. Just study 10-15 minutes a day, perhaps a tad more in the summer if you feel the need, and you’ll be well prepared in October. Test Innovators is an excellent SSAT study platform.
What are the schools on kiddo2’s list?
My DD did not take the SSATs this past year and ended up with 10 admissions, a number of merit scholarships, and 2 waitlists and no rejections. That said, she applied to none of the “tippy top” schools. Many of the schools indicated they were using covid as an opportunity to explore test optional, which sounded like something they had been thinking about it beforehand anyway. Several said that this would be an experiment for several years, some said “going forward” (as if it were permanent) and some made it clear that this was a covid-only thing.
I think it’s safe to say that there will be a mix of requirements next year, and none of us really know how it will shake out.
If you want complete freedom over which schools to apply to, I would plan to take the SSATs. However, if your child isn’t a great test-taker, or the SSAT represents a lot of stress coming out of an already stressful year or two, then I would say: you can absolutely find great schools that will not require the test. And those schools that technically do require the SSAT, they will likely have some flexibility if you email them and explain why your kid isn’t taking the test. (Which probably should not be “oh we just didn’t want to.”)
As for the extra work like samples and such – several schools already require those things, so you’ll likely be pulling a math sample and a writing sample anyway for at least one or two schools, so it wasn’t really a burden to send those off to a few more schools. There were 2 schools where my daughter had to do a short (10 minutes?) proctored writing sample right before or after her interview since she wasn’t submitting SSATs. That was a tiny bit stressful, but it was fine.
I’ll add that a year ago, another daughter of mine did take the SSAT, did not so great (78-80) and was still admitted to a bunch of the “tippy tops,” like Andover, Deerfield, etc. which tells me that SSATs really are not the be-all-end-all even for them. It will be interesting to see if they feel more or less convinced of that fact after seeing this years’ crop of admitted students, many of whom did not take the SSAT.
SSAT’s are a preliminary filter for schools. Nobody gets accepted based on SSAT but, you could be filtered out pretty fast as well.
Schools,generally, want kids who will contribute to student life and not just lock themselves up studying 24/7. There are exceptions, of course. You have to present to the school that you bring something special to the table.
Just finishing up with the Taft webinar and they are requiring the SSAT. I think more schools will require them than not.
Recently attended an Exeter webinar, it was mentioned that schools would most likely recommend taking the test if you can take it safely and most may be test optional but there would definitely be schools that will be requiring.
For Exeter though it’s test optional for Fall of 2022 admissions.
To be safe, watch out on their respective websites and email them directly, each school may vary.
I recently went to a webinar at Concord Academy and they said that they would remain test-optional for 2022-2023