News from the Hilltop

St. George's Announces Test-Optional Admission Policy


St. George's announced today that we will no longer require applicants to submit standardized test scores to be considered for admission. We make this change after conducting a two-year review of student performance. 

Like other independent schools in the country, St. George’s has long required applicants to include a Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) score to be considered for admission. In choosing to adopt a test-optional policy, we follow a growing number of colleges and universities no longer requiring standardized tests for admission.

We recently concluded a second record-setting year for applications. Our 101 graduates this year include students headed to Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Williams, and many other top colleges and universities.

“We have concluded that a single test score does not correlate to success in our community,” said Head of School Alixe Callen. “This important policy change will allow St. George’s to attract even more highly-qualified, diverse, and talented students to the Hilltop. This decision will strengthen an already strong school.”

St. George’s shift to a test-optional policy, which was unanimously approved by our Board of Trustees, follows a two-year pilot program that reviewed student performance relative to their SSAT score. The review was conducted in conjunction with our Merck Center for Teaching.

The policy change was also informed by research showing that SSAT performance can be significantly impacted by student socioeconomic status, parents’ level of education, quality of available schooling and access to educational resources. With the COVID-19 pandemic also raising questions about how to conduct and validate standardized tests, we decided to make the change immediately.

“Test-optional admissions at St. George’s will allow us to build on an already outstanding applicant pool and broaden access to high-achieving students worldwide” said Ryan Mulhern, Director of Admission. “I’m excited to see the doors this will open for bright, motivated young people who previously did not see St. George’s as an option.”

In adopting a test-optional admission policy, St. George’s will continue to assess applicants’ academic performance, intellectual curiosity, and growth potential. The admission committee will conduct a holistic, student-based evaluation that also focuses on applicant interviews, essays, teacher recommendations and extracurricular talents.

The policy change will take effect beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.

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