New Testing Policies for Coming Admissions Cycle

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the day-to-day for all of us, and as we look forward to the coming academic year at Hotchkiss, we know a great deal will be different. Yet we also know that we can’t -- and won’t -- let the pandemic stand between Hotchkiss and finding the next group of students from across the U.S. and around the world who will be the best fit for our community.

We are therefore pleased to announce a number of changes for the 2020-21 application cycle (to welcome students for the 2021-22 academic year) that are intended to ensure fairness, access, and greater convenience for applicants and their families.  

9th and 10th grade applicants: Hotchkiss will be test optional for the coming admission cycle
We appreciate that many applicants will complete some form of standardized testing and will want to include these results with their applications, which we will continue to welcome. In parallel, however, we are aware that the pandemic has made it significantly more challenging for many students to register and sit for administered tests. Some students may also face technology barriers to testing at home. 

It is our belief that standardized testing is only one component of a student’s application. Assessing whether or not a young person will be a good fit with the Hotchkiss community relies on the broader context of each student’s academic and lived experience, and we do not want testing to be a barrier to entry for talented young people. Therefore, our application process will be test optional for the coming admission cycle.  
Students are welcome to submit SSAT scores, but they will not be required. Students who are unable to take the SSAT, or who choose not to submit their scores, will not be disadvantaged in the application process. 

11th, 12th grade and Post Graduate applicants: Greater flexibility in testing
While we continue to believe that some form of test results are an important aspect of evaluating applications for the upper class years, we want to ensure flexibility for students. Therefore, for the coming admission cycle, applicants for 11th, 12th and Post Graduate years may submit results from any of the following tests: PSAT, SAT, ACT, SSAT, or State and Country mandated testing administered within the preceding two-years.  

International students at all grade levels
For most international students (for whom English is not the language spoken at home), we will continue to require results from the TOEFL exam unless the exam is no longer available as a result of COVID-19.  

For applicants who have attended a school for three years or more where English is the primary mode of instruction, a TOEFL is not required. 

Please note that changes to the testing policy are currently applicable only for the 2020-21 admission cycle.  

Broadening teacher recommendation requirements 
We will continue to require applicants for all grades to submit recommendations from their English and Math teachers. However, in an effort to introduce more flexibility, these can now be completed by teachers in the current or previous year. 

Virtual interviews by Zoom  
Of course, we would all prefer to meet candidates and their families in person, and we are hopeful that pandemic conditions will improve to the point that this will once again be possible. For the present time, however, we invite families to schedule virtual interviews via Zoom with our office, beginning in September. 

As always, we are looking forward to getting to know prospective students. If you have any questions regarding our application requirements, please contact us.

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