Why is Oldfields going test-blind?
A: 2020 is a truly unprecedented year. With so many test administrations canceled, we know that many students have been unable to sit for an SSAT or ISEE, and those who were able to do so may have planned to take the test again before submitting their scores.
As test centers reopen with limited capacity in attempts to keep test-takers safe, we have heard of students going to unreasonable lengths to secure a seat. Just as we work tirelessly to ensure our own students’ safety, we care about our prospective students’ safety as well. By eliminating standardized testing from admission and scholarship consideration, we can be sure all of our prospective students have the same opportunity for acceptance.
What is the difference between test-optional, test-blind, and test-flexible?
A: Test-optional means that the applicant has the option of submitting standardized test scores for consideration with their application for admission. Test-blind means that scores will not be reviewed for any candidate for admission. The goal of a test-blind policy is to remove the pressure on students to provide a score if some others are doing so. Test-flexible refers to adjustments to testing requirements, particularly in locations where testing opportunities were limited.
If Oldfields is not considering test scores, what are you reviewing to make admission decisions?
A: Research published in 2016 indicates that standardized tests are not the most reliable indicator of a student’s success trajectory in independent schools. We find this to be true at Oldfields—middle school and/or early high-school performance is the single greatest indicator of a student’s initial performance in Oldfields. We will focus our holistic review on applicants’ school record (the strength of curriculum and performance), the recommendations of their school counselors and teachers, and on the materials that students prepare (application and essay). In addition, we invite students to connect with us—whether through virtual meetings or interviews—so that we have a full and complete sense of their talents, achievements, goals, and aspirations.
Do I need to submit something in addition to my application?
A: Nothing additional is required in place of standardized test scores to complete your application to Oldfields. Your admission counselor will be your advocate in the admissions process so connecting for a meeting or interview can be a great way to supplement the materials submitted as part of your application.
Will I need to submit test scores for scholarship consideration?
A: No. Scores will not be reviewed for either admission or scholarship consideration.
What about my AP or IB test scores?
A: While we will not be reviewing AP or IB scores in the admissions process, we will utilize these results as a tool in the course placement process.
Do homeschoolers need to submit standardized test scores?
A: Homeschoolers, like all applicants, will not need to submit standardized test scores.
Does this apply to international students?
A: International students, like all applicants, do not need to submit an SSAT or ISEE score. We do ask, however, that those who are not studying in an English language-based school submit English language proficiency test scores.
What if I really want Oldfields to see my scores?
A: We will not be reviewing scores for candidates for admission. You always have the opportunity to highlight any information in your meetings with your admission counselor or in an interview.
Are other schools going test-blind?
A: Most independent schools have not gone test-blind. While many independent schools have migrated to a test-optional policy, Oldfields School is among the first boarding schools to announce a test-blind policy. We are making this policy change recognizing how vital this is to ensuring equity at this moment in history.
Will Oldfields School continue to be test-blind post-COVID19?
A: Yes. While this decision has been made with the current climate surrounding health and safety in 2020-2021 in mind, Oldfields will continue to be test-blind indefinitely.