Independent School Testing Requirements 2021-2022

2021-2022 Independent School Requirements

Applying to an Independent School in Fall 2021?

COVID-19 has ushered in many changes to testing requirements for admission to independent high schools in the Washington, DC area.  Many schools have opted to go “test optional,” meaning that students may choose to submit standardized test scores but are not required to do so.  Other schools, citing equity concerns, have chosen to go “test blind,” stating that they will not look at standardized test scores even if they are submitted by an applicant. Still others are offering their own in-house tests in lieu of requiring SSAT or ISEE scores.

Should my Child Prepare for the ISEE/SSAT this Year?

To determine if your child should prepare for the SSAT or ISEE, first, check the school list below to see if the schools to which your child is applying require standardized test scores. If they do, then obviously your child should take the test. If the school is test optional, consider whether a standardized test score would be an asset to your child’s application. If you are unsure how your child will perform on a test, consider doing a free online proctored practice test through Marks Education. A professional tutor can talk you through the results and help you determine the type of improvement your child could make with some preparation.

What about Parochial Schools?

While some parochial schools will continue to require the SSAT this fall, most Catholic schools that are part of the Archdiocese of Washington will be requiring the HSPT as usual this year.  The HSPT will be offered on Dec. 5 and Dec 12 at numerous high schools in the area. You will find a list of schools that require the HSPT for the 2021-2022 admission cycle below.


School SSAT/ISEE Required Test Optional In-House Test Test Blind
Bullis School x
Edmund Burke School x Required
Episcopal High School x
Flint Hill x
Georgetown Day School x
Georgetown Preparatory School ✓(SSAT) Prefer students to take in person (will be offering at Prep 3 times this fall)
Holton Arms School x
Landon School x (if unable to take in-house test) x
Maret School x
National Cathedral School x
Sidwell Friends School x
St. Albans School x
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School ✓ (or essay or project)

St. Stephen’s and

St. Agnes School

The Field School x
The Heights x
The Madeira School x
The Potomac School x x (if unable to take SSAT)


The following schools will require the HSPT for 2021-2022 admissions: 

  • Academy of the Holy Cross
  • Archbishop Carroll High School
  • Bishop McNamara High School
  • DeMatha Catholic High School
  • Elizabeth Seton High School
  • Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School
  • Gonzaga College High School
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel High School
  • John’s College High School
  • Mary’s Ryken High School
  • Vincent Pallotti High School

The following schools will not require HSPT for 2021-2022 admissions:  

  • St. Anselm’s Abbey School
  • The Avalon School
  • The Brookwood School
  • Connelly School of the Holy Child
  • Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School
  • Georgetown Preparatory School (Requires SSAT)
  • The Heights School
  • Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (Requires in-house test)

If you would like to speak with a tutor To learn more, please contact us!

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