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Testing Policy

Loomis Chaffee’s commitment to access and affordability goes back to its opening in 1914 as a school that offered educational opportunities for girls and boys regardless of political beliefs, national origin, or financial resources. We have always utilized a holistic admissions process that considers far more than test scores in our review. Given this history, Loomis Chaffee no longer requires standardized testing for admission with the exception of English language proficiency (see FAQs for further information). Answers to frequently asked questions about test optional admission are listed below; please feel free to discuss this policy with your interviewer if you have questions about your individual scores or if you are unsure whether to take testing for admission to Loomis Chaffee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does “test optional” mean that Loomis Chaffee does not consider testing as a part of admissions review?

No. “Test optional” means just that: the submission of test scores is optional. We will consider test scores as a part of a student’s admissions review if the student chooses to submit them to us. Students who elect not to submit scores will not be penalized in any way.

How do I decide whether to submit test scores?

If you have taken a SSAT, ISEE, PSAT, SAT or ACT, we encourage you to submit those scores to us as they will help inform your academic preparation for Loomis. Testing also helps us to identify placement in appropriate coursework for entering students as well as provides important ongoing research into the relationship between testing and academic success at Loomis Chaffee. We do not admit nor deny students based solely on testing and therefore your scores will be reviewed within a larger context. If you feel they are not an accurate representation of your ability, do not submit them. 

What are your average SSAT scores for admitted students?

We do not publish this data because we do not want students who are highly capable of success at Loomis to use them as a benchmark for their chances for admissions. Successful candidates are more than test scores and we want to ensure that all talented and motivated students are encouraged to apply.

Will it hurt me if I don’t submit testing?

No. Because no results are available, we simply make decisions based on the other materials: your grades, courses, application, interview, and recommendations. We do strongly recommend that if you are not submitting testing, you provide a third academic recommendation to share a more comprehensive picture of your academic achievement. (Available on the SAO, Gateway application, or our website.)

How many applicants typically submit testing?

Since our test optional policy was instituted in 2020, approximately one-third of our applicants, admitted, and enrolled students have submitted test scores. 

What if I want to take the SSAT but I can’t afford it?

We will provide a testing fee waiver for families who qualify. Please contact us at

I’m an international student. Do I still need to submit test scores?

International students do not need to submit test scores with the exception of demonstrating English language proficiency for students who have not studied in an immersive English educational environment for at least two years. The English language proficiency requirement can be met through either IELTS or TOEFL results. We do not accept Duolingo scores as evidence of English language proficiency.