A Message From Heather Hoerle: Announcing the SSAT At Home

April 15, 2020 Heather Hoerle

Dear Colleagues, 

We all know the COVID-19 pandemic has created turmoil in nearly every aspect of our lives. From interrupted routines and supply chains to disrupted school days and enrollment processes, our members and families are struggling to overcome the obstacles facing independent school admission during a worldwide pandemic. 

As you know, The Enrollment Management Association has been forced to cancel paper-based testing and a range of other related activities because of the pandemic. Like you, we’ve also been challenged to find innovative ways to serve families and member schools in this chaotic environment. 

For some time, EMA has been working on the underlying technology to deliver at-home testing. Since fall 2017, our Character Skills Snapshot has been available as a computer-based, at-home assessment. This year, EMA delivered our first administrations of a computer-based SSAT at Prometric test centers in North America. The success of these options gives us confidence that we can create a testing environment at home that is not only convenient for students, but also maintains the quality and dependability that you expect from the SSAT. 

Now, we are excited to share another innovation that we perceive will have a lasting, positive impact on assessing prospective students: beginning in fall 2020, EMA will offer large-scale, at-home administration of the SSAT. We believe this new mode of testing will alleviate the pressures on families still looking to fulfill application requirements and yet concerned about group testing at one of EMA’s member schools given continued worries about proximity of people before a COVID vaccine is available.

Also, we are pleased to announce that limited administrations of the SSAT at Home will be available mid-May. We know that at-home testing will have a dramatic, positive impact on the ways we serve our 1,300 members and the 70,000+ families and students who take the SSAT annually — especially those who are challenged by the current limitations from COVID-19.

For students, the SSAT at Home will have the same content, length, and quality of our traditional SSAT. We hope that you will work with EMA to communicate to families that they can rest easier knowing their educational ambitions for their children won’t be undone, and that this new mode of testing will help both admission officers and EMA manage health and safety concerns of prospective students in the face of this worldwide battle against COVID-19. 

For our members, the SSAT at Home will provide score reports with the same quality, integrity, and validity as our paper-based tests. EMA’s approach will leverage the power of artificial intelligence, data forensics, and remote proctoring to ensure that you can rely on SSAT scores, regardless of the mode in which they are taken. 

In the future, watch for even more added benefits and greater insight into applicants’ abilities as EMA works to deliver additional information thanks to computer-based testing — opening a new world of possibilities to you. Stay tuned for coming messages on this topic and for more information on the limited administrations of the SSAT at Home launching in May.

As always, EMA is here to help build your enrollment success, one student at a time. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your membership representative or to any of us by emailing members@enrollment.org or replying to this email. You can also view our Frequently Asked Questions about the SSAT at Home.

Thank you for your continued trust in The Enrollment Management Association and for the opportunity to be your admission and enrollment partner.


About the Author

Heather Hoerle

Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer

Follow on Twitter More Content by Heather Hoerle
Previous Article
Vericant Poll Results: Impact of COVID-19 on Study Abroad
Vericant Poll Results: Impact of COVID-19 on Study Abroad

Sharing results from a poll of counselors and consultants working with #Chinesestudents applying to univers...

Next Article
What Is Our New Normal? COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Build Resilience
What Is Our New Normal? COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Build Resilience

It would go without saying that we are living through exceptional times, a kind of medieval experience in a...