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The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

"Chaos and Aftermath": Juniors Face Changing Admissions Policies

Jo Reymond
With some college admissions offices reinstating a standardized testing requirement this year, Hopkins
students faced a chaotic application landscape with testing requirements varying by school, and the potential for increased stress for everyone involved.
With some college admissions offices reinstating a standardized testing requirement this year, Hopkins
students faced a chaotic application landscape with testing requirements varying by school, and the potential for increased stress for everyone involved. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure
of in-person testing centers, many institutions suspended standardized testing requirements; recently, however, schools such as Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown have announced that they will reinstate the requirements. Other universities, like the University of Chicago and Columbia, have opted to maintain their test-optional policies, while Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania have indicated that they will remain test-optional for another year or two before reevaluating their decision. The College Board stated that “the SAT allows students to be seen by colleges and scholarships,” and that, “test scores can help confirm a student’s grades or can even show their strengths beyond what their high school grades
show.” Chapin noted that the schools that have reinstated testing “believe the tests can actually help them recognize the potential for academic success in a landscape where many high school students perform universally well in the classroom.” Nevertheless, Chapin noted, “It’s possible that we'll see slightly smaller numbers of applications to schools that will require tests next year.” Julia DiMiceli ’25, well into the testing process this year, commented that “it is probably detrimental for a junior's emotional state.” She believed that “the requirement can definitely add a lot of overwhelming stress for many juniors” and added: “finding the time to not just take the tests but doing extra work to prepare for it is stressful when trying to fit in all of the other homework and extracurricular commitments that we have, especially when it’s ‘required’ and there’s a certain target score.” Students and parents took different views of the changes in the application process. Suki Sze ’25, who would be a first generation college student, said “I have mainly been relying on my friends for information on what to do, and then slightly on my college counselors and my advisors...I’ve kind of
just been digesting and reading like everything I can, and I think all of it will hopefully give
me an advantage.” The changing application landscape has proved a challenge for the parents of juniors as well. Nathan Novemsky, parent of Benjy Novemsky ’25 and Noah Novemsky ’27, said that the shifting testing requirements obstacles are making “the whole process is a lot more rigorous [now]. I just showed up to take the test once and that was it. Now there are all sorts of strategies and information.” Some Hopkins students believe that this change will be for the better, while others have their doubts. Logan Matthews ’25 offered a different opinion: “I think standardized tests becoming required again definitely help[s] the average Hopkins student. Many of my peers have not submitted extremely impressive test scores because they
aren't of the highest caliber, and I think if everyone needs to submit then Hopkins students' college applications will be stronger on average because you won't need to consider the pros and cons of submitting a medium high test score.” Matthews added that internet access (and therefore access to the SAT) is more equitable than it once was, unlike, “things like high commitment sports teams and leadership camps, as they require lots of free time and a financial situation that supports these pursuits.” Alexander Skula ’25
said, “The decision to bring back SATs is positive because it was the only standardized metric to rate students. While it might be tough, I think it will be a net positive for high-achieving juniors.” For her part, Chapin
characterized the new round of changes in the application process as “yet another one of many.” Said Chapin: “After being a college counselor at Hopkins for the past 17 years, I have learned to roll with the punches as changes make their way through the system.” According to Chapin, “In my tenure we’ve had three variations of SAT scoring, witnessed the extinction of subject tests, prepared for an entirely new SAT, puzzled
over how to interpret a Supreme Court decision that calls into question how students can represent themselves, endured the pandemic and all of its chaos and aftermath including the test optional move and subsequent explosion of applications. So that all allows me to look at the big picture and believe that this latest change is yet another one of many.”
Editor in Chief 
Asher Joseph

Managing Editor 
Margaret Russell

Claire Billings
Jo Reymond
Rose Porosoff
Eric Roberts
Abby Rakotomavo
Elona Spiewak
Veena Scholand
Miriam Levin
Liliana Dumas
Saisha Ghai
Olivia Yu
Anya Mahajan
Rain Zeng
Winter Szarabajka
Aerin O'Brien

Karun Srihari
Samantha Bernstein
Hana Beauregard
Micah Betts
Elaina Paktuka
Edel Lee
Anjali van Bladel
Nate Gerber
Rebecca Li

Hailey Willey
Web Editors
Amelia Hudonogov-Foster
Anvi Pathak
Chloe Wang

Faculty Advisers
Stephen May
Elizabeth Gleason
Shanti Madison
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
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