Prep School Test Prep

As the Malcom X quote says, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Parents who plan to send their kids to a private or preparatory school need to start thinking about it early. Not only do these schools cost money, but entrance exams are often required for admission. There are two exams that most prep schools accept: ISEE and SSAT. What should you know?

About the ISEE

middle school student smiling behind desktop computerThe Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) has three testing levels by age group:

  • Lower: Grades 5 & 6
  • Middle: Grades 7 & 8
  • Upper: Grades 9 – 12

While each level tests the same five areas, the content varies by grade:

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Mathematics Achievement
  • Essay

Mastery of these multiple choice and open-ended questions can result in admission to a prep school, but this achievement requires test preparation.

About the SSAT

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) also has three levels, but the grades start younger than the ISEE:

  • Elementary: Grades 3 & 4
  • Middle: Grades 5 – 7
  • Upper: Grades 8 – 11

The SSAT also tests five academic areas, but varies slightly from the ISEE concentrations:

  • Quantitative (Math)
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Verbal
  • Experimental
  • Essay

The Experimental section includes new questions for use on future SSAT exams. While it can be ambiguous to try and prepare for these trial questions, it’s essential to study well for the other four sections.

Prep with Ivy Bound

A student’s ISEE or SSAT score is not the only factor in the admissions process. Grades, extracurricular involvement and conduct are also considered. However, an impressive score can set you apart from other applicants.

Our Ivy Bound tutors work with students to:

  • Identify weak areas and improve academic performance
  • Expand vocabulary – a major component of these exams
  • Practice stress and time management under simulated testing conditions

Unfortunately, ISEE and SSAT testing materials are not as vast as SAT and ACT materials. However, we form our own lessons around the licensed questions we are able to access.

For many students, this could be their first exposure to standardized testing. Luckily, we have the knowledge and experience to help build general testing skills, so students feel comfortable on test day.

Outside of the classroom, students are encouraged to read. Independent reading can help improve performance on the Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning and Essay sections of both tests.
The ISEE and SSAT are typically offered year-round but the sooner you can get prepping, the better. To get your student started on the fast track to prep school, contact us today!