Tag: ISEE

Test-Optional Private School Admissions

One truism that we often see in education is a policy trickle-down effect. Often, something gets enacted at the higher education level, and a few years later, we start to see that policy gain momentum at the secondary school level. The latest version of this pattern is Test-Optional Admissions. The Washington, DC area is disproportionately […]

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After the Tests: Lessons from the SSAT, ISEE, & HSPT

Congratulations on making it through the middle school testing season! You can finally file, recycle, or burn all of your study materials. Hopefully, the experience turned out to be more pleasant or productive than you originally expected. At the least, you can say that it’s behind you.  As you return to your regularly scheduled school […]

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6 Common Questions About High School Admissions Testing

Recently, one of our most experienced SSAT tutors, Kate Kula, sat down with Katy Dunn, Director of Educational Planning, to discuss the most common questions they hear about private high school testing. Here’s the highlights of their conversation, with Kate interviewing Katy: 1. Should I submit the highest overall SSAT percentile score or the highest […]

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What Can We Learn From Our SSAT or ISEE?

The SSAT & ISEE Differ From Schoolwork When working with families on the SSAT and the ISEE, I make a clear distinction between academic success generally and success on standardized tests. There are several reasons for this. Nobody, especially not 11-to-14-year-olds, should feel that their value is measured by bubbling in the correct circles on […]

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What Role Do Scores Play in High School Admissions?

As fall takes a firm position in our lives and the winter holidays loom on the horizon, our students are visiting schools (in person or remotely) and preparing for the next round of standardized tests. Clearly, we want our students to maximize their scores and to give themselves as many options as possible. We want […]

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Why Do Test Scores Go Up and Down? (Consistency is Hard)

I often deemphasize the score from individual practice tests, and I worry that this makes parents suspicious. “Like jazz, it’s about all the mistakes they didn’t make!”  Here are some actual reasons your child’s score could vary from test-to-test — all of which address the challenges to being consistent: First, students will leave practice one […]

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The Right Test, On the Right Day, In the Right Way

Standardized testing is a long, drawn-out experience, one that can be stressful to navigate. It’s helpful to determine the right test to take and, from there, to focus the investment of time and energy into that test. Although families are balancing ever-changing schedules, current school needs, and the expectations of potential schools, it is also […]

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How to Approach the SSAT and ISEE Essays

The essay is the first section that students tackle on the SSAT and their final task on the ISEE. On the ISEE, each student is given 30 minutes to answer a single prompt — typically, a question that asks for their position on a somewhat-relatable issue for students (say, “Do you think the driving age […]

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How Many Test Prep Sessions Should We Have?

Originally published October 2, 2019 When meeting with parents, this is the most frequent question I get asked, so obviously I’m very experienced answering this simple, logical question. The answer is “I don’t know.” I completely understand that this is a frustrating answer. The entire application process is complex and tiring, and offering this simple […]

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SSAT vs. ISEE

We encourage students to find the test – whether the SSAT or the ISEE – that works for them and to prepare for that test. However, sometimes students will perform about the same on both tests or will simply want to give both the SSAT and the ISEE a try. How should students best go […]

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