Tag: middle school

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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High School Admissions Research: 6 Tips for Families

In the fall of eighth grade, students are taking on some of their most challenging courses to date, enjoying the last year of middle school, and preparing to enter their high school career. In the midst of all this, it is important for parents to make time to help students familiarize themselves with potential landing […]

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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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Responsibility in High School Admissions

Many families with eighth grade students are well into the process of looking at potential secondary schools for their children. Although parents naturally want to do everything possible to ensure successful entry into the right school, it is important to recognize the opportunities presented during this process to shift agency and responsibility to children. Engaging […]

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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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Why You Should Unplug This Thanksgiving

Please don’t post pics of your turkey dinner. Don’t Instagram your far-flung family with photos of your goings-on while ignoring your present company. Do not tweet, hashtag or snap. For a few days, or at least on Thanksgiving Day, unplug. An App cannot enhance or replace the connection of face-to-face human interaction. Giving your full […]

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What Is On the SSAT & the ISEE Anyway?

Thinking about taking the SSAT or the ISEE and trying to figure out which is best for you? The first step is to make sure you know the requirements of the schools that interest you. In the Washington, DC area, most schools (other than some of the Catholic schools that require the HSPT) will accept […]

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