Applying To Private Schools?-Take The ISEE or SSAT

Now that the new year has begun, you might already be the thinking about new beginnings and perhaps giving your child the opportunity to attend a private school. Your child will have to either take the ISEE or the SSAT, which are standardized tests for admittance to private schools. First of all, find out which test the schools, you are applying to, accept. However, most schools accept both tests. If you don’t have a preference for either one, and your schools accept both, then have your child take a practice test for the ISEE and a practice test for the SSAT to see which one he/she feel most comfortable with, and perhaps score the highest in. Both tests are very similar.

They both…

-feature math, reading, and verbal sections

-have an un-scored writing sample, which is sent directly to schools

-are 2 hours long.

-have pretty much the same average time per question

They differ…

-in that the SSAT penalizes students ¼ raw point for each incorrect answers.

-whereas the ISEE has no penalty for incorrect answered questions  

              For the Math Section

They both…

-focus on arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.

They differ…

-in that the SSAT has more abstract and complex math questions

-the ISEE has more straightforward math questions

            For the Reading Section

They both…

-have excerpts from history, science, and literature texts

They differ

– in that the SSAT reading passages are typically 250-350 words long.

– while ISEE passages are typically longer, about 300-600 words long.

             For the Verbal Section 


They differ..

-in that the SSAT Verbal section includes analogies, which require you to determine the relationship between words.

-while the ISEE Verbal Reasoning section includes sentence completions, which require you to determine which word fits best within a given sentence.

             For The Essay Section 


They differ…

in that for the Upper Level SSAT, you have a choice between a formal prompt and a creative prompt.

-for lower levels of the SSAT, you have a choice between two creative prompts.

-for all levels of the ISEE, you are given a single formal prompt.

Good luck in the process, here’s to your success!

John Dolan

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