About the SSAT & ISEE

The SSAT (Secondary School Aptitude Test) and ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination) the two most common standardized admissions tests used by private schools. These tests measure your child’s aptitude for math and language via a series of multiple choice questions, while the verbal sections assess comprehension and vocabulary.

The SSAT & ISEE tests may not be taken for practice; they are only to be taken for the purpose of providing scores to participating schools as part of the admissions process. Applicants can only take these tests once per admission season or six month window.

SSAT and ISEE Format

The SSAT is administered at two levels. The Elementary Level encompasses students applying to 4th-5th grades, while the Middle Level includes students applying to 6th-8th grades and the Upper Level are for students entering 9th-12th grades. The test is timed and divided into five sections. Students are given 25 minutes for the writing sample, 30 minutes for the verbal section, 30 minutes for each of the two quantitative sections, and 40 minutes for the reading portion.

The ISEE is given at three levels; the Lower Level (students applying to 5th and 6th grades), Middle Level (students applying to 7th-8th grades) and the Upper Level (students applying to 9th-12th grades). The test includes 5 sections; Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematical Achievement and an Essay. The Essay is not scored like the other sections. Instead, copies of the writing sample are sent to the schools along with the test scores. The testing time for Lower Level students is 2 hours and 20 minutes, while the testing time for Middle and Upper Level students is 2 hours and 40 minutes.


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