Getting into Middle & High School

Getting into Middle & High School: ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT

ISEE

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is designed to assess students’ abilities in core subject areas to determine if a student is qualified for admission to private middle or high schools. The ISEE is offered at three levels: Lower (for prospective 5th and 6th graders), Middle (for prospective 7th and 8th graders), and Upper (for prospective 9th through 12th graders.)

Content

The ISEE is comprised of four sections of multiple-choice questions followed by an essay. The multiple-choice portion of the test consists of two Math sections, a Verbal section that tests vocabulary with synonyms and sentence completion questions, and a Reading Comprehension section.

Scoring

An ISEE score is calculated by assessing a student’s total number of correct answers. This raw score is placed on a bell curve that compares students’ scores across the nation, generating a percentile rank. A student also receives a stanine score between 1 and 9, with 9 being the highest and 5 being the most commonly achieved stanine.

Preparing for the ISEE

Preparing for the ISEE helps students gain familiarity with the format of the test and also emphasizes fundamental math, verbal, and reading skills that will help students during the test and beyond. To discuss an individualized test plan for your student, please contact us.

Registration Dates and Test Dates

The ISEE is administered by appointment. To register for the ISEE, click here.

SSAT

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) measures quantitative, verbal, reading comprehension, and writing skills, and it is used by competitive secondary schools to gauge a prospective student’s skills and predict his or her academic success. The SSAT is offered at three levels: Elementary (for prospective 4th and 5th graders), Middle (for prospective 6th through 8th graders) and Upper (for prospective 9th through 12th graders).

Content

The SSAT consists of four sections of multiple-choice questions followed by an essay. The multiple-choice portion of the test consists of two Math sections, a Verbal section that tests vocabulary with synonyms and analogies, and a Reading Comprehension section.

Scoring

A raw score for the SSAT is determined by the total number of a student’s correct answers less a quarter-point for each incorrect answer. A raw score for each of the three subsections is converted to a scaled score, and these are added for a total score between 900 and 1800 (Elementary level), 1320 and 2130 (Middle level), or 1500-2400 (upper level). Students are also assigned a percentile rank that compares their scores to those of other students of the same age and gender from the previous three years. Rather than the scaled scores, the percentiles are what schools focus on when considering students for admission. The essay is not graded, but it is sent to schools along with scores and may be used in the admissions process.

Preparing for the SSAT

Preparing for the SSAT helps students gain familiarity with the format of the test and also emphasizes fundamental math, verbal, and reading skills that will help students during the test and beyond. To discuss an individualized test plan for your student, please contact us.

Registration Dates and Test Dates

To register for the SSAT, click here.

SHSAT

The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is administered by the New York City Department of Education. Consisting of two sections – one verbal and one math – the SHSAT is the only criterion for admission to the New York City Specialized High Schools: Stuyvesant; Bronx Science; Brooklyn Tech; High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College; High School of American Studies at Lehman College; and Queens High School for the Sciences at York College.

Content

The SHSAT is comprised of two sections: Verbal and Mathematics. The Verbal section consists of 45 multiple-choice questions that cover reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and paragraph improvement skills. The Math section is comprised of 50 multiple-choice questions that test concepts such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and logic.

Scoring

Students are awarded a point for each correct answer and are not penalized for incorrect answers. A raw score is then converted to a scaled score between 200 and 800.

Preparing for the SHSAT

Preparing for the SHSAT helps students gain familiarity with the format of the test and also emphasizes fundamental math, verbal, and reading skills that will help students during the test and beyond. To discuss an individualized test plan for your student, please contact us.

Registration Dates and Test Dates

The SHSAT is offered once per year. The 2016 dates have not yet been announced, but they are typically in October.

For more information about the SHSAT, click here.