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Today, the application and admissions process for students applying to private schools is not dissimilar to the process for prospective college students.

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A Personalized Approach to ISEE/SSAT Prep

Today's admissions process for independent and boarding schools is not too dissimlar from the process for prospective college students. When weighing candidates for admissions, schools consider a combination of criteria: a student’s transcript, GPA, recommendations, and standardized test scores. At independent and boarding schools, the two tests most commonly used are the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) and the SSAT (Secondary School Admissions Test).

isee and ssat test prepAs with college admissions, all too often we see parents and students take on unnecessary anxiety and pressure when embarking on the independent school admissions process—especially when standardized tests are involved. At CATES, with our personalized approach to test prep and over 120 years of combined professional experience, we seek to demystify the process and to ensure that our students have the tools and confidence they need to achieve their academic goals.

Students taking the ISEE are only permitted to sign up for the test once every six months. Likewise, while the SSAT is offered several times throughout the year, most students will have to take the test in November or December in order to meet January application deadlines. In effect, students essentially have one shot at each test, each year, in time for the admission deadline.  Therefore, CATES believes it is imperative to begin working on test prep as soon as possible, with a clear and consistent focus on a student’s goals.

Our hallmark at CATES is our personalized approach to test prep. We match students with our expert private tutors based on a student’s specific, individual needs, to guarantee a successful and productive relationship. We know that our ISEE and SSAT students and their families lead busy lives with demanding schoolwork and important extracurricular commitments. That’s why, at CATES, our private tutors come to the student’s home and work around his or her schedule.

We have also found that preparing for the ISEE and SSAT with CATES provides students with a solid foundation for future standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. The strategies that our private tutors impart to their students are directly applicable to these other tests and will certainly come in handy once again in only a few years’ time.

Whatever your final goal—a private day school in New York City or a boarding school—CATES will create a customized program to lead you through every step of the admissions process, from your first free practice to the arrival of your acceptance letter.

ISEE and SSAT: What’s The Difference?

For the most part, independent middle and high schools use the ISEE to evaluate candidates, while boarding schools prefer the SSAT.

The ISEE is administered at three levels: the Lower Level (for 4th and 5th grades), the Middle Level (6th-8th grades), and the Upper Level (9th-12th grades).

The SSAT is administered at two levels: the Lower Level (5th-7th grades) and the Upper Level (8th-11th grades).

Not sure which test you need to prepare for? Ask CATES.

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