SSAT & ISEE Prep

Innovative, creative, and successful tutoring utilizing strategies that achieve results

Score At The Top provides students with the most innovative, creative, and successful tutoring for the SSAT and ISEE. Our cutting-edge SSAT and ISEE strategies achieve results that speak for themselves. There is no one better than Score At The Top for preparing students for the SSAT, ISEE, and other standardized tests! Our SSAT and ISEE curricula were designed by Score At The Top founder, Judi Robinovitz, who worked for Educational Testing Service for 23 years and consulted to the College Board for whom she wrote their first test-prep software and strategy chapters of their first test-prep books (which the Board scaled back because Judi’s strategies were too insightful!). No other SSAT/ISEE-prep provider can boast of a pedigree like ours.

Do more than just practice... Learn SSAT and ISEE test-taking strategies from the experts:

  • Build your working vocabulary
  • Become an active reader & improve your reading comprehension
  • Review the most commonly tested math concepts
  • Learn math shortcuts to save time & improve accuracy
  • Learn how to write a top essay
  • Practice with real SSATs and ISEEs
  • Use our proprietary workbook filled with the best test-taking strategies

Private SSAT & ISEE Tutoring

Do you want the most efficient and effective SSAT or ISEE prep for your child? Then our private tutoring program is the right choice!

  • Flourish with 1-on-1 attention
  • Focus on your specific needs through our flexible curriculum
  • Practice with actual SSATs or ISEEs
  • Turn weaknesses into strengths
  • Build confidence
  • Maximize SSAT or ISEE scores
  • Even take an official SSAT (Flex Test) at Score At The Top!

Our SSAT and ISEE tutoring sessions are designed to make test-takers more comfortable with the test-taking experience, to increase their scores and self-confidence, and to teach skills that are as important in school and life as they are on the SSAT and ISEE. Our interactive sessions focus on SSAT or ISEE familiarity, content, and the test-taking strategies needed to score at the top of their potential. We move along at a comfortable but lively pace that offers constant opportunity for questions and answers. We begin with an overview of the SSAT or ISEE and proceed to introduce the most effective strategies for each of the test’s question types in reading, math, and writing skills. As each question type is examined, students use their newfound strategies to solve and then discuss actual SSAT or ISEE questions. Because these tests emphasize critical reading and writing, it’s especially important to heighten students’ awareness of the reading, vocabulary, and grammar skills needed for the SSAT and ISEE... as well as in life. Thus, we take a long-term view, motivating students to become word conscious and showing them how to work towards improved critical thinking as well as active reading and writing skills. A thorough review of the most commonly tested math concepts is integrated into the SSAT and ISEE curricula, with significant emphasis on effective shortcuts, time-saving approaches, and valuable checking strategies. Students do homework in preparation for each session; that homework typically consists of a full-length actual SSAT or ISEE or selected test sections, vocabulary-building, math drills, and/or outside reading. With confidence-building incorporated into every session, Score At The Top students truly become test smart!

Because we firmly believe in collaboration and close contact with parents, our tutors email them a summary report after every SSAT or ISEE tutoring session.

Finding the Best Tutor

Matching your learning style and personality to a great tutor is our top priority. Our tutors take the SAT and other standardized entrance exams every year and score in the top 5% – so they truly understand the test-taking process!

Finding a Partner for Semi-Private Sessions

Some students like to prepare for the SSAT and ISEE with a compatible student whose needs are similar. In addition to creating “friendly competition” with a peer, semi-private students receive virtually the same individualized attention as private students, but at a reduced cost. Sign up for SSAT or ISEE prep with a friend or let us match you to a great partner.

Student Materials

  • Actual and simulated SSATs or ISEEs with detailed scoring analysis
  • Focused drills with hundreds of real test questions
  • Score At The Top’s comprehensive Strategy Workbook ©

LOW-COST TEST SIMULATIONS MAY BE ARRANGED!

SSAT Flex Test

Take an official SSAT at Score At The Top!

Students can take the SSAT Flex Test at Score At The Top in addition to, or as an alternative to, the nationally-scheduled test administrations.

Would you like your child to take an official SSAT in a private, distraction-free setting, one which is likely to reduce text anxiety? Consider Score At The Top! As an authorized test center, we administer the “Flex Test” – testing on a date and at a time that’s flexible enough for your child and you at almost any time throughout the year. Call one of our learning centers to make an appointment to take the SSAT with us – and even to study for it with one of our test-prep tutors.

By taking the SSAT Flex Test in private, comfortable, and familiar surroundings, students tend to score higher than they would during a national administration!

Can students receive accommodations for an SSAT Flex Test?

Yes, students who can provide school documentation that verifies that they routinely receive special accommodations in their current school may apply for similar accommodations for an SSAT Flex Test. This must be approved in writing through SSAT prior to the test administration.


FAQs

What is the SSAT?

The SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test), administered by the Secondary School Admission Test Board (of which Score At The Top is a member), has two parts: a brief essay, and a multiple-choice aptitude test concentrating on math, reading comprehension, and vocabulary.

The test is administered at three levels:

  • Elementary (for students currently in grades 3-4)
  • Middle (for students currently in grades 5-7)
  • Upper (for students currently in grades 8-11)

The timed test is divided into five sections:

  • Writing sample (25 minutes, Middle and Upper)
  • Verbal section (30 minutes)
  • 2 Math sections (30 minutes each)
  • Reading Comprehension section (40 minutes)

The Verbal, Math, and Reading Comprehension sections may come in any order.

Writing Sample: The test-taker is asked to respond to a creative or essay prompt, using specific examples from personal experience, current events, history or literature. The writing sample is not scored by SSAT and is not included with the report sent to families. However, it will be forwarded to any school to which you have your official score report sent.

  • Verbal (Vocabulary): Consists of 30 multiple-choice synonym questions and 30 multiple-choice analogy questions.
  • Quantitative (Math): Consists of two sections, each with 25 multiple-choice questions. A test-taker is required to do math computation similar to what he or she does in school or to what is useful in everyday life. A calculator is not allowed.
  • Reading Comprehension: Includes 40 multiple-choice questions based on about 7 reading passages. These questions measure a test-taker’s ability to read quickly and comprehend what is read.

The Middle and Upper level tests include an experimental section (as of 2012-2013).

What is the ISEE?

The ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination), administered by the Educational Records Bureau, has two parts: a short essay, and a multiple-choice aptitude test concentrating on math, reading comprehension, and vocabulary.

The test is administered at three levels:

  • Lower (for students currently in grades 4 and 5)
  • Middle (for students currently in grades 6 and 7)
  • Upper (for students currently in grades 8-11)

The ISEE is a timed tests consisting of five sections that can appear in any order:

  • Verbal Reasoning section (20 or 25 minutes, depending on test level)
  • Quantitative Reasoning section (35 minutes)
  • Reading Comprehension section (40 minutes)
  • Math Achievement section (40 minutes)
  • Essay (30 minutes)

Verbal Reasoning: Consists of 40 multiple-choice vocabulary questions: synonyms and sentence completions.

Quantitative Reasoning: Consists of 35 questions: multiple choice and quantitative comparisons. The section tests concepts and higher-order thinking.

Reading Comprehension: Includes 36 or 40 multiple-choice questions, based on the test level. Passages include humanities, science, and social studies. These questions measure a test-taker’s ability to read quickly and comprehend what is read.

Mathematics Achievement: Contains 35 or 45 multiple-choice questions, depending on the test level. Questions focus on comprehension and computation.

Essay: The ISEE essay is not scored, but is sent directly the schools to which a student applies. Many schools consider writing skills as a factor in admission and want to see how well an applicant can write under test conditions.

SSAT & ISEE: Why take these tests?

Students applying to an independent or boarding school usually need to take either the SSAT (Secondary School Admissions Test) or ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination). Private schools throughout the world use these tests to help make admission decisions. Since curricula, teaching, and assessment standards vary from school to school, a standardized test is one tool admissions personnel use to determine if an applicant can do the work at their school.

These tests must be taken either at a national testing center – or at a “Flex” test center, like Score At The Top (SSAT only). Check with the schools that you’re considering in order to determine which test they accept.

When should my child take the SSAT or ISEE? How many times can a test be taken?

The SSAT can be taken on any of the eight national test dates each year (Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, and June) – and once a year as an individualized Flex Test, scheduled at your convenience. There is no limit to the number of times it may be taken, but we recommend taking it at most 2 or 3 times during the year in which a student is applying to school. A student who takes the SSAT multiple times should leave the Flex Test for last, when the student is likely to be least stressed. It takes about two weeks for SSAT to report scores to schools, so you’ll want to be sure to schedule the final SSAT in time to meet application deadlines.

The ISEE is given on many different dates at various private schools throughout the world; however, it can be taken only once every six months. We recommend taking the ISEE once or twice during the year in which a student is applying to school. It takes 7-10 business days for ISEE to report scores to schools, so you’ll want to be sure to schedule the final ISEE in time to meet application deadlines.

Score At The Top can custom-design a testing timeline for your child – including both national test dates and a Flex Test – to help maximize success and minimize stress.

Does my child need to prepare for the SSAT or ISEE?

Yes. Admissions standards are growing more competitive, so most students approach the SSAT and ISEE with some form of preparation. Often young students have little experience with this type of multiple-choice test, and we have found that familiarizing them with the test format, question types, and effective test-taking strategies can reduce their anxiety and allow them to score higher! We can easily determine how much additional help is needed in the SSAT and ISEE content areas of reading, writing, vocabulary, and math. The confidence your child will gain through this preparation will likely carry over to future standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.

In addition, Score At The Top’s private and semi-private SSAT and ISEE tutoring will give your child a stronger foundation for school in reading, writing, vocabulary, and math.

How will Score At The Top work with my child to get a "good" score?

Baseline testing provides us with excellent information about your child's needs; tutor experience brings intuitive understanding of how to help your child obtain the best test results. We carefully select the right tutor, and after measuring your child's baseline test scores, we design a test-preparation program based on a student's goals and our four-pronged approach:

  1. Test familiarity
  2. Test content
  3. Test-taking strategies
  4. Confidence-building

Your child will do an in-depth content review with one of our seasoned test-prep tutors, learn how to avoid making careless errors, capitalize on strengths and reduce weaknesses, master timing and other test-taking strategies, and develop enhanced self-confidence. You'll receive email updates about your child's progress after each tutoring session.

With more than 30 years of experience, we can tell you that test preparation can be tremendously worthwhile. At Score At The Top, we deliver your child to the door of the exam room ready to achieve a personal best, and feeling positive about facing this rite of passage. To us, and to the thousands of parents who have sought us out, this is the essence of scoring at the top!

Ready to move to the front of the class?

Let's discuss a custom learning strategy that will get you or your student on a path to success. 

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