ISEE or SSAT? Understand and Master the Tests

By ASC A+ Program on 12 May 20 Blog

The most important preparation for the SAT is practice

Why take the ISEE or SSAT

You may have heard the new BPS(Boston Public Exam Schools) will change the admissions test beginning in September 2020. It doesn’t mean exam schools(Boston Latin Academy, Boston Latin School, and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science) will not require an admission test to enter the admission pool. In contrast, now more than ever, planning ahead will get a higher chance to get into these top-ranked private schools. 

Historically, when applying to private schools, chances are your child will be required to take either the ISEE(Independent School Entrance Exam) or the SSAT(Secondary School Admission Test). In another word, chances are high, BPS exam schools will either pick SSAT or Stay with ISEE and this is exactly what test prep can help your child to get advanced in test-taking. 


What is the ISEE & SSAT

The similarity

Both the ISEE and SSAT tests for math, reading, and verbal skills. Taking one exam can definitely help the preparation process of taking another. It is better to focus on one exam, but the similarity does little harm to take both.

The difference

One major difference between ISEE and SSAT is the level of test anxiety. Students can only take ISEE once every six months, but there is no limit on SSAT. In addition to that, ISEE can only be taken once an application is formally initiated by a school, it makes there is only one chance for the student to take the exam. 

test preparation

How to handle the ISEE/SSAT

In prep classes, your child can learn to use advanced strategies for test-taking, which can be applied to multiple-choice questions. All levels of ISEE testing include multiple-choice questions in reading and mathematics. When students learn how to answer these questions to the best of their ability, it can have a positive impact on their score.

Test-taking skills will also carry forward into your child’s academic career, as they will be better able to deduct and reason, think critically, and maximize their results. Knowing answers, as well as knowing how to answer, is invaluable. 


While many schools around the country are now accepting both the ISEE and SSAT as part of their admissions process, there are some that prefer one test over the other. Even if a school accepts both, calling their admissions office directly to find out if there is one test that they prefer is a good idea.

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