How Important are ISEE and SSAT Scores?

While students and parents often worry about how well their children will perform on the ISEE or SSAT when applying to private schools, the reality is that admissions committees use a range of factors when deciding which students to admit to their schools. For example, admissions committees look at the student s recent grades and consider these grades as indicative of how well the student will perform at their school. They also consider the interview and how personable and eloquent the applicant is in person. Private schools seek to add diversity to their classes. They also look for athletes, actors, musicians, and other types of students to fill out their classes. Many schools give preference to the siblings of current students and to the children of alumni.

If you are preparing to apply to a private school in the fall, one of the most important steps you can take is to consider which teachers you plan to ask to write your letters of recommendation. If you have a teacher with whom you have a good rapport, be sure to meet with this teacher early in the school year and ask him or her to write your letter of recommendation. If you don t have a teacher in mind, get to know one of your teachers next year, and speak with him or her about your interests. No matter how well you perform on standardized tests such as the ISEE and SSAT, a well-written recommendation from a teacher who really knows you fleshes out and brings life to your application.

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