If you have kids in middle school and you are looking ahead to high school, both private and public school are options you may be considering. Well, private high school means taking the ISEE.
What is the ISEE? It’s the Independent School Entrance Exam. It’s a test that allows a school to assess the academic level of the student who is applying. If your child is taking this test, it should be all about doing their best. This gives a target school a better idea of where your child is academically so you can understand whether or not that school is a good fit for your child.
Doing your best on anything involves preparation. So in order to make sure your child is prepared, you should plan ahead. Most school applications are due in December and January. Applications typically have a fee so you’ll want to consider how many schools to apply to and make sure they are schools you know you wanted to attend. This means you need to visit schools and attend open houses. Those visits usually happen in October and November. September is a crazy month with back to school. So, you should plan to get an ISEE test date chosen AND your child needs to be prepared. Summer is the best time for that preparation in light of all of the activity that will be happening before applications are due.
Since I work at Varsity Tutors, I would obviously recommend them. Early summer is a great time to arrange to have a tutor assigned. Before the tutor starts, find a time to talk with the tutor on the phone. Find out if the tutor recommends any ISEE related books. Many ISEE tutors suggest planning on 2 sessions to focus on just test preparation in general and then 2 sessions each for the 3 different sections of the test. If you set up a time to meet each week you’ll also have time to do study assignments between each session.
With summer camps, vacations and all the things that summer brings, it is great to get this organized as you head into the summer. And when Fall hits, you know you’ll be ready to focus on school visits and the typical demands of the 8th grade. For the test itself, if you have a child on a 504 plan you can get an accommodation for extra time on the test but you need to remember to ask for it.
Even if you ultimately choose public school over private school, test taking strategies are valuable to any teen, especially in high school. Even as tutors focus on the test specific material, there will be a lot of discussion on test taking strategies in general.
Time well spent!