Private School Admissions Tests (A Complete Testing Guide)


As part of the admissions process, private schools may require several types of admissions tests. All of them are designed to test different aspects of a child’s preparation for private school. In addition to IQ tests, there are also tests that measure learning challenges and areas of exceptional achievement. Most private high schools offer rigorous college-prep studies as part of the high school admissions tests.

Some schools offer optional entrance exams, but these are generally important factors in the admissions process. The following private school admissions tests examples provide some examples of common private school admission tests.

List of Private School Admissions Test


The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and helps determine a student’s readiness for an independent school. The ISEE is compared to the ACT as an admissions test for private schools. Private schools may accept the SSAT more frequently, but they typically accept both tests. For admission to some schools, including Milken Community Schools, a day school in Los Angeles for grades 7-12, the ISEE is required.


SSAT stands for Secondary School Admissions Test. This standardized admissions test is given at test centers around the world and, like ISEE, is one of the most widely used tests by private schools worldwide. Taking the SSAT helps determine whether a student is academically ready for high school.

It provides data that can be used to make decisions about admission to high schools. The test is available in two versions: English – A three-hour test with 90 multiple-choice questions covering reading, writing, and math skills. French – A two-hour test with 40 multiple-choice questions covering reading and math skills only. Both tests are taken on the same day, usually in the morning. History The SSAT was developed by the College Board, which is a non-profit organization that administers the SAT and AP Exams. It was introduced in 1970 as an alternative to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).


TACHS is the Test for Admission to Catholic High Schools. Roman Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens use the TACHS test as a standardized entrance exam. All schools do not require this test.

The College Board announced on January 11, 2020, that it would discontinue the SAT Subject Tests and replace them with a new exam called the SAT-based ACT. On February 12, 2019, the College Board announced that the ACT would be available to take in place of the SAT at no additional cost beginning with the fall 2019 admissions cycle. The ACT test will be offered during the spring 2020 admissions cycle as well. SAT scores are reported in two ranges: 500–700 for the SAT Composite and 600–800 for the SAT Subject Tests.


OLSAT stands for Otis-Lennon School Ability Test. Pearson Education produces this aptitude or learning readiness test. It was developed in 1918. Several gifted programs use it to screen children. The OLSAT is not an IQ test like the WISC. Private schools use a child’s performance on the OLSAT to predict how successful they will be in their academic environment. This test is not usually required but may be requested.

Wechsler Tests (WISC)

An IQ test or intelligence quotient is produced using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). This test is typically given to primary school candidates. This test is also used to determine if a student has any learning difficulties or issues. Secondary schools do not typically require this test, but elementary and middle schools may request it.

A full-scale IQ is the most common type of IQ test. It measures the overall mental abilities of an individual. This test is usually given to children as part of their educational system. It is one of the most common intelligence tests used in the world. It is a paper and pencil test that requires the child to complete many tasks. The child is then given a score based on the amount of time they take to complete each task. The WISC-IV is an updated version of the WISC-III.


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