What the SSAT and ISSE are REALLY About

Both of these tests are used for acceptance for middle and secondary private schools. The tests are quite similar in that both test verbal knowledge – vocabulary (synonyms), reading comprehension, and math. The difference is the SSAT has analogies and the ISEE has sentence completions. Both have an essay which is not scored but may be forwarded to the school upon request.

The purpose of the exams are to test a students critical reading and thinking skills, grasp of language, precision of expression as well as knowledge and application of math and math concepts.

Schools typically will not share the score cut off to be considered for acceptance. However, if a student breaks the 50th percentile he is worthy of consideration at most schools. The highly competitive schools typically require a score that minimally breaks the 60th percentile.

If the parent is given a choice to take either exam, we will be able to assess during the Breakthrough Test Prep Strategy session which may be the better exam for your student.

What YOUR Student Needs Most

More often than not, students who apply to a private middle or secondary school usually have strong reading, language and math skills. If that is the case, such students merely need to hone their reading efficiency and come to understand what the analogy question or sentence completion question is truly testing. Also, emphasized is helping students realize that there are literally hundreds of ‘vocabulary’ words that they have some knowledge about but are not aware of. These students also require a quick math review and uncomplicated math strategy ‘how-tos’. Also revealed is an easy to apply template for the 30 minute essay which closes both exams.

NOTE: Students whose skills are weaker and are applying to less competitive schools will require more tutorial hours to build a stronger ‘foundation’.

Why Breakthrough SSAT or ISEE Test PREP for YOUR Student

The BreakThrough Test Prep SystemTM has been honed through the years, the result of which has been the creation of innovative strategies and techniques to help our students maximize their potential to get the scores they deserve.

That said, BreakThrough Test Prep’s SSAT or ISEE program does not offer a one size fits all tutorial course. Some students merely need tweaking and others, though bright, need to actually learn efficient reading skills.

Some of the proprietary techniques developed by BreakThrough Test Prep are:

  • reading in word groups to improve speed and concentration
  • learning an effective method to find the point of a passage (an essential step in improving speed and accuracy)
  • using the Post-it Note technique to aid in keeping focused
  • using mathematical as well as non-mathematical approaches to solve math problems
  • learning how to learn and remember vocabulary words
  • realizing that the analogies are more a test of logic and grammar than of vocabulary (SSAT only)
  • understanding that the sentence completions are first and foremost a reading test (ISEE only)
  • knowing the best foods to eat to improve concentration and focus
  • practicing meditation and or EFT to help minimize anxiety as well as to improve confidence and concentration
  • sharing the 3 mindset concepts mandatory for test-taking success

How Much Tutoring Will MY Student Require?

Most students require 4-8 hours of instruction in the reading/verbal and 4-8 in the math, depending their level, academic profile, score goal, and information gleaned from the Parent Questionnaire. This will all be assessed during the BreakThrough Test Prep Strategy Session.