Updated as of 4/16/20
The SSAT and ISEE have announced options for students to test online at home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is what we know so far.
What we know
The SSAT, traditionally a paper-and-pencil test, has announced the option for Spring 2020 and beyond of the SSAT At Home test. Here are the most important details from the announcement:
- According to the Enrollment Management Association’s blog post, the SSAT at Home test will have the same content, length, scale, and score reports as the traditional SSAT.
- Students will test on a secure web application with a remote proctor.
- Scores will be released about two weeks after testing.
- There will be limited administrations in Spring and Summer 2020. This will become a permanent test option beginning in Fall 2020.
- Accommodations will be available for students will disabilities.
- The test will be administered on predetermined dates and times. The signup will be available through the same registration process as for the paper SSAT.
The ISEE, previously offered on paper and on the computer at designated test centers, will also be offered in an at-home form, the ISEE Online. The ERB announced the following:
- This option will be available to students applying to grades 5–12 testing in the United States and Canada.
- The structure of the test will remain the same. Students will receive scores within 48 hours of testing.
What this means for students
- Students can still plan to take the SSAT or ISEE in the fall and/or winter unless they were planning on a spring test for late admissions.
- For most students, taking the SSAT or ISEE in a paper form is the most beneficial. They are able to annotate and show work in a form that is more natural and similar to the way they learn at school.
- The first few administrations of a new format of a test can have glitches. If students can wait, either for a paper test or a later administration of the online test, they are less likely to encounter issues.
- More information is to come on accommodations, but students with accommodations are likely to be best supported by waiting to take a paper test.
- If a student chooses to take an online test this spring, it should be with the mentality that they will also take a paper-based test in the fall. Students can approach spring tests as a practice round.
- Preparation for online tests will be very similar–students can still work in paper versions to learn the skills. Tutors will then work with students taking online versions to make sure they’re comfortable transferring strategies to an online format.
How students can prepare
It is important that students who plan to take an online SSAT or ISEE prepare in the same format as the test they will take. Private Prep will launch online ISEE and SSAT practice tests for students this spring. Students will be able to take these practice tests at home, acclimate to an online testing platform, and receive detailed score reports with their results.
If you are not sure which test format is right for you, reach out to your director or contact us.