What You Need to Know About the SSAT and ISEE

Your Timeline for Secondary School Admissions Prep

At this time of year, parents often ask us: How can I help my child proactively prepare for the SSAT or ISEE? Below are the basics. This timeline is a suggestion, but test prep is not a one-size-fits-all process. Your director will work to personalize a timeline for your student. 

The SSAT and ISEE are used for entrance to independent schools. Students from elementary to high school take them as part of an application process, typically in the fall and winter. Both test students on verbal skills, reading comprehension, and math content knowledge. 

May – June: Your student should come to a Private Prep office to take a diagnostic ISEE and/or SSAT. Then, you’ll meet with a director to discuss, build a plan, and decide which test is best for your child. 

June – August: Summer is an ideal time to begin work with a tutor. Your child will focus on fundamental math content review and vocabulary practice. They’ll also learn how to navigate these standardized test questions. 

July 31st (ISEE Registration Opens): Register for two tests: we recommend November (Fall test season) and December (Winter test season).

August – September: The practice test process begins! Your child will take their first practice test and continue to take them monthly. Practice tests help the student and tutor address test-taking difficulties well before the real exam. Your student will also work with their tutor on approaches for the test as a whole. They’ll navigate pacing, address content gaps, and introduce Performance Prep tools to cultivate a strong test-taking mindset. 

October: The practice test process and work between the tutor and student continues. If they’re taking the SSAT, your student will take an October test. This test is often framed as a practice round to reduce stress as the SSAT and ISEE offer other testing opportunities in coming months. 

November: The practice test process and work between the tutor and student continues. Your child will take their first ISEE or second and final SSAT this month. Their results will guide the plan going forward. 

December – January: If your child is taking the ISEE, they will continue the practice test process. They will take their second ISEE this month. 

Whether you’ve got questions or are ready to get the process started, we’re here for you. Contact us today for more information. 

Private Prep