For current high school seniors, the college process has just wrapped up; for younger students applying to private schools, however, the application process is just getting started. I remember going through that process myself in 6th grade, writing my application essays on a typewriter on the dining room table and correcting my errors with whiteout (do kids even know what whiteout is these days?). While the technology may have advanced significantly since then, the application process really hasn’t. The most important qualities of a good candidate – strong grades in strong courses, good SSAT/ISEE scores, genuine interest in the school, leadership, and maturity – remain largely unchanged.
Parents who are now calling to explore SSAT/ISEE prep are often asking “am I too early” or starting sentences with “I might be crazy, but…” You’re not too early, and you’re definitely not crazy. Private school applications are competitive, and almost all students are short on the skills they’ll need to score highly on the tests, particularly vocabulary. Right now, in the mid-spring, is an excellent time to start looking at one’s test preparation plans, even if one decides not to start just yet. With many students having significant summer plans, the amount of available time until the fall is not as big as it looks on the calendar.
This article provides a good general overview of the private school application process for those starting to think about it. While SAT/ACT season is winding down for the school year, SSAT/ISEE season is picking up, so contact us to discuss your preparation options if you have a student in this age range.