Test Innovators Blog

A student carrying a backpack walking up a long road which leads to a cloud covered mountain. The mountain is labeled "The ACT" with an arrow pointing to a high position on the mountain.

How to Build Your ACT Success Plan

The ACT may seem like an overwhelming hurdle in your college application process. For years, it has been hyped up as one of the most important aspects of your application, and now that it's finally time to start preparing for the test, you may not be sure where to begin. However, your test prep process doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here's our simple, three-step process to craft a fool-proof ACT success strategy.

A student studying at a desk with a notebook and a laptop, likely studying for the ISEE or a similar test.

Interpreting Your ISEE Score Report

After all your work preparing for the ISEE, it can be daunting to receive your results. What do all those numbers mean? Here’s a guide to untangling the scores and symbols in your report.

A student balancing on an airplane wing after learning to fly a plane through Randolph-Macon Academy's flight program.

7 Schools With Unique Education Programs You Definitely Want to Check Out

Some schools are breaking barriers with their alternative models for education, unique programs and projects, forward-thinking, and innovation. If you haven't considered non-traditional programs, these schools may be worth exploring.

Here are seven of our favorites:

SSAT vs. ISEE

SSAT or ISEE?

We are often asked about the differences between the ISEE and SSAT. We’ve put together a definitive guide to help families decide which test to take if they are given the option.

1. The most important question is whether the school(s) to which you are applying accept either or both of the tests. If you aren’t certain, call each school’s admissions office. Don’t study for the wrong test!

2. If you can take either, is the ISEE or SSAT best for you?

A person holding a small analog stand-up clock, likely considering the amount of time they have left to take the ISEE.

How to Prepare for the ISEE in a Week or Less

We’ll start off by saying this: we do not endorse postponing your preparation to the last minute if you have the option to start earlier. At Test Innovators, we recommend starting your preparation at least six to eight months prior to your test date. This gives you ample time to become familiar with the content and structure of the test well ahead of your test date, and to figure out what specifically you may need to work on to improve your scores.

A student carrying books and a backpack who is ready to ace their retake of the SSAT.

How to Retake the SSAT Like a Pro

Retaking the SSAT can seem like a real pain. You’ve already taken the nearly three-hour test once — is it really worth it to give up a Saturday morning and countless nights studying just to take the same test again?

A school that an SSAT test taker may be applying for admission to.

What is a Good Score on the SSAT?

What is a good score on the SSAT? That's a question we get asked a lot here at Test Innovators. Maybe you just got your score report back, or perhaps you've just taken a practice test and wonder whether or not your scores are acceptable.

A student writing an essay, likely the ISEE's essay section.

The ISEE Essay Section: What To Expect


About the ISEE Essay Section

Did you make it through the ISEE’s four multiple-choice sections? You’re not quite done yet!

The fifth and final section on the ISEE is an essay section. Students are given 30 minutes to write an essay in response to a single prompt. Although the essay is not graded, as we’ll discuss below, it is still a critical part of the test.

A sample of a few of Los Angeles' most competitive schools.

Greater Los Angeles' Most Competitive Schools of 2017

Test Innovators has helped over 65,000 students prepare for the standardized tests required for admission to the most competitive independent schools in the country since 2012. Every year we review our data to determine that year's most competitive schools. Below is our list of the 10 most competitive schools in the Greater LA area, based on the number of students who stated their intention to apply in 2017.

A collage of three of New York's most competitive schools of 2017.

New York's Most Competitive Schools of 2017

Test Innovators has helped more than 65,000 students prepare for the standardized tests required for admission to the most competitive independent schools in the country. Below is our updated list of the 15 most competitive schools in New York, based on the number of students who stated their intention to apply in 2017.