The Most Competitive Schools of 2019

  • Posted By: Melissa Kinsler
  • October 22, 2019
  • 0 Comments

Over the past seven years, Test Innovators has helped more than 100,000 students prepare for the SSAT and the ISEE—the admissions tests required by the most competitive independent schools in the country. Every year we review our data from thousands of test-takers to determine the most popular schools.

Our long-awaited 2019 results are here! Below are the 50 most sought-after schools, based on the number of students who stated their intention to apply in 2019.

Keep in mind that there are many wonderful schools not included on this list that may be perfect for you.

We've also put together an interactive visualization of these top 50 at the bottom of the list.

1. Phillips Academy Andover, Andover, Massachusetts



Founded in 1778 during the Revolutionary War, Phillips Academy Andover (commonly called Andover) is one of the oldest academies in the U.S. Over the years, the school has grown and transformed while maintaining its prestige and academic excellence. Today, Andover’s diverse student body consists of 1,150 students from 49 different countries. Andover is both a boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 with approximately 75% of students boarding and 25% of students attending day school. Along with over 300 course offerings, Andover students engage in more than 125 clubs and activities ranging from rock climbing to robotics.

2. Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire



Three years after helping his nephew start Andover, John Phillips founded Phillips Exeter Academy (commonly called Exeter) in Exeter, New Hampshire. Exeter takes a collaborative approach to learning, and its classes follow a unique model called the Harkness method. The Harkness method, which Exeter adopted in 1930, promotes a fluid classroom environment in which students and their teacher sit in an oval configuration to openly discuss ideas.

3. Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles, California



In 1989, the all-boys Harvard School and the Westlake School for Girls merged, creating Harvard-Westlake, a coeducational school in Los Angeles serving 1,600 students in grades 7-12 across two campuses. Harvard-Westlake’s academic and extracurricular offerings include 28 AP courses, 90 art classes, a variety of concerts and recitals, and a strong community service program. Notable alumni include astronaut Sally Ride, and actors Jessica Capshaw, Lily Collins, Jamie Lee Curtis, Emily Deschanel, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Shirley Temple, Jason Segal, and Billie Lourd.

4. Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut



Choate Rosemary Hall’s campus covers 458 acres of suburban Connecticut and has 121 buildings designed to house and educate more than 800 high school students. One of the most famous alumni, John F. Kennedy, now lends his name to one of Choate’s eight signature programs: the JFK Program in Government and Public Service. Other signature programs at Choate include the Advanced Robotics Concentration, the Study Abroad Program, and the Environmental Immersion Program.

5. The Harker School, San Jose, California



The Harker School is the largest elite independent school in California with four campuses and over 2,000 students in grades preK–12. Guided by their commitment to both academic achievement and civic duty, Harker offers curricula tailored to students’ needs and a wide range of electives, including numerous STEM and arts courses. Among the many performing arts opportunities at Harker is the musical theater department, which has been invited to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in the London New Year’s parade.

6. Lakeside School, Seattle, Washington



Lakeside School holds a special place in our hearts here at Test Innovators. Located in Seattle, Washington, the same city as our headquarters, Lakeside is frequently cited as the best school in the state and counts Paul Allen and Bill Gates among its alumni, as well as our Director of Education, Brenna O’Neill. Lakeside instills in its students a commitment to academic excellence, diversity and inclusion, and global engagement. In addition to a standard service learning requirement, Lakeside encourages students to participate in the school’s Global Service Learning (GSL) program. On GSL trips, students spend a month living and working on service projects in rural areas outside of the United States.

7. Menlo School, Atherton, California



Menlo School started as a military school in 1915, at which time only 13 boys were enrolled. Today, Menlo is a coeducational day school with 795 students in grades 6-12. Even with a growing student body, class sizes at Menlo remain small with a student to teacher ratio of 10:1. Among the many clubs and activities are the award-winning student newspaper, The Coat of Arms, and the Mock Trial team, which has competed in state and national competitions.

8. Milton Academy, Milton, Massachusetts



Unlike many of the other schools founded in Massachusetts during the 1700s, Milton Academy began as a coeducational day school. After 100 years, the school divided into separate boys’ and girls’ schools before merging the schools once again and becoming the coeducational, K-12 boarding and day school it is today. Milton draws students from 27 states and 28 countries, all motivated and bound together by the school motto ‘Dare to be true’—a motto embodying the school culture of initiative, respect, and the active pursuit of learning.

9. Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Massachusetts



Deerfield Academy is a college-preparatory boarding and day school with 650 students in grades 9-12. Founded in 1797, Deerfield is one of the oldest secondary schools in the United States. Deerfield embraces a liberal arts curriculum, highlighting the humanities at seminar tables, STEM through experiments, and the arts in and out of the studio. Notable alumni include Henry W. Kendall, 1990 Nobel Prize recipient, Allen Stack, 1948 Olympic gold medalist swimmer, and Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner.

10. Lawrenceville, Lawrenceville, New Jersey



Among the many prestigious boarding and day schools in the Northeast, Lawrenceville School sets itself apart with its distinct House System. Houses are divided by grade levels and gender. Students are assigned through a process called ‘House Match,’ which aims to form Houses of students with varied interests. Throughout the year, the Houses compete for academic, athletic, and service awards. Life at Lawrenceville captured the American imagination in 1910 when alumnus Owen Johnson wrote The Varmint, which followed the adventures of protagonist Dink Stover through his years at the school. The book and accompanying short stories were then adapted into a movie in 1950. Today, Lawrenceville has 818 students in grades 9-12 who focus their studies not only on traditional academics but also on global issues and an appreciation of all cultures.

11. Crystal Springs Uplands, Hillsborough, California



Crystal Springs Uplands School, located in California’s Bay Area, is a grade 6-12 school with two campuses, including an upper school campus situated in a renovated mansion. The school removed AP courses in 2012 to allow teachers more freedom with their curriculum and to encourage more student-led projects, research, and experiences. Every year, students are invited to take part in international experiential learning to destinations such as Nicaragua, France, India, and Zambia.

12. Noble and Greenough, Dedham, Massachusetts



Situated on the Charles River only 10 miles from Boston, Noble and Greenough School boasts 187 acres of beautiful scenery and a wealth of academic, athletic, and arts programs. During their time at Noble and Greenough, 75-80% of students travel or study abroad. The fields and courts stay busy with 24 varsity teams holding several New England championship titles. The stages of Noble and Greenough are constantly bustling with theater productions, dance recitals, concerts, and choral ensembles. Though students stay busy with many different activities, Nobles preserves a sense of community with all-school morning assemblies four times a week, which bring together the upper and middle schools.

13. Riverdale Country School, Bronx, New York



Situated over two campuses and 27 acres in the Bronx, Riverdale Country School has 1,170 students from pre-K through 12th grade. Riverdale’s philosophy is centered around three core tenets: developing minds, building character, and creating community. This philosophy is put into action through Riverdale’s three signature programs. The first is Design Thinking, which asks students to think creatively about how they interact with the world and to work collaboratively to come up with new ideas. The second program is Character Education, which works to strengthen character skills like grit, optimism, and honesty. The third is Living Mindfully, which emphasizes personal awareness, reflection, and stress management.

14. Boston Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts



In 1635, Boston Latin School became the first public school in the United States. Its starting class held fewer than ten students. In the subsequent 383 years, the school has grown to over 2,000 students and has educated many iconic Americans, including five of the signers of the Declaration of Independence: Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, William Hopper, and Robert Paine. Today, Boston Latin School remains one of the most competitive public schools in the country, accepting applicants in Boston who have achieved academic success and excelled on the entrance exam.

15. Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco, California



Lick-Wilmerding High School considers itself a “private school with a public purpose” and develops its curriculum around fostering learning and growing students’ heads, hearts, and hands. The school’s curriculum integrates the arts, the humanities, the sciences, and technology in order to give students a well-rounded education. Lick-Wilmerding further distinguishes itself with an exceptional array of technical courses and shop classes, such as metalworking, robotics, jewelry, woodworking, architecture, and design.

16. Groton School, Groton, Massachusetts

Since Groton School's founding in 1884, its mission has been to inspire lives of character, scholarship, leadership, and service within a diverse, inclusive, and close-knit community. The campus landscape was designed by architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York City. Notable alumni include five Olympic gold medalists in rowing, as well as thirteen members of the Roosevelt family, starting with the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

17. Horace Mann School, Bronx, New York



Horace Mann School, located in the Bronx, was originally founded as an experimental coeducational school affiliated with the Teachers College at Columbia University. Then, in 1947, it became an all-boys school before readmitting girls in 1975. The school is named in honor of Horace Mann, a Massachusetts lawyer who served as a strong proponent of universal public education, women’s suffrage, the abolition of slavery, and better support systems for mental illness. Horace Mann School fosters a challenging academic environment and rich student life, emphasizing both intellectual curiosity and a robust, respectful community.

18. The Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut



The Taft School’s motto is, “Not to be served but to serve,” and the school embodies this with a strong emphasis on service, collaboration, and character. Taft’s diverse student body is comprised of 606 students in grades 9-12, hailing from 33 different states and 44 different countries. These students are able to choose from 200 courses, 20 of which are AP, as well as over 60 clubs and extracurricular activities.

19. The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut

In 1891, Maria Hotchkiss used her inheritance to open a library and boys’ school in Connecticut. The school, originally called the Maria H. Hotchkiss School Association, would become The Hotchkiss School in 1927, and after 83 years of educating young men, admitted its first women in 1974. In addition to expanding its student body and faculty, Hotchkiss has made significant environmental efforts by offering activities such as the Fairfield Farm Ecosystems and Adventure Team, creating an office of Environmental Initiatives, and committing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

20. The Sacred Heart Schools, San Francisco, California



The Sacred Heart Schools are the partnerships of Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, an all girl’s school, and Stuart Hall High School, an all boy’s school. Both of the Sacred Heart Schools are independent K-12 preparatory schools established in the Sacred Heart tradition of Catholic education. Combined, the Sacred Heart High Schools educate 875 students each year in a small, close-knit community. Convent and Stuart Hall educate the minds, hearts, and bodies of their students, animating a zeal for discovery, inspiring a passion for justice, and nurturing the strength to transform.

21. Brentwood School, Los Angeles, California



Founded in 1972, Brentwood is a K-12 school whose mission is to inspire its students to think critically and creatively, act ethically, and craft a future with meaning. Brentwood has a strong connection with Olympic athletes. Their track and cross-country coaches, Joanna Hayes and Malachi Davis, are Olympic athletes who competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Hayes was a U.S. gold medalist in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Alumni Jason Rodgers and Peter Vidmar were also Olympic medalists. Rodgers won a silver medal in fencing at the Beijing Olympics, and Vidmar won a gold medal in gymnastics at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

22. Head-Royce School, Oakland, California



Head-Royce School is a diverse K-12 community nestled in the Oakland Hills that provides families with a transformative educational experience. Head-Royce was founded as the Anna Head School for Girls in 1887 and relocated to its current site in 1964. In 1979, Anna Head School for Girls merged with the nearby Royce School to form the school of today. Head-Royce prides itself on cultivating lifelong learners who lead with joy, purpose, and compassion and are well-prepared to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the future.

23. The Dalton School, New York, New York



The Dalton School was founded in 1919 during a time of education reform. The progressive ideas of the time inspired Helen Parkhurst to create the Dalton Plan, a format and ideology that the school still adheres to today. The Dalton Plan individualizes each student's education, encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning, and promotes social awareness and responsibility. Dalton’s notable programs focus on immersive and activity-based learning and include an archeological study program, a chess program, a museum program, and a world language program.

24. The Urban School of San Francisco, San Francisco, California



The Urban School of San Francisco was founded in 1966 with the objective of creating a more student-centered school. Urban was the first coeducational private high school in San Francisco and had just 22 students in its first class. Today, Urban’s student body consists of over 400 students, and the school receives 700 applicants annually for the Freshman class alone. Instead of receiving letter grades on assignments, tests, and progress reports throughout the term, students only receive letter grades at the end of each course. At the end of each course, teachers write extensive reports that provide comprehensive feedback on student achievement and set specific goals for improvement. Students are also asked to reflect on and evaluate their own work.

25. Trinity School, New York, New York



Trinity School, founded in 1709 in the old Trinity Church, is the fifth oldest school in the U.S. and the oldest continuously operating school in New York City. Trinity’s student body consists of almost 1,000 students in grades K-12. Supporting such a large student body requires an expansive campus. In addition to classrooms, labs, and offices, the school includes a garden, a rooftop playing field, two rooftop tennis courts, a dining room, two chapels, two theaters, a swimming pool, three playgrounds, a weight room, a fine arts pavilion, two libraries, and three gymnasiums.

26. Castilleja School, Palo Alto, California



Castilleja School is an all-girls school in the San Francisco Bay Area with students in grades 6-12. The school’s mission is based around their five core values, the 5 Cs: courage, conscience, courtesy, charity, and character. Along with a challenging and engaging curriculum, Castilleja has a number of beautiful facilities. These include a fabrication lab with a laser cutter and 3D printer, a fitness center with an indoor rock-climbing wall and spin studio, and an art gallery with rotating exhibits that feature student and professional art.

27. The Nueva School, Hillsborough, California



Since 1967, The Nueva School has offered an innovative and award-winning learning experience specifically designed to meet the needs of gifted learners. Nueva is an independent PreK-12 school where gifted learners discover and develop their passions and learn to make choices that positively and profoundly impact the world. By creating an inspirational, community-based environment, Nueva unlocks the passions, purpose, and potential in each student while inspiring a lifelong love of learning.

28. Buckingham Browne and Nichols, Cambridge, Massachusetts



Buckingham Browne & Nichols (BB&N) was founded in 1974 with the merging of the Buckingham School and Browne & Nichols School. One of BB&N’s defining programs is the Bivouac. During this program, the incoming class of 9th graders spend 11 days in the wilderness camping, hiking, and cooking, and through this experience establish trust, respect, and lasting bonds. The Bivouac, along with many other BB&N traditions, embodies the school’s mission to imbue curiosity, motivation, integrity, kindness, and scholarship in its students.

29. The Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, Connecticut



The Loomis Chaffee School is a New England boarding school located on a 300-acre campus. Loomis provides its students with an education that is shaped by the why, as much as the what, and every member of the community shares a commitment to the common good. Loomis places great value on respecting the contributions of each of its members. Notable alumni include Diana Farrell, founding President and CEO of the JP Morgan Chase Institute, John D. Rockefeller III, and Winthrop Rockefeller.

30. Greenhill School, Addison, Texas



Greenhill School is a coeducational school in Addison, Texas located on a 78-acre campus. The campus consists of 15 buildings, including a full athletic complex, a library, and a state-of-the-art performing arts center, which is over 303,000 square feet. Since its founding in 1950, Greenhill has actively committed to prepare its students to thrive in a changing world.

31. Windward School, Los Angeles, California



Windward School was founded by writer and teacher Shirley Windward in 1971 and currently enrolls 540 students in grades 7-12. Windward is a dynamic college-preparatory school that challenges each student to achieve excellence in a nurturing, inclusive community. Teachers, parents, and administrators work together to inspire their students to be responsible, caring, well-informed, ethical, prepared, and well-balanced young adults. Windward’s 9.5-acre campus is situated just two miles from the ocean in West Los Angeles and provides a picturesque setting for students to learn, work, and socialize.

32. The Hockaday School, Dallas, Texas



Hockaday was founded in 1913 by Ela Hockaday in order to provide a college-preparatory education for girls with strong potential from diverse backgrounds. Hockaday’s purpose is to foster a community of concern and friendship and to instill in every girl a love of learning, an understanding of herself and the ethical principles that guide her life, an appreciation of excellence in all its forms, and a commitment to what is right and good. Notable alumni include Swanee Hunt, former Ambassador to Austria, and Pamela Willeford, former Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

33. Brooks School, North Andover, Massachusetts



Brooks School, established in 1926, provides a college-preparatory program for 380 students on a 270-acre campus. Small class sizes allow students to work closely with teachers and foster positive relationships, helping to build a close-knit community. Brooks offers opportunities to study abroad in Africa, Europe, and South America. Notable alumni include Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, Elle Logan, Olympic rowing gold medalist, Mark Shuttleworth, first African American in space, and actors Anthony Perkins, James Spader, Parker Stevenson, Sam Waterston, and Michael Weatherly.

34. The Overlake School, Redmond, Washington



The Overlake School, founded in 1967, is an independent college-preparatory school committed to inspiring excellence, developing intellectual curiosity, teaching responsibility, embracing diversity, and fostering a compassionate community. The campus was originally a farm, and Overlake, with the help of students, retrofitted the barn to facilitate its needs. In addition to the main school buildings, the school’s 75-acre campus includes the headmaster’s home, a parent center, several athletic fields, and a ropes course.

35. San Francisco University High School, San Francisco, California



San Francisco University High School (UHS) was established in 1976, and in its relatively short history, has built strong ties with its students, teachers, administrators, families, alumni, and the surrounding community. UHS is the home of the Summerbridge Program, a year-round, tuition-free academic program for talented students from local public middle schools. Summerbridge's helps these students gain admission to excellent high schools, thrive in those high schools, and then enter and thrive in college. The Summerbridge Program includes academic coursework, non-academic electives, tutoring and homework support, high school counseling, and SSAT preparation.

36. St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire



St. Paul’s School, founded in 1856, is a coeducational boarding school with 534 students from all over the world and is situated on a historic campus of 2,000 wooded acres. All students and faculty live at the school, so there is never a shortage of peers with whom to study and socialize or adults to provide guidance and support. St. Paul’s community values honesty, respect, and kindness. Notable alumni include Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity, and multiple members of the Vanderbilt family.

37. Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury, Massachusetts



Roxbury Latin was founded in 1645 by the Reverend John Eliot under a charter received from King Charles I of England. Roxbury Latin is situated on a 117-acre campus and has a student body of approximately 300 boys in grades 7 through 12. Notable alumni include James Pierpont, principal founder of Yale University, John Warren, founder of Harvard Medical School, James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard University, Harry Lewis, dean of Harvard College, and Paul Dudley White, “Father of Modern Cardiology.”

38. Peddie School, Hightstown, New Jersey



Founded in 1864, Peddie is a boarding school located on a 280-acre campus that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades, as well as a small post-graduate class. In Peddie’s community, everyone is known and valued. Students constantly seek ways to improve themselves and support others in their pursuits. They are fearless enough to take smart risks but flexible enough to change their minds in the face of new information, new circumstances, or a better idea. They thrive on debate, ask challenging questions, and work collaboratively to solve problems. Notable alumni include B.J. Bedford, Olympic gold medalist swimmer at the 2000 Summer Olympics, and Nelson Diebel, double Olympic gold medalist swimmer at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

39. Woodside Priory, Portola Valley, California



Woodside Priory is an independent Benedictine Catholic day and boarding school with 385 students in grades 6-12. Woodside was founded in 1957 by a group of Hungarian Benedictine Monks from Pannonhalma, Hungary. Today, Woodside is owned and operated by the Benedictine Monks of Saint Anselm Abbey in New Hampshire. Their mission is to help all students create meaningful and balanced lives, develop as lifelong learners and stewards, and productively serve a world in need of their gifts. Woodside student activities include the performing arts, a robotics team, and a Model United Nations club.

40. Calvert School, Baltimore, Maryland



Calvert School was founded in 1897 by four Baltimore families and at the time, had only 15 students. When the first headmaster, Virgil M. Hillyer was appointed in 1899, he insisted on creating a school that was designed with the student in mind. This included larger windows to bring in natural light and air, benches with animals carved on the ends, and lockers with decorations. Today, Calvert provides a diverse and inclusive environment for over 600 students, advancing their social, moral, and academic development and preparing them to accept and collaborate successfully with people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

41. The Rivers School, Weston, Massachusetts



The Rivers School was founded in 1915 as a school for boys in Brookline, Massachusetts. In 1940, The Country Day School for Boys of Boston merged with Rivers, and in 1989 the school became coeducational. At Rivers, they believe students achieve excellence and become their best selves when they have access to a rigorous, innovative, academic program taught by a community of talented, caring teachers. The teachers at Rivers make each student feel known, valued, and understood and encourage students to take risks as they discover new passions and develop existing talents.

42. Crossroads School for Arts and Science, Santa Monica, California



Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences was founded in 1971 as a secular institution affiliated with St. Augustine By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Crossroads teaches students to think critically, express themselves openly, and commit themselves to lives that value community, justice, and activism. At Crossroads, you’ll find strong relationships between students and teachers, a welcoming and inclusive environment, and a diverse student body that approaches education with curiosity, creativity, and courage. Notable alumni include actors Kate Hudson, Maya Rudolph, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jonah Hill, Sean Astin, Jack Black, and Gary Coleman.

43. The Kinkaid School, Houston, Texas



The Kinkaid School is a school in Houston with students in Pre-K through 12th grade. One of Kinkaid’s most distinctive programs is the Interim Term. This three-week period in January allows students to explore classes and curricula of their selection, often involving non-traditional subjects. This program also offers special travel opportunities for students, as well as internships for students to explore and develop their career skills.

44. St. Mark's School of Texas, Dallas, Texas



Founded in 1906 as the Terrill School for Boys and with just 42 students in its first class, St. Mark’s School of Texas now has more than 850 boys in grades 1-12 on their 42-acre campus. The school prides itself on being a place where boys can be themselves, develop a respect for others, and learn what it means to be men of true character and integrity. The school's challenging programs are designed to inspire, motivate, and stretch their students.

45. The Bay School of San Francisco, San Francisco, California



The Bay School of San Francisco opened in 2004 with a single class of freshmen. During the first school year, students attended classes in a temporary building, and in August of 2005, the school moved to its current location. Bay offers unique programs, including a four year, culturally immersive program in Mandarin Chinese that involves collaborations with the Chinese American International School. The Bay School balances challenging academics and innovative thinking with a mindful approach to learning and life. The school's goal is to see students unlock their individual and collective potential, so they begin to realize their roles in a dynamic world.

46. Blair Academy, Blairstown, New Jersey



In 1848, Blair Academy was founded on 463 acres in New Jersey. Today, Blair Academy is a boarding and day school that serves students in grades 9-12, as well as a small post-graduate class. The school’s 463-acre campus houses many grand, historic buildings, leading to its entry into the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 recognition of its historic significance. Blair Academy has a rigorous learning environment where strong relationships between teachers and students are at the heart of an exceptional educational experience.

47. Boston Latin Academy, Boston, Massachusetts



Boston Latin Academy (BLA) is a prestigious public exam school. BLA was founded as the Girls’ Latin School after the Boston community spoke out for women’s education and presented a petition to the school board. From a small beginning with only 37 girls, the academy is now co-ed and has over 1,500 students. Notable alumni include Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Airbnb.

48. Pingree School, South Hamilton, Massachusetts



In 1961, Pingree School opened as a girls-only school and since then, has grown to a coeducational student body of 350. Pingree's mission is to foster a love of learning through creating a diverse community that values truth, curiosity, creativity, humor, and independent and imaginative thinking. This mission is promoted by the powerful bonds between teachers, advisors, coaches, parents, and students.

49. Governor's Academy, Byfield, Massachusetts



Governor’s Academy is a coeducational boarding school that serves 400 students in grades 9-12 on its 450-acre campus. The school was established in 1763 and is the oldest independent boarding school still operating in the U.S. Students excel in a diverse community distinguished by enduring relationships with teachers. The community is defined by a commitment to learning and a thoughtful balance of academics, athletics, arts, and service to others. Notable alumni include Wentworth Cheswell, the first African American elected to public office in the U.S., and two Presidents of Harvard University, Joseph Willard and Samuel Webber.

50. The Bishop's School, La Jolla, California



The Bishop's School serves 800 students in grades 6-12 and is located just one mile from the Pacific Ocean in the heart of La Jolla. The faculty at Bishop’s work to create a strong sense of community where each student feels supported and guided. This support is fostered by daily meetings with faculty advisors who provide academic and social guidance. Bishop’s promotes global education both inside and outside the classroom with globally-focused curriculum, study abroad offerings, cultural exchanges, and international internships.

The 50 Most Competitive Schools, Visualized

Hover over the bar graph and map to see more information about specific schools, or click on the pie charts to see which schools on the bar graph fall into that category.


Methodology: Test Innovators surveyed 18,186 students who were actively using the online Test Innovators practice platform between January 1, 2019 and September 17, 2019, and asked them for the list of schools to which they planned to apply. This data set informed the list above, indicating which schools were most sought-after among students applying for the 2020-21 school year.

You can view the ISEE and SSAT score data we have on these and other schools here for the ISEE and here for the SSAT.