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.
Below are the 3 most sought-after Southern California 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Visit our Most Competitive Schools of 2019 page to see what schools made the top 50 for 2019.