Test Innovators Blog

How Do Test Scores Affect Your Application?

  • Posted By: Geoff Dennis
  • November 5, 2018

Are teacher recommendations, grades, or test scores more important for your overall application? In this clip from our CEO's chat with placement expert Neal Kamsler, Neal talks about the different ways that schools might look at your ISEE & SSAT scores, and how those scores fit into the final decision. 

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Great Books for Building Vocabulary

  • Posted By: Erin Lynch
  • November 1, 2018

Although your child could cram lots of word lists to learn new vocabulary quickly, the best way to build vocabulary is simply to read: read a lot, read often, read widely, and read for fun! Children who encounter new words in the context of a story more readily pick up on the meaning of the words. You can also have your child keep a word list as they read, adding to it every time they come across an unknown word.

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How Long Are My SSAT Scores Valid?

  • Posted By: Joshua Dolim
  • October 31, 2018

If you took the SSAT really early in the year and got stellar scores, you might not feel like taking the test again.

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How to Browse for ISEE Test Dates

  • Posted By: Geoff Dennis
  • October 30, 2018

Still haven't registered for the ISEE? Check out our list of ISEE test dates around the country. 

Once you know when and where you would like to take the test, you can head to the official testing body's website, www.iseetest.org, to register. Make sure that you don't wait too long to sign up for a test date; many testing sites fill up very quickly.

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School Profile: Dexter Southfield

  • Posted By: Geoff Dennis
  • October 29, 2018

We talked with Scott Duddy, Director of Admissions & Enrollment Management at Dexter Southfield, about what sets his school apart.

Location: Brookline, Massachusetts

Website: http://www.dextersouthfield.org

Grades Served: PK through 12

Student Body: 882 students (356 in grades PK-5, 233 in grades 6-8, 293 in grades 9-12)

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How Long Is the SSAT?

  • Posted By: Annie van Hees
  • October 26, 2018

The Middle Level SSAT and the Upper Level SSAT take a total of 3 hours and 5 minutes, including two breaks between sections and the experimental section at the end.

Here's the breakdown:



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When Is Boarding School the Right Choice?

  • Posted By: Geoff Dennis
  • October 25, 2018

What kind of family should consider boarding school? In this clip from our CEO's conversation with placement expert Neal Kamsler, Neal discusses how traditional wisdom about boarding schools may not hold water.

For 21 years, Neal Kamsler was Head of Upper School at Allen-Stevenson School in New York City. He now serves as Senior Director of Placement at Oliver Scholars, a non-profit educational access organization. Listen to the full school admissions conversation here.

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What are the sections of the SSAT? (Middle & Upper Levels)

  • Posted By: Jordyn Vandeleur
  • October 24, 2018
The Middle and Upper Level SSAT have six total sections. Two are unscored: the Writing Sample and the Experimental Section. The other four are scored: the two Quantitative (Math) Sections, the Reading Section, and the Verbal Section.
Writing Sample
While the Writing Sample isn’t scored, it will be sent to the schools you’re applying to. This section gives you a chance to express yourself and gives the school a chance to see your writing skills and style.
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An Admissions Chat with Placement Expert Neal Kamsler

  • Posted By: Geoff Dennis
  • October 22, 2018

Neal Kamsler has worked in New York City independent schools for 35 years, including 21 years as Head of Upper School at Allen-Stevenson School. He also serves as Senior Director of Placement at Oliver Scholars, an educational access organization based in Manhattan. Test Innovators' CEO, Edan Shahar, sits down with Neal to discuss independent school admissions: choosing the right school for your child, misconceptions about boarding school, and how admissions departments decide who to accept.

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5 Ways to Beat Test Prep Stress

  • Posted By: Erin Lynch
  • October 19, 2018

You have the big test coming up next month, and every time you sit down to study you get nervous. So nervous, in fact, that it’s hard to focus on the material. It’s just so overwhelming! While a little stress actually helps you perform better, too much anxiety surrounding test prep isn’t helpful for anyone.

Here are a few foolproof methods to help alleviate stress during the test prep process. Reduce anxiety and tackle this challenge head-on. You got this!

1. Have a plan for your practice.

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