NYC Private School Admissions Trends in 2018

What We Noticed This Year

  • ISEE and SSAT:
    My students applying to NYC private schools are taking these tests more than once, and typically seeing score gains on the second administration.The ISEE is required for admission to NYC private middle or high school–you can also take the SSAT, a competing test.  With all these options, students are now often taking the tests more than once, seeking the highest possible score.  This is a boon to the test companies, and unfortunate for students, as competition ratchets up. Just three years ago, students generally took these tests only once.
  • Character Skills Snapshot:
    More day and boarding schools are requiring or recommending this supplement to the SSAT that is supposed to evaluate students’ initiative, intellectual engagement, open-mindedness, resilience, self-control, social awareness, and teamwork. I don’t think you can measure character skills by taking an online, at home assessment test. Schools do students a disservice by bringing this test into the admissions process.
  • Common Essays:
    Some schools now have a common (shared) middle school essay as well as the common high school essay introduced a few years ago.