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Teen with red backpackWith the beginning of school just around the corner, many parents of 7th and 8th grade students are focused on high school entrance exams. These exams assess a student’s proficiency in math, language, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. They also provide an opportunity for admissions directors to determine whether a student will be successful academically within a given high school environment.

But, each test is a little different. And, navigating those differences in order to prepare properly can be tricky.

The three most common tests are:

  • Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT)
  • High School Placement Test (HSPT)
  • Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)

Most boarding schools require the SSAT, independent schools generally accept either the SSAT or the ISEE. Parochial schools usually administer the HSPT in a special testing day at the school.

What do high school entrance exams include?

“The difference between the tests varies in regards to the kinds of questions. The SSAT, ISEE, and HSPT are similar in the verbal and reading sections of the tests, but vary broadly in their quantitative sections. The ISEE covers more advanced algebra and geometry than the SSAT. It also includes a Quantitative Comparison section that is not present in the SSAT. This Quantitative Comparison section has been reported to be one of the ISEE’s most challenging portions.

Students claim that the HSPT is easier than the ISEE and the SSAT; however, it places a greater emphasis on percentages and sequence in the quantitative section and includes an additional Language Skills portion that is not present in the other exams,” explains Ryan Krug, co-owner of MindFish Test Prep in Denver.

Why are high school entrance exams so important?

“By viewing the scores, we are able to see every child in a snippet. These scores do not rule kids in or out; however, we are using them to gauge their strengths and weaknesses,” says Kristin Ryder, Admissions Director of Graland Country Day.

In addition, merit scholarships, in the form of tuition reduction, are often given to to incoming ninth graders who qualify based upon their scores on the entrance examination. Since scholarships can reduce tuition by thousands of dollars each year, a high score on the entrance exam can mean the difference between attending — or not attending — a particular school.

How to prepare for Delaware high school entrance exams?

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics provides 1-on-1 high school entrance exam prep to Delaware students. Our prep help includes instruction in content, strategies specific to the test, and timing techniques. Students will strengthen their knowledge, reduce anxiety, build confidence, and improve scores.

Back to Basics’ proven, 28-hour program is conducted by experienced, private tutors available in Wilmington, Newark, Middletown, Bear, and throughout New Castle County, Delaware. Tutoring can be provided in your home, at school, in an office, at summer camp, or at our Education Centers in either Wilmington or Newark, Delaware.

Our commitment to a 1-on-1 teaching method has always differentiated Back to Basics from other education options. At Back to Basics, we pair one tutor and one student, with a careful matching of both teaching and learning styles. And, a standing schedule means our students work with the same tutor for each and every session. Student and tutor build a rapport and a knowledge of teaching / learning styles resulting in success.

High school entrance exam prep generally begins in September or early October.

Delaware high school entrance exam dates

  • Archmere Academy, December 3, 2016
  • Caravel Academy, Once per month upon request
  • Padua Academy, October 15 and November 12, 2016
  • Salesianum School, November 19, 2016
  • Sanford School, November 19, 2016
  • Andrews School, November 12, 2016
  • St Marks High School, December 3, 2016
  • Tatnall School, November 21, 2016
  • Tower Hill School, ISEE administered at Prometric offices
  • Ursuline Academy, ISEE, HSPT or SSAT (see website)
  • Wilmington Christian School, Usually on a Saturday in spring
  • Wilmington Friends School, November 19, 2016

For more information about preparing for high school entrance exams and success in high school level courses including high school Honors and AP classes, SAT and ACT prep, please contact Back to Basics at 302-594-0754.

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics is the undisputed leader in 1-on-1 tutoring in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania for over 60 subjects. The company also offers 1-on-1 instruction for the SAT, ACT and Test Prep, translating and interpreting in 21 languages, educational testing and more. For more information about Back to Basics’ educational services, please call us at 302-594-0754.

The company also operates a unique Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware. For more information about Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 private school, please call us at 302-594-0685.

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