Comparing SSAT and ISEE





Similarities and Dissimilarities between SSAT and ISEE

The SSAT stands for Secondary School Admission Test and is administered by the SSAT Board (SSATB) for students studying in grades 3 to 11. This test helps to place them into private or independent schools in the United States. A similar test is the Independent School Entrance Exam or the ISEE. This test is also used by numerous independent or private schools across the USA. This exam is developed by the ERB, Educational Records Bureau. This test is held for students in grades 4 to 11. Although there are some similarities between the two tests, there are some differences as well. This article carries a discussion about these two tests.

Similarities between the SSAT and the ISEE

A detailed description of SSAT and ISEE is mentioned below in terms of their similarities:

  1. Sections and Scoring: There are five basic sections in both the tests that test the skills of the students in these four main areas - Writing, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics and Verbal Section. In both the cases, the essays are not graded; instead, they are scanned and a copy is sent to different schools.

  2. Quantitative Section: There are two quantitative sections in each of the two tests. The main topics covered for the Mathematical sections of both these tests are: Algebra, Arithmetic and Geometry. An important point is that the question types that you may encounter in these sections of these tests are those related to problem solving and data interpretation.

  3. Verbal Section: There are vocabulary-based questions using knowledge of synonyms in both the tests. All questions are multiple-choice based questions.

  4. Reading Sections: The main questions are based on main ideas, tone and style of writing, purpose, organization of passages, inferences and predictions.

Differences between the SSAT and ISEE

The differences between the two tests are tabulated below:

  1. General Information

    SSAT

    ISEE

    The SSAT goes on for 2 hours and 35 minutes.
    The five test sections are randomly distributed.
    The total score of the SSAT ranges from 1500 to 2400.
    The Reading, Writing and Mathematics sub-scores
    range from 500 to 800 each. The essay writing section
    goes on for 25 minutes. SSAT can be taken by those
    who want to seek admission in the 4th grade
    as it starts from grade 3.

    The total testing time for the ISEE is 2 hours and 40 minutes.
    The four test sections are randomly distributed except
    the fifth section, which is always an essay section of 30 minutes.
    The score of the test ranges from 1 to 9 for each section:
    Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
    This test can be taken by as low as 4th grade students only.


  2. Quantitative Section

    SSAT

    ISEE

    There are two sections of 25 multiple-choice questions
    each. Questions are based on
    data interpretation and problem solving.
    The total time allowed is 30 minutes each.

    There are two sections. One section has 37 multiple-choice
    questions to be solved in 35 minutes and the other section has
    47 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 40 minutes.
    The questions are based on problem solving, quantitative
    comparisons and data interpretation.


  3. Verbal Section

    SSAT

    ISEE

    There are 60 multiple-choice questions
    that are based on vocabulary and
    test knowledge of synonyms and analogies.
    The total time provided for this section is 30 minutes.

    There are 40 multiple-choice questions that are
    based on vocabulary and reasoning and test
    the skills using the questions of synonyms and sentence
    completions. The total time allowed for this section is 20 minutes.


  4. Reading Section

    SSAT

    ISEE

    There are 40 multiple-choice questions based on
    7 passages that you have to read.
    The total time permitted is 40 minutes.

    There are 36 multiple-choice questions
    that you need to answer in 35 minutes.

In conclusion, it can be mentioned that in terms of content, there are not many differences in the SSAT and ISEE. However, if we look at the two tests in detail, there are some more differences. There are only two levels of the SSAT whereas the ISEE contains three levels. Another difference is that in the SSAT, there are five options for each question whereas in the ISEE, there are four choices per question. Hence, both are quite similar to one another and it is you who has to decide which test you will take.