Test Prep (SSAT, ISEE, and Catholic School Exams):
Whether you are taking the ISEE, the SSAT, or the Catholic School Entrance Exams, testing is a potentially stress-inducing part of the admissions process. At Freudigman & Billings, we have been helping students with standardized tests for 15 years. Our deep knowledge of the SAT and IQ-based assessments informs all of our test preparation. The tests (SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, etc.) are all fundamentally related in terms of the cognitive skills that they measure: attention to detail, sequencing skills, the ability to distinguish between summary information and supporting detail, visual and verbal problem solving, and the ability to handle novelty and ambiguity in both verbal and quantitative domains. Our qualified staff has pored over the limited “real” tests that have been released and has analyzed all of the sample tests that the major publishers have created. This process has allowed us to know what resources exist and which are most useful for developing specific skills.
All of our test prep is individualized as well as skills-based, not just content-driven. At the most basic level, we aim to give students a familiarity with the structure and content of the standardized tests, since few have seen these tests before. Simply exposing students to the material and helping them work through the various sections of the test can increase their comfort level. For some students, a timed practice test can also provide important feedback about pacing.
For other students, exposure to the ISEE and SSAT can illustrate how important it is to read carefully and work accurately on tests that are designed to trick students into making common, careless mistakes. We help students who are used to sailing through their work slow down and take the time to thoroughly read through each question.
Sometimes the most important feedback for students is simply the encouragement that they are capable and the reminder that perseverance and hard work are important. We encourage students to remain calm and focus on the process rather than the outcome.