As part of the application process, most private middle schools and high schools, require students to submit standardized test scores from either the ISEE or the SSAT. In part, the choice should be determined by the school to which your child is applying. When a school states a strong preference for one over the other, it’s best to go with their suggestion and utilize that particular test. Sometimes a student will do poorly on the test preferred by the school, and when that occurs, it’s often worth giving the other test a try. As a general rule of thumb, and if the school is willing to accept either test, students who have stronger math skills than verbal skills should take the ISEE, where as student whose verbal skills are stronger should take the SSAT.
That being said, there is a decent amount of overlap between the two tests; sometimes material from one can be utilized to train for the other. Therefore in certain situations, we recommend students prepare to take both tests, so as to maximize their chances of getting accepted to the school of their choice.