Test Information

SAT/ACT

The SAT is offered seven times during the academic year and the ACT is offered six times. For more information on these tests, visit http://sat.collegeboard.com or http://www.act.org.

SAT

The SAT lasts three hours and fifty minutes, including the optional essay (50 minutes). There are three sections and the optional essay:

Topic Description
Reading Section The reading section consists of passages that test critical reading skills.
Writing and Language Section The writing section includes multiple-choice questions that test English grammar and usage.
Math Section The math section covers arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and probability.

ACT

The ACT last three hours and thirty minutes, including the optional essay (40 minutes). There are four sections and the optional essay:

Topic Description
English Section The English section tests English grammar and usage.
Math Section The math section covers arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics, probability, and trigonometry.
Science Section The science section focuses primarily on graph and chart analysis, with very few questions that test scientific knowledge.
Reading Section The reading section consists of passages that test critical reading skills.

PSAT

The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is taken by high school sophomores and juniors in the month of October. The PSAT provides valuable practice for the SAT, since the same academic concepts are tested. The PSAT lasts two hours and forty-five minutes.

The PSAT selection index score determines who will qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. For more information, go to www.nationalmerit.org.

ISEE

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is an admissions test accepted by many private middle and high schools and administered several times a year at multiple locations throughout the Bay Area. The ISEE cannot be taken for practice. Students may only take the test once every six months and only when making a formal application to an independent school.

The ISEE has three levels:

  • Lower level for students in grades 4 and 5 who are candidates for grades 5 and 6.
  • Middle level for students in grades 6 and 7 who are candidates for grades 7 and 8.
  • Upper level for students in grade 8 through 11 who are candidates for grades 9 through 12.

The ISEE lasts two hours and 20 minutes at the lower level and two hours and 40 minutes at the middle and upper levels. At all levels, the ISEE consists of the following five sections:

Topic Time
Verbal reasoning 20 minutes
Quantitative reasoning 35 minutes
Reading comprehension 25 minutes (lower level)
35 minutes (middle/upper levels)
Mathematics achievement 30 minutes (lower level)
40 minutes (middle/upper levels)
Essay 30 minutes

The essay is not graded, but a copy is sent to prospective schools along with the ISEE score report.

For more information, visit www.erbtest.org

SSAT

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is accepted as part of the application process by many independent high schools and boarding schools in the U.S., Canada, and overseas.

It is taken by students in grades 3-11 and administered in three levels—the elementary level for students in grades 3-4, the middle level for students in grades 5-7 and the upper level for students in grades 8-11.

The middle and upper level SSAT tests last for three hours and five minutes and have five multiple-choice sections (including an un-scored experimental section) and an essay question:

Topic Time
Verbal Section 30 minutes
Math Section 30 minutes (Part 1)
30 minutes (Part 2)
Reading Comprehension 40 minutes
Short Essay 25 minutes. The essay requires the student to respond to a topic statement. The essay is not graded, but a copy is sent to prospective schools along with the SSAT score report.

The SSAT is administered once a month from October through April and once in June. It can currently be taken at various locations in Oakland, Marin County, and San Francisco For more information visit www.ssat.org.

Contact us at 510-499-2283 or james@jamesenotutorials.comwith any questions about the tests.