Test optional?

Hi everyone, my daughter took the ISEE and got 85% overall. She was supposed to take it again last week but had to postpone because she got Covid. She’s applying to Exeter, Lawrenceville, and St. Andrews. Should she retake the test? (Straight A student, strong ltr of recs, and extracurriculars). She’s recovering from Covid, but I don’t want to push her.

I am in the same situation as you. I got 87% on my SSAT, and I am not sure if I should submit that score. Any advice from anyone?

Back when I applied to Lawrenceville (2018), there was an FAQ on the admissions website saying that the average score on the SSAT was somewhere in the mid 80%s. You should be fine. (We didn’t really ever talk about standardized test scores after enrolling, and by now everyone’s forgotten, but out of my classmates from my middle school who ended up also going to Lville, we had a few who scored in the 80s or even lower).

1 Like

Submit the score and focus on the rest of the application.


It’s fine.

We already gave you advice in your own thread: submit the SSAT score and focus on the rest of your application.

Every year there are kids retaking the SSAT because they want to break 90th percentile. Or, if they are 90th percentile, they are worried that they need to be above 95th percentile. There have even been people that retake because 96th percentile just isn’t enough.

Guess what? There are a lot people with high SSAT scores that get no acceptances on M10. Why? Because there are other criteria considered. The SSAT only indicates how you can perform on the SSAT. Your grades, essays, and recommendations are more insightful indicators of what you can do in a classroom. Your interview can add to the impression of how you would fit into the community- and that can be positive or negative. Affable beats irritating. Paris on “Gilmore Girls” was irritating.

If you focus on that one number, you start to come across as 1 dimensional.