What are the Differences between the SSAT and the ISEE?

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) and Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) are two widely-used private school admission tests in the United States. While the tests have many similarities, there are some key differences between the two.

One of the main differences between the two tests is the way the verbal section is structured. The SSAT verbal section includes Analogy questions, which require students to identify the relationship between two sets of words and choose a pair of words that have a similar relationship. On the other hand, the ISEE verbal section has Sentence Completion questions, which require students to choose the word that best completes a sentence.

Another difference between the two tests is the inclusion of Quantitative Comparison questions. The SSAT does not include these types of questions, while the ISEE does. Quantitative Comparison questions require students to compare two quantities and determine if one is greater than, less than, or equal to the other.

The two tests are also scored differently. On the SSAT, a quarter-point is deducted from a student’s score for each incorrect answer. This deduction is intended to discourage guessing and ensure that students only answer questions they are confident about. However, on the ISEE, there is no deduction for wrong answers. This means that students can guess without fear of being penalized.

Finally, the number of answer choices for each question is different between the two tests. The ISEE has four possible answers for each question, while the SSAT has five. While this may seem like a small difference, it can impact the difficulty of the test. With more answer choices, it can be harder for students to eliminate incorrect options and choose the correct one.