1. Education

Private School Admissions Tests

The Different Types of Private School Admissions Tests


There are several different types of admissions tests. Each one has a specific purpose. Some measure IQ. Others look for learning difficulties. The high school admissions tests basically determine your readiness for the rigorous college prep studies most private high schools offer. While admissions tests are important, they are only one of several things which the admissions staff looks at when reviewing your application.


The COOP or Cooperative Entrance Examination is a standardized admissions test used in Roman Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Paterson.


EXPLORE is an assessment test used by high schools to determine the readiness of 8th and 9th graders for secondary level academic work. It was created by the same organization which produces ACT, the college admissions test.


The ISEE is to private schools admissions testing what the ACT test is to college admissions testing. The truth is that more students take the SSAT than the ISEE. Some schools will specify which standardized admissions test they want you to take. Many schools allow you to make the choice.


HSPT® is the High School Placement Test. Many Roman Catholic high schools use the HSPT® as a standardized admissions test.


SSAT is the Secondary School Admissions Test. This standardized admissions test is offered at test centers throughout the world. It is widely used by private schools everywhere as an objective assessment of a student's skills and readiness for high school academics.


TACHS is the Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools. Roman Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens use the TACHS as a standardized admissions test.


OLSAT is the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test. It is an aptitude or learning readiness test produced by Pearson Education. The test was originally devised in 1918. It is frequently used to screen children for entry into gifted programs. The OLSAT is not an IQ test like WISC. Private schools use the OLSAT as one indicator of how successful a child will be in their academic environment.

Wechsler Tests

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children(WISC) is an intelligence test which produces an IQ or intelligence quota. This test is commonly administered to candidates for primary grades. It is also used to determine if any learning difficulties or issues are present.


The Preliminary SAT®/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a standardized test normally taken in 10th or 11th grades. It is also a standardized test which many private high schools accept as part of their applications process. Our College Admissions Guide explains how the test works in case you decide to take it.


The SAT is a standardized test normally used as part of the college admissions process. But many private high schools also accept SAT test results in their applications process. Our Test Prep Guide shows you how the SAT works and what to expect.


If you are an international student, you will probably have to take TOEFL. The Test of English as a Foreign Language is administered by the Educational Testing Service, the same organization which does SATs, LSATs and many, many other standardized tests.

Top 15 Test-Taking Tips

Kelly Roell, About.com's Test Prep Guide, offers sound advice and lots of encouragement. Plenty of practice and adequate preparation are important for success on any test. But equally important are your attitude and your understanding of the test structure. Kelly shows you what to do and how to be successful.
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Private Schools
  4. Getting Into a School
  5. Testing
  6. Types of Private School Admissions Tests

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.