Independent School Admission Tests



How Can The Schoolhouse Help?

The Schoolhouse Academic Coaches are prepared to help your students apply to private school.  With practice tests, individualized attention, and focused materials, we are well-versed in the ISEESSATCOOP, and other admission tests required by local day schools and boarding schools.

Below are some frequently asked questions on the ISEE, SSAT, and COOP exams.

To schedule an appointment, call the coaches at The Schoolhouse at 973-701-7111.

FAQ’s for Independent School Admission Tests

What are the Independent School Admission Tests?

The three most common exams to get into independent schools are the ISEE, the SSAT, and the COOP. Other private schools may create their own exam based on specific components they are looking for in a student.

What is the ISEE?

The ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) is an assessment exam for independent schools. The ISEE test can be used as an entrance exam into independent schools. The exam has three levels: Lower, for entrance into grades 5-6, Middle, grades 7-8, and Upper, grades 9-12.

What is the SSAT?

The SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) is an exam that measures the skill acquired during a student’s academic lifetime, not so much a mastery of one particular subject. The test also has three levels: Elementary, grades 3-4 Middle, grades 5-7, and Upper Level SSAT, grades 8-11.

What is the COOP?

The COOP (Cooperative Admissions Exam) is an admissions exam given by many Catholic High Schools. The exam is given to 8th grade students looking to enter into a Catholic High School.

What does the ISEE test?

The test is divided into five sections:

Verbal Reasoning – synonyms and sentence completion

Quantitative Reasoning- Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis and Probability and Problem Solving

Reading Comprehension – Six reading passages, each followed by six questions

Mathematics Achievement – A cumulative assessment of all math learned (and including the same type of questions as in the Quantitative Reasoning section)

Essay – A response to a brief passage

The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Mathematics Achievement sections are multiple choice. A prompt is given for the essay.

What does the SSAT test?

The SSAT exam is divided into four sections:



Reading Comprehension


What does the COOP test?

The COOP is divided into seven sections.



Quantitative Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning (words)

Verbal Reasoning (context)

Reading and Language Arts


How is the ISEE test scored?

The ISEE presents the results of the test based on percentile ranks of the same age groups that also take the test. This means that individual scores are graded against the group of other students who also took the test (within the past three years). The comparison will show how “well” or “poorly” each individual did on the test. The essay is not scored, and is sent to the school for which the test is taken.

Raw Score and Scaled Score

The ISEE score is based on the number of correct answers. A wrong or blank answer is considered the same.

A raw score is simply the number of questions a student answered correctly. A scaled score is the raw number converted to a standard scale that each independent school refers to. Each school differs in what score they expect and which qualities they look for, so there is no good or bad score, just different requirements per school.

How is the SSAT scored?

The SSAT is scored in multiple percentiles and are also compared to students of the same level who have taken the test in the past three years.

Every question on the SSAT has an equal value. Any questions answered incorrectly are deducted one-quarter point.

How is the COOP scored?

The COOP is scored just as the ISEE is scored, without the essay.