Many students applying to private schools in Dallas this year will take the ISEE, Independent School Entrance Examination, as part of the admissions process. This year, the makers of the ISEE (the ERB – Educational Records Bureau) have enacted several significant changes to their testing policies.
Traditionally, students have only been permitted to take the ISEE one time per academic year. However, starting this fall, students may take the ISEE up to three times during the twelve-month admissions cycle, which has been divided into three four-month testing seasons; fall, winter, and spring/summer. Students can now take the ISEE once during each of these seasons (see below). The reason for allowing multiple test opportunities, according to the ERB, is to lessen test anxiety for students (and families), who in the past had their performance riding on one test, one time.
Another change in testing policy is that families may now view test scores before sending them to a school or schools. In the past, when families registered for the ISEE they were required to indicate at least one school that would receive the test scores, sight unseen. Now families receive the scores and can decide, along with their placement counselor or educational consultant, if their child’s scores are an accurate reflection of their abilities. If a student takes the ISEE more than once, families may decide which score report to send to a school, and schools will not know that a student has tested more than one time. However, families can’t ‘superscore,’ pick the highest scores on each section and only send those. Families may choose to send multiple test reports to show improvement from one testing time to another.
Hopefully, these changes will reduce anxiety and help families find the best educational fit between their student and prospective school (s). If you have questions about the Dallas private school admissions process, don’t hesitate to contact me.
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