Private School Admissions

Private School Admissions

Is the ISEE or SSAT optional?

A personal experience for you and your family is always one you can hold to heart and look back on.  An experience in which you feel comfortable, safe, and reassured.  An experience in which relationships are deeply developed and open conversations are encouraged. Undoubtedly, this experience is one a parent might be seeking for their child when applying for a private school yet, with current world situations almost everything has shifted away from normalcy, and the same should be expected when applying for such schools. Questions about how the admissions process has changed, and requirements for ISEE and SSAT are on the table for discussion.  Parents and students alike need to be mindful of such changes. The road ahead isn’t completely straight, yet with proper guidance and knowledge it will  be easier to navigate.

Private School

Admission Changes:

Private schools expect the best from their students, and the students applying are already stepping up to that expectation. This means that private schools are choosing the best students from an already elite group of students, and these schools conduct this process in several ways. Traditionally, incoming students completed an entrance exam, whether it be an ISEE or an SSAT.  Addionally, students were required to submit an essay and have an interview. However, for the 2020-21 school year many private institutions have decided to due away with standardized tests. The onset of  COVID-19 altered the admissions  process forcing tests, interviews, orientations, and tours to take place virtually.


According to the LAIS the following schools:


  • Archer School for Girls
  • Berkeley Hall School
  • Brentwood School
  • Bridges Academy
  • The Buckley School
  • Campbell Hall
  • Chadwick School
  • Country School
  • Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences
  • de Toledo High School
  • Heschel Day School
  • Marlborough School
  • Marymount School
  • New Roads School
  • Oakwood School
  • Rolling Hills Prep
  • Sinai Akiba Academy
  • Turning Point School
  • The Wesley School
  • Westside Neighborhood School
  • Wildwood School
  • Willows Community School
  • Windward School


  • Calvary Christian School
  • Episcopal School of Los Angeles
  • Harvard-Westlake School
  • Milken Community Schools
  • Mirman School
  • Sierra Canyon School
  • St. Matthew’s Parish School
  • Viewpoint School (CSS Character Skills Snapshot required)
  • Vistamar School


  • Archer School for Girls
  • Windward School


Please note that the Common Transcript Request Form will ask for the last 3 years of each applicant’s school record, to include “an official transcript of all grades and evaluations, testing results, and information regarding disciplinary actions at your school for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 academic years.”

Updated August 28, 2020

How To Prepare:

During these uncertain times having a plan b or c is always a good option.  For those applying or in the admissions process for an independent school, ISEE and SSAT scores definitely stand out from the criteria even if they are not mandatory.  So, what should one do if in a situation where they must take this test?  Test prep and tutoring centers are always a go to when in any academic struggle, and Groza Learning Center specializes in  strengthening test taking skills, increasing confidence, and boosting scores.  While this time may be different, Groza Learning Center is here to help guide families through the process.

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