The private and boarding school admissions process can feel like a territory of unknowns. What do all of these letters stand for? Why are there so many different requirements?  Do they all test for the same thing? And how is my student supposed to prepare for these? While you can learn more about the nuances of each test and the details of their scoring breakdown, test levels, and registration dates on our website, we wanted to handle the preparation question with some help from our experts!

The best advice I can offer is to start early and build a solid foundation. There is so much content and strategy to cover, it’s just not something you can simply ‘get’ overnight. Memorize vocabulary, nail down those geometry formulas, make sure you spend the time at the beginning to ensure you’re set up for success!”

As early as possible, contact Carnegie Prep for a free consultation about your student, what schools they’re interested in applying to, and any relevant testing requirements. After about a student’s learning style and goals, we’re able to make recommendations for which test will be a better fit and come up with a personalized plan. Many students choose to begin their prep over the summer months when they’re not busy with school, sports, and other activities.

Once students have clearly identified goals as they head into application season, remember…

“Practice makes progress! Get familiar with the test sections and the types of questions that will be asked. And…practice, practice, practice! Sometimes the test questions appear ‘easy’ on their own but sitting for a full length test is a game changer. Your brain is a muscle and therefore, you need to exercise it to build muscle memory for test day!”

Our tutors have access to online practice tests for students to hone in on exactly which topic areas offer the most room for improvement. Full-length simulated practice tests allow students to build stamina, hone time management, and apply winning time strategies, such as:

“Embrace the process of elimination strategy!  This simple strategy allows students to have a much better chance at getting the correct answer even on very challenging questions just by ruling out choices that are clearly wrong answers or choices that don’t make sense.  By eliminating at least one answer choice students already have a better chance of a correct answer even if they are guessing.”  

And, our test specialists’ number one tip!

“These tests are supposed to be difficult; they’re trying to differentiate between the country’s top students! It’s not like tests at school when you’re supposed to get over 90% of questions correct to feel like you’ve done well. Remember that even top academic performers get thrown off by some questions. That way, you can relax and focus only on the questions you know.”

At Carnegie Prep, our test prep advisors and experienced tutors are here to help make this process stress-free!  We work as a team to directly address your student’s learning needs and admissions goals. Feel free to contact us for any questions or if you would like to set up a free consultation.

  • Alison Kelly, Meredith Wieder, Laurie Hoffman, Helena Martin, Kristi Carey
  • Test Prep