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High School Entrance Tests

High school entrance tests are no joke! But with targeted instruction from us and dedicated work from your child, they can earn excellent scores. Our one-to-one tutoring is comprehensive and customized, focused on these aspects of test prep for the HSPT, ISEE, SSAT, and CPS Selective Enrollment Test:

Test-taking strategies

Academic skills

Timing strategies

Overcoming test anxiety

Need some help navigating the ins, outs, ups, and downs of high school entrance tests and admissions? Our high school entrance specialist will be happy to answer your questions and help you decide on next best steps.

Frequently Asked Questions about High School Entrance Tests

Why Nurturing Wisdom?

Nurturing Wisdom's one-on-one, in-home tutoring goes beyond just helping your child get a great score. With a strong tutor match, your child will look forward to tutoring sessions, follow through on independent work, and become a more confident learner. The high stakes high school entrance tests can be stressful for students, and our tutors are well-versed in how to help students overcome test anxiety so that their true ability can shine.

We're here to support parents as well! Your tutoring director will help you navigate through the high school entrance process by putting together an optimal timeline, keeping you posted on progress, reminding you of important deadlines, and answering any questions you have along the way.

Which high school entrance tests do you prepare students for?

We have had great success preparing students for the the HSPT, ISEE(all levels), SSAT (upper and middle levels), and CPS Selective Enrollment Test.

Which test should my child take?

It depends on what type of school your child is applying to! Typically:

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  • The HSPT is used for admission to Catholic schools.
  • The ISEE is used for admission to independent schools.
  • The SSAT is used for boarding schools and San Francisco Bay Area independent schools.
  • The CPS Selective Enrollment Test is used for admission to Chicago Selective Enrollment High Schools. (Students must take the NWEA MAP test prior to taking the Selective Enrollment Test. Learn more here!)

Interested in learning more? Our directors would be happy to answer any questions you have about these tests!

My child is taking more than one test. Can you prepare them for multiple tests?

Yes! We have many students taking two, or even three, different tests. However, we prepare students for a maximum of two tests at once to avoid burnout. If your child is taking more than two tests, we’ll work with you to figure out which tests are best to focus on during tutoring.

When should my child start preparing for the high school entrance tests?

We recommend that students take pre-tests the summer before eighth grade. Based on their pre-test, we'll put together a tutoring plan outlining how much tutoring we recommend and when we recommend to start tutoring. Most students start in the summer or early fall.

How do I get started?

All high school entrance test students start by taking a pre-test for each test they would like to prepare for. After the pre-tests are complete, we'll put together a tutoring plan outlining how much tutoring we recommend, goal scores, and which test dates we recommend preparing for.

If you're in the Chicagoland area, sign up for one of our proctored pre-tests, a great opportunity to get a feel for the real test day. If you're outside Chicago or unable to make a proctored test date, contact us today to get a free pre-test!

We don't live in the Chicagoland area. Can you still tutor my child?

Yes! We love working one-on-one with students online to help them achieve their goals. Contact our online tutoring director, Jessica Lepore, at 312.260.7945 x3 or jessica@nurturingwisdom.com to learn more!

  • Tenah, parent of an 8th grader
    You have helped my daughter in so many ways. Her confidence, grades, and test scores increased beyond our expectations, especially the test scores in only a couple of weeks. Thank you! Thank you so, so much! I have a happy, confident child entering high school.
    Tenah, parent of an 8th grader
  • Deanna, parent of an 8th grader
    Nurturing Wisdom was recommended by our school. I have to say I have been so happy with our overall experience - from the beginning of discussing my needs for my son to our current tutoring. Our tutoring director was always so respectful and caring. Nurturing Wisdom is an amazing company that will listen and help get the right fit for each child's needs! Going through high school testing is hard enough. When your child feels lost and unsure of how to handle testing, Nurturing Wisdom definitely prepares them for it.
    Deanna, parent of an 8th grader
  • Andrea and Richard, parents of an 8th grader
    As parents, we want the best for our children. So when we make such a critical decision on who will best serve the tutoring needs for our child, we'd better be right the first time, and we were - it was Nurturing Wisdom. We knew from the minute we signed that we hit a home run. This feeling first came about when we spoke with Connor's tutor. He was an absolute professional who really knows how to convey his talent on strategic and quality test-taking. I was impressed with how he explained to Connor the importance of the test-taking strategies for each subject. He showed Connor how to tackle math equations in ways he was never taught.
    Andrea and Richard, parents of an 8th grader
  • Jessica, parent of an 8th grader
    We're having an amazing experience. Our tutor is very thorough, engaging, positive and reassuring. She makes sense and seems to know the process. We trust her to help Dawson grow and have seen incredible increases in his scores and work.
    Jessica, parent of an 8th grader