By Nathalie Kunin
Nathalie KuninThe ISEE (Independent School Entrance) can be just as daunting to parents as it is to students. All students applying to private and independent schools, 4th grade and above are required to take the ISEE as part of the admissions process. Many parents ask, what can I do to help prepare my child for this exam? Parents number one job is to promote their child’s confidence. Here are several tips that will alleviate anxiety, promote confidence, and ensure success.

Be Prepared:

Prepare for the ISEE in advance – Summer is a great time to get a jump-start on prep so that students don’t feel so much pressure in the Fall when then are working on applications in addition to their regular school work. The ISEE is a reasoning test. It is not effective to cram for this type of test.

Diagnostic assessment – Have your child take a diagnostic which will give you a snapshot of your their natural strengths and weaknesses and the areas in which he or she needs to focus his or her prep. This will also enable you to plan out how much prep your child might need.

Preparing for the Exam – know your child. Will they learn best working one-on-one with a tutor or taking a group class?

Practice, practice, practice – Take a full-length practice exam approximately 4 weeks prior to your test date. This is an important part of the process and an opportunity for your child to practice the test-taking strategies and techniques he or she has learned. The more prepared your child feels, the more confident he or she will be on exam day.

Healthy body = healthy mind – Ensure that your child eats a healthy diet and gets plenty of sleep leading up to exam time. This will ensure energy, stamina, sharper problem solving skills and focus.

Reduce Anxiety:

Create a semester plan. The application process is a busy time. Create a family calendar and help support your child with their applications, interviews, open houses, test prep and other fall responsibilities. The more you work together, and help manage your child’s schedule, the less overwhelmed he or she will feel.

Have realistic expectations regarding your child’s individual goals. Have your child make a list of his or her strengths and add new skills to the list each time they master a new one. Every time you recognize a new area of strength, your child will feel more confident.

Use positive visualization. Have your child close his eyes and ask him to imagine himself succeeding. Have him breathe deeply and visualize taking the test and feeling confident. Have him repeat the phrase “I’ve got this!” to himself and remind him that he is prepared and this is his opportunity to show how his hard work has paid off.

The day before the exam do not do any prep. Relax, go to a movie or take a hike. Let your child give her brain a rest. Make sure she gets a good night’s sleep and wakes up with plenty of time to eat a healthy breakfast and get to the testing site. After the test, treat your child to something she loves.

Above all, believe in your child and enjoy this journey you are embarking on. In the coming months, students will be learning many new skills and sharpening the ones he or she already has. Help your child stay confident and see the challenges that arise as opportunities to grow!

Please join us for a free ISEE diagnostic assessment on any of the following dates:

  1. June 7
  2. June 14
  3. June 21
  4. August 9
  5. August 23

To reserve a space please email or call us at 323.356.6160 x 3

Nathalie Kunin, owner of Team Tutors, will be available to answer questions about the ISEE and give parents a detailed overview of the exam at 9:00am on each of the dates listed above.