So, you’ve decided that you’d like your student to attend a private school. Chances are, the school you’re looking at requires your student to take the ISEE. If your child is applying for admission into the 5th or 6th grade, they will take the Lower Level Test, for admission into the 7th or 8th grade, they will take the Middle Level Test, and for 9th grade or above, the Upper Level Test. All tests include two english based sections, two math based sections, and a written essay. The tests typically last about three hours, which is more reasonable to ask of an eighth grader as opposed to a fifth grader.

These tests are particularly difficult to prepare for for two reasons. Primarily, the company who makes the test, the ERB, has very few official study materials for the test. Most test prep material comes from private companies, whose material is really just a best guess of the difficulty and range of material of the real thing. Secondarily, your student hasn’t necessarily covered all of the math topics on the test in school yet, depending on what grade they are in. For instance, students applying for admission into both seventh and eighth grade will be taking the Middle level test for which one topic studied is solving equations for unknowns. This topic isn’t covered in some math curriculum until seventh grade, so your student may be tested on material that they won’t even get to learn until they are admitted into the school!

To further aggravate the issue, students are scored relative to each other on this test, which means that even if they did very well on the test in terms of number of questions answered correctly, they could still place behind their peers. For example, you student may answer 95% of the math questions correctly, but still be listed in only the top 80% among their peers. How well your child does depends not only on their own performance, but the performance of a typically well educated and well funded peer group.


If you wish you student to gain admittance to an accredited private school, chances are they will be required to take one or more standardized tests. One such test is the SSAT, which tests their ability to understand usage and rhetoric based questions for verbal and reading sections as well as analogies. A powerful vocabulary is also necessary to score well on these sections. The math portions of this exam test topics your student has sometimes never seen before as well as harder versions of questions they have seen already.

The essay portion of this exam is not graded, but sent to the schools your student is applying to. The essay can be challenging for students who have never been required to analyze the legitimacy of arguments they --- both --- agree and disagree with. I have four years of full time tutoring experience dealing with these standardized tests. I can not only teach your student the topics they will need to know, but also the techniques required to score well on this exam. Please consider me as a serious candidate to aid your student for this exam.


This is a test for admission into private catholic high school and is taken even more infrequently than the SSAT. The topics covered are very similar to those on the SSAT and ISEE.


The PSAT is a test that is designed to give your student a "taste" of the SAT. It is scored differently, and is usually given during the fall of junior year (and sometimes the fall of sophomore year). The reading and writing sections are likely more difficult than anything your student has seen up to this point, and require a well-honed ability to pinpoint the author's intent and the rhetorical devices they employ. The math section can be even shakier. Since your student is likely just beginning to take either Geometry or Algebra II during this time (if they are taking Pre-calculus they may be already well versed for the math sections) it is unfortunate timing for the test. Your student may not have had the instructions necessary to do well on this test, and for that reason, sometimes receiving the scores back is scary.

An often overlooked fact about this exam is that if your student performs exceptionally, landing within the top 15,000 students (roughly), they may become a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship. If your student's goal is to score very high on the actual SAT (or ACT) then preparing for this test can not only give them a solid test-taking foundation, but also net you some dollars. I've been tutoring full time for four years, and I have a thorough command of these kinds of standardized tests. Please consider me as a serious candidate to aid your student for this exam.


If your child has trouble approaching standardized tests, Starling Tutoring in Westchester County, NY and Greenwich, CT can help. I'm a test preparation specialist who can reveal the secrets of standardized tests to your child. I start by assessing his or her strengths and weaknesses, and then I create a customized test preparation program designed to bring them success.

Client Reviews

Great Tutor - Daniel Starling
Daniel tutored me a few years ago when I was taking Physics at RPI. He was really great at helping me understand the material and was patient in explaining things. He was very professional and always came prepared and focused. I highly recommend him and have no question about his ability to teach new material and to motivate students to learn!

Rachel F.

Arsley, NY

Servicing Area Private Schools

Daniel regularly tutors students who are trying to gain admission into some of our areas private schools. He also continues tutoring these students, preparing them for their college entrance exams. Private schools in the Westchester County, NY and Greenwich, CT where Daniel tutors include:

  • Hackley School
  • Rye Country Day School (RCDS)
  • Masters School
  • School of the Holy Child
  • Solomon Schecter School of Westchester
  • Archbishop Stepinac High School
  • Sacred Heart High School
  • Iona Preparatory School