Whether you are a middle/high school student preparing for a journey towards college or a postgraduate en route to a higher level degree, standardized exams are integral to your application process.

Here at MINDSPIRE, we have more than two decades of experience in test prep and tutoring to help you succeed and begin your path towards educational excellence. We provide test prep and academic tutoring, along with other services, in which we tailor a program that fits your individual needs. However, before we can start the test prep, you must first pick the standardized exam that best fits your academic plan. Below is a quick look at eight significant exams used for acceptance into colleges and private/independent school education:

Private School Entrance Exams


The SSAT (Secondary School Admissions Test) is a standardized exam used for admissions to private/independent elementary, middle, and high schools, including most boarding schools. The SSAT measures reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning (math concepts). It is important to note that there are different levels of this assessment depending on where you are in your education: Upper level is for 8th grade and above, Middle is for grades 5-7, and the Lower level is for applicants in both 3rd and 4th grade.

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The ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination) is an exam used for admissions to private/independent elementary, middle, and high schools. The ISEE measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, and mathematics achievements. There are different levels to this assessment based on where you are in your education: Upper level is 9th grade and above, Middle level is for grades 7th and 8th, and the Primary/Lower level is for grades 3rd through 6th.

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College Entrance Exams

First, you need to decide which is the best test, ACT or SAT, for you to take to pursue a college admission.


The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The purpose of the exam is to measure a high school student’s readiness for college and also provide colleges with a common data point to compare applicants. The main subject areas for the SAT are Mathematics, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing/Language Arts (Optional Essay Available).

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The ACT (American College Test) is also an entrance exam used by colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test that is used to measure what a student has learned throughout his/her academic career. The main subjects tested on the ACT are English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science (Optional Essay Component).

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Graduate School Entrance Exams


The MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) is a multiple-choice, computer-based, standardized exam required for admission into medical schools in both the United States and Canada; it is the standard measure for comparing applicants. The MCAT helps the medical school admissions office better assess a person’s ability to problem solve, think critically, and the applicants understanding of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts along with other principles needed for the study of medicine.

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The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is an entrance exam required by most law schools. It is a multiple-choice, paper-and-pencil test that is administered by the Law School Admissions Council. The assessment focuses on critical thinking skills, reading comprehension, information organization, and argument evaluation.

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The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a computer- adaptive test used by graduate and business schools to make admissions and fellowship decisions. The exam provides a common criterion to compare applicants who have a wide range of academic and professional experience.

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The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) is a computer-adaptive test required by many business schools (MBA programs) for admissions. The exam does not test any specific content area but instead assesses the “mental intelligence” of an individual and their ability to make decisions and use strategies. The exam has four major components: analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning, quantitative, and verbal.

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