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Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

Gaining admission to a Selective Enrollment High School is very competitive, and test scores are a significant factor in determining acceptance into the top schools, with 7th grade MAP scores comprising a third of a student’s point total and the 8th grade Selective Enrollment Exam accounting for an additional third. At Academic Approach, we encourage parents and students to begin instruction the summer before 7th grade. We’ve summarized three important guidelines to consider as you prepare:

1. Timing is critical 

While the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Selective Enrollment Exam is scheduled for dates across fall and winter of 8th grade, it’s key for students to prepare for the exam with strong academic skill-building throughout 7th grade, including preparation for the MAP test in the spring of 7th grade while earning strong grades.*

Note: One-third of students’ admission eligibility is determined by their 7th-grade letter grades in Reading, Math, Social Studies, and Science, and an additional third is determined by their 7th-grade qualifying test scores on the MAP exam.

2. Develop academic excellence

Improving 7th grade academic performance will prepare students for the 8th grade Selective Enrollment Exam. This exam incorporates key math, reading, grammar, and vocabulary learned throughout elementary and middle school, and students will need time to learn all these skills.

3. Strategic practice makes perfect

Some specific features of the 8th grade Selective Enrollment Exam can make it especially challenging for students and require additional preparation.

  • No calculators allowed: Mental math is critical to success! Teach students to solve without the calculator as a tool. While they can use a calculator on the MAP test, they’ll have to rely on mental math and calculation skills on the 8th grade test.
  • Vocabulary is explicitly tested:  Motivate students to read complex texts and incorporate vocabulary in their speaking and writing to build high-level vocabulary skills through authentic practice.

For more information on the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Selective Enrollment Exam, visit our information page here.

We’re happy to share other key insights and resources to drive your student’s success. Feel free to give us a call at 773-348-8914 or get in touch by filling out our contact form.

Be well,
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO

*Timing may be subject to change due to Coronavirus limitations on in-person events.

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