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Dear Academic Approach Families & Colleagues:

This fall, we’re working closely with families, schools, and students to prepare them for a variety of high school entrance exams. Below, we’re answering a few common questions we’ve heard about the changes to the tests and process this year.

With multiple MAP tests used for selection for Chicago Public Schools selective enrollment high schools, what happens if a student performed better on reading on one test date and math on another?

Chicago Public Schools has stated that they will be superscoring MAP scores for CPS students from spring 2019, fall 2019, winter 2020, and the upcoming winter 2021 test sittings for selection to selective enrollment high schools. That means they will take their highest reading and math scores, even if they are from different test dates.

What about grades? Which grades will be used in selective enrollment scoring?

Chicago Public Schools will also be “superscoring” grades—so they’ll use the higher grade from either the first semester of 7th grade or the full year for each core subject considered (Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies).

Many independent, boarding, and parochial schools are looking at 6th grade report cards in addition to 7th and 8th grade this year.

Which tests are offered online, and which tests will be taken in a pencil-and-paper setting? How can students prepare?

This year, many of the high school entrance exams are offering options for online or paper-based testing. The SSAT and ISEE tests (primarily for boarding and independent schools) are offering computer-based testing both remotely in students’ homes and in test centers as well as paper-based testing options. Though the decision is school based, many parochial schools in the Chicagoland area are offering the HSPT as a remote, virtual exam. Students are required to register in advance this year. Be sure to check with the individual school where you plan to test to confirm how they’ll be giving the test. If you need accommodations or technical support, you’ll want to reach out as well.

For Chicago Public Schools, the MAP test will be given online, in person at a CPS school. The selective enrollment test will be given as a pencil-and-paper test at a CPS school as well.

The best preparation for any of these tests is rigorous academic instruction—and at Academic Approach, we’ve created assessments designed to assess students’ strengths and gaps on high school entrance exams to best assess where they might need additional support. For online-based high school entrance exams, we also provide additional tools to help students practice online testing to prepare for test day.

We have detailed information on our programming for middle school students on our website!

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

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