Boston Latin Exam 2019: Everything You Need to Know

The Boston Latin Exam will be held on Saturday, November 9th, 2019. 

Are you a Boston resident looking for better educational opportunities for your child? Boston Exam Schools provide a top notch education at no cost — the only trick is getting in.

There are three exam schools – Boston Latin AcademyBoston Latin School and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. All three accept new students for grades 7 and 9. The O’Bryant School also accepts a few new students for grade 10. Admission is based entirely on a student’s grades and test scores from the Independent Schools Entrance Exam (ISEE).

You must be a Boston resident to register. Boston includes:
Allston, Boston (Back Bay, Downtown, Fenway, North End, South End, West End), Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, Roxbury Crossing, South Boston and West Roxbury.

Because admission is so competitive, as you can imagine only the students with the highest grades will be applying, so the pool of applicants is already very selective. For admission, grades must be at the highest level, and that’s expected as a given. So your child’s best opportunity to get in is to perform to the best of their ability on the ISEE test.

According to Boston Latin School, “Entrance into BLS is partly based on what you get on a test that you take in the sixth grade, called the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam). So one thing you have to make sure to do if you want to go to Boston Latin is to sign up for the test! The exam is given at different schools in Boston, so there will definitely be a place near you.

The ISEE lasts for about three hours. You must take the test in pencil, and it is all multiple choice. You might think multiple choice tests are easy, but they aren’t always that way. This test is designed to check your knowledge of things you have already learned in school, and perhaps a little more. The sections on the test include math, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. For Reading Comprehension, you will be given a short passage to read and then you answer questions on it. In the Vocabulary section, you will have to figure out the meaning of certain words depending on how they are used in the sentence. They might be words you’ve never seen before. To do well on the Math sections, you should know basic geometry, word problems, how to multiply and divide, and even fractions.”

The ISEE test consists of vocabulary strategies (synonyms and sentence completions), reading comprehension (reading passages and answering questions), and mathematical reasoning. Most students find the vocabulary to be the most difficult piece, and studying root words and prefixes is vital to gain this knowledge. Students also struggle with the amount of passages they need to read in the short amount of time they are allotted. Additionally, there is quite a bit of math that students will see on the test that they have not learned in school. For more information about the subject areas of the exam, please click here.

If students are taking the Boston Latin Exam and these schools are the only ones to which they are applying, they need to take the test only that one time. If they are applying to other private schools, they need to take the ISEE again at another test site, because the Boston Latin Exam scores will not transfer to other schools.

Your child’s best chance of admission is to learn the content that they have not covered in school, in addition to practicing and refining their test-taking strategies. Children at these young ages often find it difficult to manage their time on standardized tests, so it is crucial that they practice and review their time management for the best possible efficiency and performance on test day.

For more information about our test prep programs, please click here.

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