An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Eliza Parsons, associate director of admissions

Along with 2020’s challenges, this past year has brought opportunities to be flexible, adaptive, and resilient. Our faculty pivoted to teaching a fully virtual program; our students learned new ways to build and maintain friendships; and our applicants adapted to learning about Lakeside through virtual tours and open houses. 

Recently, the admissions office had a chance to be flexible and responsive — we are now accepting admission testing from either SSAT or ISEE. This change came about after we learned that some applicants were having technical difficulties with the SSAT at-home in November. After discussions with the agencies that provide the SSAT and the ISEE, we decided to expand the options available for our prospective students. 

Applicants to Lakeside can now submit testing from either SSAT or ISEE. We hope this change allows applicants to choose the test with which they feel most comfortable and that best fits their schedule. Both the SSAT and the ISEE are offering at-home testing because there are limited physical locations offering testing this year. Please reference the chart below to identify which test options are available for your applicable grade level.

As a result of this change, we have also decided not to require or accept the Character Skills Snapshot as part of the application. The Snapshot is offered by the agency that runs the SSAT and we did not want any family who chooses to take the ISEE to have an additional fee. We will not review Snapshot results that may have already been sent in.

We understand this type of testing (or any type of standardized test!) is new for many of our applicants and there can be emotion around the act of testing and a test score. Remember that the SSAT or ISEE test is only one of multiple things we consider when reviewing a student’s application.

Our admissions office welcomes questions about our admissions process or Lakeside School in general. As our team continues to work remotely it is best to contact us via email at

Applying to Test options
Grade 5 ISEE — Lower Level
Grade 6

ISEE — Lower Level

SSAT — Middle Level

Grades 7 or 8 

ISEE — Middle Level

SSAT — Middle Level

Grades 9 or 10

ISEE — Upper Level

SSAT — Upper Level

Grades 11 or 12 

ISEE — Upper Level

SSAT — Upper Level