Exam Schools

  • The Boston Public Schools (BPS) has three exam schools: Boston Latin Academy, Boston Latin School and the John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. All three schools accept new students for grades 7 and 9. The O’Bryant School also accepts a limited number of new students for grade 10.

     
    NEW THIS YEAR: Visit this page in August to register your child online for the exam schools!

    NOTE: Non-BPS students MUST verify their residency at a Welcome Center between Tuesday, October 10 and Friday, November 3, 2017. This includes students currently attending private school, parochial school, METCO program school, Commonwealth Charter school, school outside the City of Boston, and home-school. Families who do not complete this process will not be eligible for admission to an exam school.
  • Eligibility: Students must be enrolled in grades 6, 8, or 9 to register for the ISEE.

    How to Register:

    Online:The form will be available here in August. OR

    Paper:Paper test registration materials will be available the second week of September at all Boston area schools, BPS Welcome Centers and all Boston Public Library branches.

    We encourage ALL families to register online for the most up-to-date information about the exam school admissions process.

    Deadline: September 29, 2017

    National Test Option: Families applying to private and independent schools, in addition to the Boston exam schools, should consider taking the ISEE at a national test site. A national test administration also includes an essay portion (the BPS test administration does not include the essay.) It is the parent’s responsibility to schedule, pay, and assure that their child tests no later than Saturday, November 18, 2017. Please remember to select the Boston Exam Schools, school code 888888, when you register for a national test. Test scores must be received by the BPS by Friday, December 8, 2017.

    To register for a national exam, visit www.iseetest.org. Please note that students may sit for only one test administration within a four-month period. If national testing is selected, parents are not required to register for the November 4th ISEE with Boston Public Schools.

    Note that students not currently attending Boston Public Schools are still required to complete the residency verification process within the timeline described below.

     

    For students who have Limited English Proficiency:

    Accommodation: Depending on the student’s English proficiency, a student may be granted extended time and the use of a Word-to-Word dictionary.

    Process: Your child’s school must submit a Request Form for Testing Accommodations to Exam School Admissions at exam@bostonpublicschools.org or:

    Exam School Admissions
    Welcome Services
    2300 Washington Street
    Roxbury, MA 02119

    Students who are not currently enrolled in the Boston Public Schools are required to take an English Proficiency Test to determine eligibility. Current Boston Public Schools students are not required to take the English Proficiency Test. Special accommodations will not be granted at the test site without a confirmation letter from Welcome Services.

    Deadline: All requests must be submitted by September 29, 2017, to make arrangements for the November 4th exam.

    Dictionaries: A limited amount of bilingual word-to-word dictionaries will be available in select languages and will be provided on a first come first served basis. To ensure the use of the word-to-word dictionary, please bring your own copy, which is subject to inspection by the BPS. Approved bilingual dictionaries only provide word-to-word translations and do not include definitions. Parents may purchase a dictionary from the following list of authorized distributors:

    • Bilingual Dictionaries, Inc.
    • Hippocrene Books, Inc.
    • Tuttle Publishing

    For students who have a disability:

    Process: Your child’s school must submit (1) a Request Form for Testing Accommodations, and (2) a copy of the child’s Individualized Education Plan(IEP), 504 Plan, Neuro-Psychological Evaluation, or physician’s letter documenting a health concern. These should be sent to Exam School Admissions at exam@bostonpublicschools.org or:

    Exam School Admissions
    Welcome Services
    2300 Washington Street
    Roxbury, MA 02119

    Please contact your child’s school to ensure these documents are sent on time. Special accommodations will not be granted at the test site without a confirmation letter from Welcome Services.

    Deadline: All requests must be submitted by September 29, 2017, to make arrangements for the November 4th exam.

    The following students must complete the Residency Verification Process at a BPS Welcome Center by the first Friday in November:

    • Students attending private school
    • Students attending parochial school
    • Students attending METCO program schools
    • Students attending Commonwealth Charter schools (excludes UP Academy, Boston Green Academy, and other “in district” BPS charter schools)
    • Students attending schools outside the City of Boston
    • Students being home-schooled must demonstrate that both the student and parent/guardian live in the city of Boston through the residency verification process

    Details about locations and required documents can be found here: Residency Verification Locations & Schedule.

    If the residency verification process is not complete by the required deadline, the student will not be allowed to take the ISEE and will not be eligible for admission to a Boston exam school.

    Note that the residency verification must be completed even if you have other children enrolled in the Boston Public Schools; your student is receiving special education services from BPS; you are a current city employee; or if your child was previously enrolled in the BPS.

    About the test: The ISEE administered by the Boston Public Schools consists of four subtests: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Mathematics Achievement. The Middle Level test is used for candidates entering grade 7 and the Upper Level test is used for candidates entering grades 9 and 10. You can read more about the test here.

    Test Day: In order for students to test with BPS on November 4th, your child must bring the following materials to the test center:

    • ISEE Test Admission Ticket
    • Student Identification
    • Residency Verification Receipt (not required for current Boston Public Schools students)
    • Five sharpened No. 2 pencils and an eraser

    ISEE admission tickets are mailed to schools the week before the test, to be distributed to families.

    Examples of acceptable student identification include:

    • Student Identification
    • Residency Verification Receipt (not required for current Boston Public Schools students)
    • a passport with a recent photo of the child
    • a green card with a recent photo of the child
    • a BPS One Card or School ID
    • a Social Security Card
    • a Birth Certificate
    • a Progress Report from the current school year

    Candidate Release Forms are distributed in early January 2018 for the collection of student grades and to rank exam school choices.

    Decisions are sent to families in mid-March.

    Criteria for admission:The ISEE score counts for 50% of a student’s score, and the Grade Point Average (GPA) counts for 50% of a student’s score.

    • The GPA is based on marks in ELA/English and Mathematics from the previous school year (grade 5 or 7) and from the first two marking periods of the current year.
    • For students with grade 5 academic records from the Boston Public Schools, the spring term marks will be used to calculate the GPA. For students applying to grade 10 at the John O’Bryant School, only the current year marks will be considered.