Why School Ranking Lists are Misleading

Parents often come to me with “data” they have found on-line, or in magazines regarding school ranking lists. These lists are often misleading and highly inaccurate.

I once asked one of the top schools in Boston (they get over 800 applicants each year for approximately 45 seats in their 7th grade) why they were not even rated as a top school in Boston by a local magazine. They replied that they had not purchased an ad in the publication! Often publications cut deals with advertisers to boost their rankings based on the school’s ad buy commitment. This is why you can’t trust the rankings in these publications!

I recently received an e-mail from Test Innovators, a west coast company that provides ISEE prep materials on-line. They are constantly trying to get me to pay them to refer ISEE test prep students to us. I delete these e-mails. We have been in business for over 17 years, and we do not need to pay someone to send us students. We have all the business we can handle, and then some.

Test Innovators just released the: “50 Most Competitive Schools of 2019”. I reviewed the list, and I was shocked that Winsor and Belmont Hill were not on the list, and The Roxbury Latin School was ranked #37, behind Milton, Nobles, BB&N and Boston Latin School. I have been compiling ISEE scores for students admitted to these 7 schools (and many others) for over 17 years, and I can tell you that this ranking by Test Innovators is fake news!

Test Innovators also listed Boston Latin Academy as one of the 50 most competitive schools in the United States, which is also false.

They also listed Kinkaid as the only top school in Houston, when everyone who knows anything knows that Saint John’s is the top private school in Houston. Just compare the college admissions stats of the two schools and their average SAT score, and you will see how far apart these two schools are.

Parents have to be VERY cautious when making decisions based on false information purported to be true on lists such as this. Shame on Test Innovators! What they do not tell you is that this is “self reported” data based only on the students who use and pay for their product. This is a highly skewed population. They disclose this only in the fine print of their rankings.

Could it be that parents looking to get their children into top schools do not fall for the false promises of a software company? They offer a cheap and dirty method of prepping for the ISEE, but make no mistake, it is not a quality program, and it is not likely to get your child into a top school.

To make matters worse, Test Innovators has charts that show families what their child needs to score (again based on “self reported” data from their paid customers only) to get into these schools. This data is also incorrect. I have a database of scores going back 17 years, from actual students, on actual ISEE tests, administered by the maker of the test (Educational Records Bureau), and this factual data is in conflict with their “self reported” data.

Buyer beware!

Below is the link to their list.


Anne Yount

Boston ISEE Prep
www.bostoniseeprep.com - Test Prep for the ISEE & Latin School Exam

Boston Tutoring Center
www.bostontutoringcenter.com - Tutoring Grades K-12

Boston Private School Search
www.bostonprivateschoolsearch.com - Your Resource for Private School Admissions

Follow my blog at: www.privateschoolguru.com/blog

Lighthouse Education, Inc.
www.lighthouse-education.org - Changing Lives One Student at a Time

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Has the College Admission Process Made you Crazy?

It has been a while since we have posted!

It has been a VERY busy back-to-school season.

We are almost 100% booked for 2020 ISEE and SAT prep.

Below is a link to funny, but true article from The Boston Globe about the college admissions process.

Happy reading!