For all their differences, the ISEE and SSAT are both tests of mindset just as much as they are tests of memorizing material. On other standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, students work to master the content of every question in advance; on the ISEE and SSAT, they work to solve questions that are often beyond their grade-level and they may not recognize at all.

Often, these exams aren’t testing if students know the right answers, but if they have the right approach to get the right answer most of the time. These are strategy tests, in other words—mindset tests. Forum’s approach towards these tests differs intensively from other agencies by focusing on optimization strategies rather than memorization of material that may not even appear.