Testing for exam schools returns for 2023-24 student evaluations

The deadline to register for consideration in the 2023-24 Exam School Admissions process is coming on quickly; it’s this Friday, May 13, to be exact, and for the first time in two years it will feature the return of an entrance exam.

The city’s three exam schools include Boston Latin School, John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, and the Boston Latin Academy.

The entrance exam had been postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to concerns about testing during the pandemic. An entirely new process for entrance into the three schools was undertaken during the Covid years, and parts of that revised process remain within the new evaluation mechanism.

The deadline to register for the process on Friday includes for students in grades 5 and 7 this year – whether they are enrolled in a Boston Public School (BPS) or in a private, parochial, charter, METCO, or homeschool program. For those not in a BPS school, the new entrance exam test will be given at five sites around the city on Sat., June 4. Students who take that test can also re-test in the fall.

Students currently in a BPS school will take the entrance exam over a period of two days during the school day on June 8 and 9.

The entrance exam is a new test for the district named the MAP Growth Assessment; the former ISEE test was scrapped just before the pandemic due to concerns about inequities in the exam for students of color and low-income students.

The MAP test will account for 30 percent of the evaluation criteria to get into an exam school, and 70 percent of the criteria will come from student grades.

For 5th graders applying to enter 7th grade, grades from the first and second quarters of their 6th grade year, as well as the last quarter of 5th grade will be considered. For 7th graders seeking admission into 9th grade, the first and second quarters of 8th grade will be considered, as well as the last quarter of 7th grade.

Those grades will account for 70 percent of the admission criteria, and it will be the first time that grades are weighted so heavily, and the entrance exam scores are secondary.

Finally, an additional 15 points will be given to students who live in public housing, are in the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), or are experiencing homelessness. An additional 10 points will be awarded to students attending a school where 40 percent or more of the students come from economically disadvantaged families.

The timeline for the 2023-24 exam school process follows:
•May 13, 2022 – deadline for applying for consideration and testing.
•June 4, 2022 - MAP Test for non-BPS students.
•June 8 and 9, 2022 – MAP Test for BPS students during the school day.
•Oct. 10-Nov. 18, 2022 - Residency Verification.
•November/December 2022 – Fall MAP Test opportunity.
•January/February 2023 – Collection of grades and school certifications.
•March 2023 – Notification of student eligibility to be considered. (Only students that have applied and keep a ‘B’ average will be eligible.)
•April-May 2023 – Admission decisions released to students and families.

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