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“I have never felt so supported in my 20+ years as a school administrator. EMA’s content is extremely relevant and timely. I appreciate all your efforts to reassure and spark new ideas for us. I start every morning with an ‘Enrollment Podcast!’”
Gold-Standard Assessment Tests such as the SSAT, the SSAT at Home, and the Character Skills Snapshot
Powerful Enrollment Tools, including the Standard Application Online and Student Prospect Lists
ALC Roundtables & Seminars that spark ideas and encourage collaboration
Professional Development, both online and in-person, to help you solve daily problems and build your portfolio of skills
Special Reports that provide essential industry and competitive intelligence
Data Dashboards, which simplify real-time data points and help you operationalize information
Member Meetups that put you in the best company for growing your expertise
24/7 Member Community, a vibrant network that offers insights and industry connections
Discounted Fees for professional development events and trainings, including EMA’s Annual Conference
The Yield, an in-depth quarterly magazine only available to EMA members
EMA Expertise & Support from association professionals whose mission is to provide you with unparalleled leadership and service
Free Online Admission Course as an added benefit when you renew your membership—free access to "Admission Planning: The Guide to Meeting Your Enrollment Goals"
Remember, your EMA Enrollment Toolkit includes enrollment and assessment tools, industry research, and professional development that helps you:
“I am in awe of EMA’s responsiveness and attentiveness to admission professionals who need it the most at this time. Huge thanks for the comforting outreach and the behind-the-scenes magic you do to help us all feel secure in the last leg of our admission season!”
After comprehensive deliberation and a series of surveys, focus groups, and meetings, admission directors, heads of schools, and administrators selected the character skills they thought were most important to consider in an admission context.
The Character Skills Snapshot is intended for students seeing application to independent schools in grades 6 through 12. The Snapshot was pilot tested with students in grades 5 through 11. The measurement properties of The Snapshot are stable across these grade levels.
The Character Skills Snapshot is meant to capture a student’s perceptions of themselves in relation to the character skills. They should answer the questions on their own with no help from parent, guardian, or peers. In the unlikely event that students do attempt to fake their answers, they should find it extremely difficult to fake the forced-choice portion. Given that the situational judgment test portion (section 2) is knowledge-based, there is no real threat of faking.
It is not the same thing as the SSAT. The Character Skills Snapshot was designed to complement standardized cognitive testing measures like the SSAT to provide a richer, more well-rounded picture of an individual applicant. It is taken separately from the SSAT. Schools can choose whether and how to utilize The Snapshot in their admission processes.
The Character Skills Snapshot is a noncognitive assessment tool that measures character skills (initiative, intellectual engagement, open-mindedness, resilience, self-control, social awareness, and teamwork).
There is a plethora of literature that suggests character skills are important for success in school, work, and life. It is one goal of independent schools to foster these skills in their students. Learn more about character and assessment on this NAIS page authored by David Holmes.
The Enrollment Management Association collaborated with admission directors, heads of schools, and teachers from more than 56 independent schools to develop The Character Skills Snapshot. Assessment development experts from the Educational Testing Service wrote some of the questions, and others were written by teachers and admission professionals from independent schools. It has been through rigorous pilot testing with approximately 12,000 students enrolled in or applying to independent schools across the country. Listen to a podcast with Dr. David Holmes, cofounder and codirector of the Institute on Character and Admission, and Meghan Brenneman, Ed.D., Director of Character Assessment Programs for The Enrollment Management Association, at the bottom of this page.
The Character Skills Snapshot is administered online in a student's home or other location with internet service. It is not available on mobile devices and is not given at schools.
There is no cost for The Character Skills Snapshot if a student registers to take the SSAT; registration will be available through the student's SSAT account. If a student does not register to take the SSAT, the cost is $40.00 USD.
For families having logistical issues with The Snapshot, please direct questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-683-4440 or live chat on ssat.org, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET. Additionally, step-by-step tutorials and answers to many frequently asked questions can be found on the family Snapshot page at ssat.org/Snapshot.
Parents/guardians must create both parent and student SSAT accounts to take The Snapshot.
The Parent Account
The Student Account
Yes. Participating member schools can issue fee waivers to those in financial need from their member access portals (MAPs). We'll automatically generate an email that will be sent to families which will include the fee waiver code that families can use in order to gain access to The Snapshot. Directions for utilizing fee waivers for The Snapshot can be found here.
The Character Skills Snapshot must be taken in one sitting. In our pretesting, it took students an average of 30 minutes to complete.
Students may take The Character Skills Snapshot one time per testing year (August 1 - July 15th) The Character Skills Snapshot is intended to capture a snapshot of the student at the moment when they apply and results are valid for one year. Reports are accessible via your portal for one year.
A school must be a member of The Enrollment Management Association in order to receive Character Skills Snapshot reports. Member schools that use the ISEE or another admission test must let students know they use The Snapshot so that families can sign up to access it.
If a member school would like to use The Snapshot, they simply log into their Member Access Portal (MAP), click on the link titled Character Skills Snapshot, and follow the steps to opt in to receive results.
Member schools will receive reports from those parents/guardians who select them as report recipients. A parent/guardian must choose to send Snapshot reports to a school. The reports will then be delivered to the schools Member Access Portal (MAP). Snapshot results are released according to the schedule listed online each year.
When a school is selected as a score recipient following the receipt of results by the parent/guardian, the school will receive results in real time.
Admission offices should use the information provided from The Character Skills Snapshot to complement other information required as a part of the application process, including SSAT test scores, interviews, grades, letters of recommendation, and other information. The Character Skills Snapshot is not intended and should not be used alone to make an admission decision. Schools are required to sign a fair use agreement prior to agreeing to accept Snapshot reports.