Character Skills Snapshot

Better understand your applicants for a more holistic admissions process.

Character belongs at the forefront of education.

Reimagine the role of admission assessment with the Character Skills Snapshot. The ideal complement to cognitive testing such as the SSAT and other traditional admission practices, the Snapshot fills the gaps to help admission teams gain a holistic appreciation for who a candidate is in addition to what they know.

Parents look to independent schools for the highest-quality education that includes character, social, and emotional development. Putting character at the forefront of education begins in admissions with the Snapshot, where gaining character insight helps schools better support students and educate the whole child.

How do students see themselves?

With the Character Skills Snapshot, an innovative standardized assessment, your admission team can equally compare the character traits of applicants from all around the world. The Snapshot measures student preferences, attitudes, and beliefs toward the following intellectual, intrapersonal, and interpersonal character skills.

An icon of a lightbulb with an orange to yellow gradient.

Intellectual Engagement

Willingness and enjoyment of pursuing learning opportunities.

An icon of a key with with an orange to yellow gradient.


Willingness to try new things.

An icon of a clipboard with an orange to yellow gradient.


Preference to start tasks promptly.

An icon of an umbrella with an orange to yellow gradient.


Rebounding from unexpected situations and changing circumstances.

An icon of a speedometer with an orange to yellow gradient.


Monitor and control thoughts and actions and what to say to others.

An icon of a compass with an orange to yellow gradient.

Social Awareness

Responding to everyday situations appropriately.

An icon of three people in a group with an orange to yellow gradient.


Engaging in supportive behaviors and emphasizing empathy that enables productive collaboration

Over 500 independent schools are gaining insight into students from more than 80 countries with the Character Skills Snapshot.

It's time to champion transformational education journeys. Let’s do it together.


Benefits Beyond Admission Assessment

The more schools understand its uses beyond admissions; the more students benefit from the Snapshot. 


Reduce Bias

An industry-leading standardized method to assess each applicant's character to provide a holistic view of students and help reduce bias, so admission teams can better identify the right-fit students.


Support Students

By understanding students’ character strengths and emerging skills, schools can plan academic and advising programs accordingly.


Partner With Parents

Parents appreciate gaining a deeper understanding of their child’s character development and how they can better support their growth.


Enable Students

Students gain a stronger voice in the admission process, and valuable experience as character assessments continue to grow in higher education and the workforce.

See what admissions professionals have to say about the Character Skills Snapshot.

“Who you are as a school is who a student should see from the moment they enter the admissions process. At Crossroads, this meant making the student, rather than the school, the focus of our admissions process. The Snapshot was the ideal tool to help us do that.”

Amy Walia-Fazio
Amy Walia-Fazio
Director of Secondary Admission, Crossroads, CA
Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences (CA)

"Because we've used the Snapshot over a number of years, it continues to reveal itself to us that it's really a tool that can help us determine where we can help students grow and thrive.”

Victoria Muradi
Victoria Muradi
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Durham Academy (NC)

“In some cases, the Snapshot brought to light areas of a student’s character we hadn’t considered. In other cases, the Snapshot report helped us fill in missing pieces. Beyond the assessment piece, the Snapshot has also given us a profile of our incoming class—the strengths and challenges.”

Angela Elledge
Angela Elledge
Associate Director of Admission, Marist School, GA
Marist School (GA)

"The Character Skills Snapshot balanced our decision-making process when it came down to building our cohorts. We read applications as files, but we're building a class of humans, and figuring out who will thrive in a group together, which is essential to a student's success. The Snapshot allowed us to do that. Diving deeper into how students learn and, mainly, how they see themselves helps build a balanced cohort for us."

Victoria Kimball
Victoria Kimball
Associate Director of Admissions, Keys School, CA
Keys School (CA)

The Science Behind the Snapshot

The Snapshot stems from extensive research incorporating EMA’s Think Tank on the Future of Assessment; independent school enrollment leaders, teachers, and faculty; and the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The Snapshot is regularly evaluated and modified, so questions and measurement processes are up-to-dateand accurate.

The result is an innovative online character assessment for students entering grades 6–12. Snapshot questions fall into two categories—forced choice and situational judgment—with no right or wrong answers. Character development is fluid over time, and the Snapshot report represents how students currently see themselves, displaying each trait as emerging, developing, or demonstrating.

Students take the Snapshot in approximately 25 minutes from the comfort of their homes. EMA provides Equity Tech Kits for families without a home computer or stable internet connection. Fee waivers are also available to qualified families.

Want to learn more? Click the button below and fill out our quick contact form to get the ball rolling.

Two admission officers discussing a Character Skills Snapshot report.

Schools need reliable tools to make confident decisions about applicants.

It's time to champion transformational education journeys. Let’s do it together.

Schools Benefiting From the Snapshot

Marist School logoMid-Pacific School logoCrossroads School logoCrescent School logoLakeside School logo

Interested in The Character Skills Snapshot?

Fill out this form to get started!