How to Apply to Exam Schools



What are Exam Schools?

Boston Public Schools (BPS) has three “exam schools” for students in grades 7–12. Other areas of the country may refer to these types of schools as “magnet schools.”

Boston’s three exam schools are:

  1. Boston Latin School

  2. Boston Latin Academy

  3. John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science

Entry into these exam schools is determined by the student’s grades and their performance on a standardized test. Each exam school accepts students entering grade 7 and another group of students in grade 9. The O’Bryant School also accepts a small number of students entering grade 10.


Who is eligible to apply for and attend Exam Schools?

All of the following must be true:

  1. Students must be currently enrolled in 6th, 8th, or 9th grade (O’Bryant only) to apply; and 

  2. Students must reside in the City of Boston. Proof of residency is required for students not currently attending Boston Public Schools. 

How do you apply to Exam Schools?

For the past 25 years, BPS has used the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) as part of its admission criteria to its three exam schools.

As of February 2020, the ISEE test will no longer be used by BPS for exam school admissions. We will provide more information and guidance once a new exam school entrance standard has been selected by BPS.

For more information, please read our full statement regarding the elimination of the ISEE test for BPS exam schools.

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