At BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, we seek applicants who have an interest in learning at an international level, a desire to make a contribution, a willingness to work hard, and an ambition to join a collaborative, supportive, and joyful community of peers, Learning Expert Teachers, and Subject Expert Teachers. Be ready to participate in a culture where academics are encouraged, learning is celebrated, and students have fun! In order to both ensure student success and manage the popularity of our program, admissions is a selective process.


What is the Entrance Exam?
The Entrance Exam is part of the admissions process for students applying for Grades 2 - 9 for fall 2023. Its results show us concepts understood, and concepts not yet understood for the grade level they are applying for. All applicants will take this BASIS Independent Schools Entrance Exam.


How will your Entrance Exam be conducted this year?
Entrance Exams will be conducted in person and on our campuses this admissions season. 


What is a passing score on the Entrance Exam?
This exam is not a pass or fail. Because the exam is diagnostic in nature, we consider it to be just one part of our comprehensive admissions process along with all the other application requirements. 


How will I learn the results of the Entrance Exam?
We do not share exam results with applicants or parents. 


Do you require students to take the ISEE or other similar outside exams? Do you accept these scores? 
We do not require the ISEE, HSPT, or SSAT, nor will the Admissions Team accept or review these scores. 

All Grade 2 - 9 applicants are required to take the BASIS Independent Schools Entrance Exam. 


What is on the Entrance Exam?
Our Entrance Exam covers three topics: math, English/Language Arts, and writing. The content of these exams is based on the foundational material needed for the grade students are applying for. 

  • Math: Students will be presented with a set of open-ended math questions based on their incoming grade level and the BASIS Curriculum Schools program. Exam length: 30 minutes. 
  • English/Language Arts: Students will be presented with reading comprehension and grammar multiple-choice questions. Students will read short passages and then answer questions to test their comprehension, as well as their knowledge of words-in-context, literary devices, etc. Students will also be presented with grammar questions that will ask them to correct sentences or identify parts of speech. Exam length: 30 minutes. 
  • Writing: Students will be presented with an essay prompt and asked to write a response. Exam length: 30 minutes. 


How long does the Entrance Exam take?
In total, we ask for families to allow two hours. The exam is self-paced, but students have up to 30 minutes for each topic. These two hours will allow enough time for the proctor to take attendance, read the instructions, and for all students to complete all three parts of the exam. 

We commonly find Middle and High School applicants take the full two hours, but for Grade 5 and below it can vary from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.


How should my student prepare academically for the exam?
Preparation is not necessary. We want students to focus on their current academics at their current school, and not study for or stress over an exam they will never know the results of.

The exam is used by the Admissions Team and Head of School to find out where your student is, academically speaking. As BASIS Independent Schools offers an advanced curriculum, it is completely normal for your child to encounter some challenging or unknown concepts on our exam. 


What should my student bring to the exam?
Students are required to bring their own pencils and erasers. Admissions will have extra pencils and erasers if needed, but students should not depend on using them. Students are also welcome to bring a water bottle, but it can not be a glass bottle. We do not allow food in our classrooms.

Cell phones, calculators, rulers, and smartwatches are not allowed. 

When should we arrive on campus for the exam?

The campus will open 30 minutes before the exam start time, 9:30 AM. All exams will begin promptly at 10:00 AM. We will have a closed campus once the exam begins and will not allow late students to join. If students arrive after 9:55 AM, they will not be able to participate in the exam and will have to reschedule.

Families are encouraged to arrive by 9:45 AM at the latest to allow enough time to park, check in, and have their students led to their assigned classroom. 

What should parents do while their child takes the exam?
Parents will be able to wait in the campus parking lots for the duration of the exam but will not be permitted to wait inside the campus lobby (San Jose) or outside the classrooms. (Sunnyvale). 

The exam is self-paced but a classroom will not be dismissed until all students have completed all three sections of the exam, or their allotted time has run out. 

We commonly find Middle and High School applicants take the full two hours, but for Grade 5 and below it can vary from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. As such, we would not advise parents leaving campus for more than 30 minutes to grab a coffee or run a quick errand. 


How do I sign up for an exam?
Once you submit an application, you will be guided in the application portal to schedule your exam date. While there is an application fee, there is no additional fee for the exam. The application fee covers all requirements of the application process.


When are the In-Person Entrance Exam dates?
Saturday, October 15 at 10:00 AM* (Early Admissions Only)
Saturday, October 29 at 10:00 AM* (Early Admissions Only)
Saturday, January 7 at 10:00 AM* (Regular Admissions)
Saturday, February 11 at 10:00 AM* (Regular Admissions)
Saturday, March 4 at 10:00 AM* (Regular Admissions)

*Please note, once an exam date fills, we will close registration for that date and families will have to sign-up for the next available exam.


If you have any questions, email us at

BASIS Independent Silicon Valley is a TK - Grade 12 private school, providing students an internationally benchmarked liberal arts and sciences curriculum, with advanced STEM offerings. Considering joining the Bobcat communityJoin our interest list by clicking here to receive admissions updates for fall 2023 and more.