Testing

After an application is processed, testing is required of all candidates: 

In addition, personal interviews are scheduled for local applicants to grades 6 – 12.

Kindergarten

Above-average academic potential as indicated by individual cognitive tests administered by the school's assessment specialists; a satisfactory group observation report by primary grade faculty members; a commendable report from the applicant's current school; and progress report or report card, if available.

Grades 1 – 3

Achievement test results in reading and math comparable to or above Punahou medians; commendable report from prior school; writing skills comparable to Punahou grade level expectations; and report cards.

Grade 4

Third Grade Elementary SSAT (EL SSAT) results in quantitative, verbal, reading comprehension and writing; commendable report cards and recommendations from prior school.

Grade 5

Fourth Grade Elementary SSAT (EL SSAT) results in quantitative, verbal, reading comprehension and writing; commendable report cards and recommendations from prior school.

Grades 6 – 11

SSAT test results are comparable to Punahou averages. Score range averages of successful applicants are:

Grade Reading Verbal Quantitative
4 515 – 535 515 – 535
515 – 535
6 630 – 650 630 – 650 635 – 655
7 635 – 655 630 – 650 635 – 660
8 655 – 675 660 – 680 675 – 695
9 660 – 680 660 – 680 675 – 695
10 685 – 705 675 – 695 700 – 720
11 680 – 700 685 – 705 705 – 725

These are not cut-off points, but guidelines for decisions. While the majority of those accepted to Punahou score within or above the ranges listed, some applicants with lower scores may be admitted. In addition to SSAT test results, candidates need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school. In grades 10 – 12, transcripts are required, as candidates must have the necessary credits for graduation requirements. Grades of C or above are transferable for Punahou credit. Grades of C- or below are not transferable for credit.

Grade 12

The limited openings at this level will be filled by candidates having strong SAT scores. Scores of 617 for Critical Reading, 660 for Math and 631 for Writing are guidelines for decisions, but are not cutoff points. Along with strong SAT scores, above average grades and exemplary citizenship reports, applicants must have sufficient transferable credits to meet Punahou graduation requirements within one year.