Admission
Application Process

Requirements and Testing

Information on the requirements and testing criteria for each entry point are provided by grade level below. 

List of 9 items.

  • Kindergarten

    There are 150 openings for the incoming Kindergarten class, which will include 6 classrooms of 25 students each (some variations occur). Applicants for 2021 – 2022 must have been born within the following dates:

    • Boys: June 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016
    • Girls: September 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016
    Begin by submitting your application online through the enrollment management system. Your child will be scheduled for two sessions at Punahou, required of all candidates.

    An individual session with an assessment specialist is scheduled for each child during the school week, between September and February. This session includes an individual cognitive test to help determine academic potential.

    Each child is also required to attend a Saturday morning classroom session with other applicants, from which faculty members will submit a group observation report.

    teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current teacher. Applicants will also be asked to submit a report card or progress report from the previous school year and the first semester of the current school year. If your child’s school does not have any written reports, please contact the Admission Office so we may note this on your child’s application.
  • Grades 1 – 3

    Openings in grades 1 – 3, 5, 8, and 10 – 12 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year). Applications for grades 1 – 3 and 5 are only accepted from applicants who were placed in the previous year's wait pool (those who qualified the previous year, but were not placed). Wait pool applicants must submit a new application and complete testing for the current application year.

    The deadlines to apply for the 2020 – 2021 school year are as follows:

    Grades 1 – 3December 31, 2020
    Grade 5October 31, 2020
    Grades 8 and 10 – 12November 15, 2020


    Only those who qualified for the Kindergarten wait pool may apply.

    Begin by submitting your application online. Your child is required to attend a classroom testing session with other applicants on March 6, 2021, from which faculty members will submit a group observation report to accompany the test results. Out-of-state applicants for grade 1 must attend a classroom testing session at Punahou. Out-of-state applicants for grades 2 and 3 may request mail tests.

    A teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current teacher. Applicants will also be asked to submit a report card or progress report from the previous school year and the first semester of the current school year.
  • Grade 4

    There are 50 openings to join the fourth grade class, which is comprised of roughly 200 students, in 8 classrooms of 25 students each (some variations occur).

    Begin by submitting your application online. Your child must register for and take the Third Grade Elementary Level SSAT (EL SSAT). The EL SSAT may be taken twice. The results must be sent to Punahou by SSAT. Register online for the EL SSAT and download or order the Official Guide to the EL SSAT at SSAT.org. If requesting a waiver for the EL SSAT fee, contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    Score range averages of successful applicants are:
     
    READINGVERBALQUANTITATIVE
    530 – 550535 – 555520 – 540

    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.

    Each child living on O‘ahu is also required to attend a classroom group session with other applicants, from which faculty members will submit a group observation report to accompany the test results.

    teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you plan to have your child take the test on O‘ahu, please register for the November 21, 2020 test at Punahou. We are not aware of other O‘ahu schools offering the test this season.
  • Grade 5

    Openings in grades 1 – 3, 5, 8, and 10 – 12 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year). Applications for grades 1 – 3 and 5 are only accepted from applicants who were placed in the previous year's wait pool (those who qualified the previous year, but were not placed). Wait pool applicants must submit a new application and complete testing for the current application year.

    The deadlines to apply for the 2020 – 2021 school year are as follows:

    Grades 1 – 3December 31, 2020
    Grade 5October 31, 2020
    Grades 8 and 10 – 12November 15, 2020

    Only those who qualified for the fourth grade wait pool may apply.

    Begin by submitting your application online. Your child must register for and take the Fourth Grade Elementary Level SSAT (EL SSAT). The EL SSAT may be taken twice. The results must be sent to Punahou by SSAT. Register online for the EL SSAT and download or order the Official Guide to the EL SSAT at SSAT.org. If requesting a waiver for the EL SSAT fee, contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    Each child living on O‘ahu is also required to attend a classroom group session with other applicants in January or February, from which faculty members will submit a group observation report to accompany the test results.

    teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you plan to have your child take the test on O‘ahu, please register for the November 21, 2020 test at Punahou. We are not aware of other O‘ahu schools offering the test this season.
  • Grades 6 & 7

    There are 88 openings to join the sixth grade class, which is comprised of roughly 288 students, in 12 classrooms of 24 students each. There are 80 openings to join the seventh grade class, which is comprised of roughly 368 students, in 16 classrooms of 23 students each. Some variations occur.

    Begin by submitting your application online. Your child must register for and take the August, September, October, November, December or January Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT). The results must be sent to Punahou by SSAT. Register online for the SSAT and download or order the Official Guide to the SSAT at SSAT.org. If requesting a waiver for the SSAT fee, contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    Score range averages of successful applicants are:
     
    GRADEREADINGVERBALQUANTITATIVE
    6615 – 635620 – 640620 – 640
    7615 – 635625 – 645625 – 645

    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.

    Each applicant is also required to participate in a one-on-one interview.

    In addition to favorable SSAT test results, applicants need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers as well as either science or social studies. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. Participation in activities may date back two years, pre-COVID-19. These forms are optional.
  • Grade 8

    Openings in grades 1 – 3, 5, 8, and 10 – 12 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year). Applications for grades 1 – 3 and 5 are only accepted from applicants who were placed in the previous year's wait pool (those who qualified the previous year, but were not placed). Wait pool applicants must submit a new application and complete testing for the current application year.

    The deadlines to apply for the 2020 – 2021 school year are as follows:
     
    Grades 1 – 3December 31, 2020
    Grade 5October 31, 2020
    Grades 8 and 10 – 12November 15, 2020

    Begin by submitting your application online. Your child must register for and take the August, September, October, November, December or January Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT). The results must be sent to Punahou by SSAT. Register online for the SSAT and download or order the Official Guide to the SSAT at SSAT.org. If requesting a waiver for the SSAT fee, contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    Score range averages of successful applicants are:

    READINGVERBALQUANTITATIVE
    675 – 695660 – 680670 – 690
     
    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.

    Each applicant is also required to participate in a one-on-one interview.

    In addition to favorable SSAT test results, applicants need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    teacher reference report must be submitted by each of your child’s current English and math teachers as well as either science or social studies. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. Participation in activities may date back two years, pre-COVID-19. These forms are optional.
  • Grade 9

    There are 72 openings to join the ninth grade class, which is comprised of roughly 440 students.

    Begin by submitting your application online. Your child must register for and take the August, September, October, November, December or January Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT). The results must be sent to Punahou by SSAT. Register online for the SSAT and download or order the Official Guide to the SSAT at SSAT.org. If requesting a waiver for the SSAT fee, contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    Score range averages of successful applicants are:
     
    READINGVERBALQUANTITATIVE
    650 – 670655 – 675670 – 690

    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.

    Each applicant is also required to participate in a one-on-one interview.

    In addition to favorable SSAT test results, applicants need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    teacher reference report must be submitted by your child’s current English and math teachers as well as either science or social studies. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first semester report card, including comments for the current school year.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. Participation in activities may date back two years, pre-COVID-19. These forms are optional.
  • Grades 10 & 11

    Openings in grades 1 – 3, 5, 8, and 10 – 12 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year). Applications for grades 1 – 3 and 5 are only accepted from applicants who were placed in the previous year's wait pool (those who qualified the previous year, but were not placed). Wait pool applicants must submit a new application and complete testing for the current application year.

    The deadlines to apply for the 2020 – 2021 school year are as follows:
     
    Grades 1 – 3December 31, 2020
    Grade 5October 31, 2020
    Grades 8 and 10 – 12November 15, 2020

    Begin by submitting your application online. Your child must register for and take the August, September, October, November, December or January Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT). The results must be sent to Punahou by SSAT. Register online for the SSAT and download or order the Official Guide to the SSAT at SSAT.org. If requesting a waiver for the SSAT fee, contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance before registering for the test.

    Score range averages of successful applicants are:
     
    GRADEREADINGVERBALQUANTITATIVE
    10660 – 680670 – 690690 – 710
    11660 – 680690 – 710705 – 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.

    Each applicant is also required to participate in a one-on-one interview.

    In addition to favorable SSAT test results, candidates need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    teacher reference report must be submitted by each of your child’s current English and math teachers as well as either science or social studies. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first semester report card, including comments for the current school year. Grading symbols other than A, B, C, etc., should be explained, as should any citizenship grading system.

    In addition to official report cards, an official transcript of all high school work, including the first semester or trimester of the current school year, must be submitted. Grades of C or above are transferable for Punahou credit. Grades of C- or below are not transferable for credit.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. Participation in activities may date back two years, pre-COVID-19. These forms are optional.
  • Grade 12

    Openings in grades 1 – 3, 5, 8, and 10 – 12 are based on withdrawals (spaces that become available due to current students who will not return for the next school year). Applications for grades 1 – 3 and 5 are only accepted from applicants who were placed in the previous year's wait pool (those who qualified the previous year, but were not placed). Wait pool applicants must submit a new application and complete testing for the current application year.

    The deadlines to apply for the 2020 – 2021 school year are as follows:

    Grades 1 – 3December 31, 2020
    Grade 5October 31, 2020
    Grades 8 and 10 – 12November 15, 2020

    Begin by submitting your application online. After your application is processed, your child must provide Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores with essay. The limited openings at this level will be filled by applicants with 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. Applicants may register for the SAT with essay online at www.collegeboard.com and a copy of the results must be provided to Punahou by the applicant.

    Each applicant is also required to participate in a one-on-one interview.

    In addition to favorable SAT test scores, applicants need to have commendable academic records, satisfactory writing skills, and a positive recommendation from their current school.

    teacher reference report must be submitted by each of your child’s current English and math teachers as well as either science or social studies. Applicants will also be asked to submit the previous school year’s complete report card, including teacher comments for all reporting periods, and the first semester report card, including comments for the current school year. Grading symbols other than A, B, C, etc., should be explained, as should any citizenship grading system.

    In addition to official report cards, an official transcript of all high school work, including the first semester or trimester of the current school year, must be submitted. Grades of C or above are transferable for Punahou credit. Grades of C- or below are not transferable for credit.

    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.

    Two extracurricular reference report forms may be submitted by the leaders of two activities in which the applicant participates, e.g., scouts, music lessons, sports. Participation in activities may date back two years, pre-COVID-19. These forms are optional.
Due dates for testing, teacher reference reports and other supporting documents are described in detail in the enrollment management system.

If the applicant has recently completed a standardized test in reading, language or math, the results, complete with the name of the test, level and date, may be submitted. This is optional; it is useful to have this additional data, but it is not a requirement as some students have not been previously tested.

Punahou reserves the right to require additional documentation for students with learning differences.