What is The Snapshot?

Snapshot Icons

The Character Skills Snapshot was designed to measure essential character skills deemed prevalent among independent school missions, and those which schools seek to nurture in their students: initiative, intellectual engagement, open-mindedness, resilience, self control, social awareness, and teamwork.

The Character Skills Snapshot is an online assessment tool that provides schools with a holistic view of each applicant. It measures a child’s character skill development and is meant to complement more traditional cognitive assessments, such as the SSAT. The Character Skills Snapshot gives admission teams richer information and illuminates areas where their schools can help children grow, thrive, and shine.

Member Success Story: Lakeside School

Booth Kyle, Associate Head of School and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Lakeside School (WA), discusses how his school uses the Character Skills Snapshot in their admissions process to ensure a more holistic approach.

Because Character Matters.

We know that schools care about students and how they grow—not just in cognitive skills such as writing and math, but also growing into good citizens with integrity, resilience, and social awareness—those skills that carry them forward into a successful adult life. Character and personal growth are an integral part of an independent school education. While a child’s personality and character have always been important to the independent school admission process, there has not yet been a tool that could measure the character skills a student is developing.

The Snapshot is meant to provide a snapshot in time of a student’s character skills—it is not a fixed, absolute measure. It provides a way for schools to get to know a child better and an opportunity for them to enumerate the ways in which their communities can enrich and develop a child’s developing skills. 

What's New for 2019-20?

About the modification of the skills and their descriptions:

Following an exceptional pilot year with The Snapshot, in which more than 16,500 students took the assessment, our research team gathered to assess the corresponding dataset. We found that there was significant overlap among data corresponding to the items providing information on "responsibility" and several other skills, leading to the conclusion that maintaining responsibility as a standalone skill was not necessary.

We also determined that the skill we initially labeled "intellectual curiosity" was much better represented by the term "intellectual engagement," which also distinguishes it from other skills more completely. We updated all skill definitions to better reflect the item content measuring them - this does not mean the traits have changed, it simply means we have clarified their identifying behaviors.

Quote from Jay Lasley of Norfolk Academy