Sarah Beth Lively Middle School

Magnet Admissions Testing for SY 2024-2025

Please go the the "Apply Now" Page to apply for the Magnet Program.

Thank you so much for your interest in the Lively Magnet Program. All admissions essay sessions for the 2024-2025 school year at Lively will be in-person. If your student needs a virtual testing session they may test at Kealing MS. It is the family's responsibility to contact Kealing and arrange testing if you test virtually. Lively and Kealing will share essay results so your student only needs to attend one essay session.  Please read the following information carefully so that your student has a comfortable and successful testing experience. 

Lively honors all special education and 504 testing accommodations. Families must provide accommodation documentation to Director Tipton either through uploading them on our digital application (on the Enrollment Page) or by emailing them to at least two weeks prior to their student's testing session. We want to be sure we are giving your students the best testing experience possible. 


Additional Admissions Components 

1. Essay Test

Please sign up for an essay writing session on our enrollment page digital application. Students will be guided through the essay writing process and supervised by Lively Staff. Students will be able to choose one of two prompts and will have 30 minutes to hand write their essay unless they receive extended time accommodations through either Special Education or 504 services.  NOTE: Because essay writing is timed, we cannot allow late entries. Please arrive on campus at least 10 minutes early.


Practice Prompts:

Although we do not release the prompt ahead of time, please use these sample prompts for practice:

Practice Option 1: Oscar Levant, a pianist and movie actor, said, “Happiness is not something you experience, it’s something you remember.” Describe an event that you are happy to remember. Provide specific examples and details to support why this event was a special memory. 

Practice Option 2: Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist, said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Explain why it is important to take action or speak up against things that you feel are wrong. Provide examples from your life, history, or current events.


Lively Magnet Essay Writing Sessions:

Families must complete the application part 2 to register for an essay writing session. Students will write their essays in the Lively Cafeteria. Please arrive 15 minutes early as we cannot allow late entries into the testing room.  All participants can wear a mask but not required. Students may bring the following items into the testing area:

  • Water and quiet snacks
  • A jacket
  • A favorite pen or pencil (We will also provide these)

Parents are welcome to stay at Lively during testing but are not allowed in the testing room. Parents can wait in our lobby during testing or run errands and return at the pick-up time. Please contact the Magnet office at (512) 414-3207 ext 70382 or at with any questions.

All testing must be completed by January 8th. Should your family need a different time than the options below, please contact Ms. Vazquez. Thank you. 


Essay Session Dates: December 2, 9, & 16 (in-person or virtual)


2. The Virtual Interview (Optional)

Please note that this interview is unique to Lively's program. We do not share a video with Kealing, our's has different prompts. Please access the link here.  is also on our Enrollment page in our application and in Part 2 of the application.  Directions and prompts are included for students to record a 2 minute virtual interview. If families have difficulties with, you may upload and send your student's video file in the part 2 Google Form. Please send via Google drive and give permissions for anyone to view the video for our scoring committee. Please name your student's video using the following format: Last Name, First Name.  Families have until January 7th to complete this piece in the comfort of their home. 


 NOTE: The virtual interview is optional. Scoring breakdown:

WITH Video:

  • Essay (1/4 total score)
  • Video (1/4 total score)
  • Teacher recommendations & Grades (1/2 total score)


 Without Video:

  • Essay (1/2 total score)
  • Teacher recommendations & Grades (1/2 total score)