1. What is the ISEE?
The ISEE, or the Independent School Entrance Exam, is designed to test quantitative and verbal abilities in students wishing to attend independent schools. The test is offered in three different levels: the Lower Level for students in grades 4-5 , the Middle Level for students in grades 6-7, and the Upper Level for students in grades 8-11. The Lower Level test is 2 hours and 20 minutes, the Middle and Upper Level tests are 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The ISEE contains five different content areas: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and an Essay.
- Verbal Reasoning:
i. Lower Level—34 multiple choice questions in 20 minutes
ii. Middle Level/Upper Level—40 questions in 20 minutes
- Quantitative Reasoning:
i. Lower Level—38 multiple choice questions in 35 minutes
ii. Middle Level/Upper Level —37 multiple choice questions in 35 minutes
- The Reading Comprehension:
i. Lower Level—25 multiple choice questions in 25 minutes
ii. Middle Level/Upper Level —36 multiple choice questions in 35 minutes
- Mathematics Achievement
i. Lower Level—30 questions in 30 minutes
ii. Middle Level/Upper Level —47 questions in 40 minutes
i. All levels—1 prompt in 30 minutes.
2. How important are my ISEE scores?
The importance of the ISEE varies from school to school. Some schools place tremendous emphasis on the ISEE, whereas some schools simply view it as a small piece of the puzzle. While GPA, extracurricular activities and recommendations are extremely important, the ISEE is the sole opportunity for schools to fairly compare applicants across a uniform scale. Bottom line: An outstanding ISEE score will wow any admissions committee and bolster a student’s chances for acceptance into a competitive school.
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3. Can I take the ISEE multiple times?
The ISEE can only be taken once every 6 months on national test dates.
4. How is the ISEE scored?
The ISEE is scored by adding together the number of questions a student answers correctly—this number becomes known as the raw score. The raw score corresponds to a scaled score on a unique bell curve. This bell curve is broken down into nine segments called stanines; each stanine corresponds both with a scaled score and a percentile rank. Stanines are not divided evenly. For example, Stanine 9 corresponds with scores in the 96th–99th percentile, whereas Stanine 6 corresponds with the 60th–76th percentile. These Stanine groupings are used by admission review boards in assessing students.
The essay section is ungraded but sent to schools as a writing sample.
5. What types of questions are on the ISEE?
The ISEE test Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and an Essay
On the Verbal Reasoning section, students will encounter grade-level appropriate questions on:
- Sentence Completion
On the Quantitative Reasoning section, students will encounter grade-level appropriate questions on:
- Estimating numerical values
- Employing logic
- Comparing and contrasting quantities
- Analyzing and interpreting data
- Summarizing graphs
- Applying reason to calculate basic probability.
On the Reading Comprehension section, students will encounter five grade-level appropriate passages with questions on:
- Main and supporting ideas
- Organization and logic
- Tone, style and figurative language.
On the Mathematic Achievement section, students will encounter grade-level appropriate questions on:
- Numbers and operations
- Data analysis
- Problem Solving
6. How do I register for the ISEE?
You can register for the ISEE by phone (800-446-0320), mail, fax (919-682-5775), or online at http://erblearn.org/parents/admission/isee/registration
7. What fees are associated with the ISEE?
The online registration fee is $80. The phone registration fee is $100. Late registration costs $95.