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About the ISEE
The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is an admissions test for private and independent schools. The ISEE is administered at four different levels: Primary, Lower, Middle, and Upper. There are differences among the levels, but all four include a writing sample, a verbal section, a reading section, and at least one math section. Total testing time is between 1 and 3 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good ISEE test score?
It depends on your child’s grade and the school to which they are applying. The Upper, Middle, and Lower Levels of the exam are all reported on the same scale: 760–940. Primary Level scores range from 200–499. Scaled scores are then converted to percentile ranks to compare with other students. There is no incorrect answer penalty, so only correct answers count toward your score.
What to expect on the ISEE?
The Primary Level exam is only offered online. Students taking the Lower, Middle, and Upper Level exams can choose either a pencil-and-paper or an online version of the test. For the Middle and Upper Level exams, the first four sections of the test are multiple-choice, and the fifth section is an essay. The essay is sent directly to the school(s) to which your child will apply without a score.
How long does the ISEE test take?
For the Primary Level exam, the multiple choice sections of the test are about 1 hour long and the essay is untimed. On the Lower Level exam, the multiple choice and timed essay sections together are about 2.5 hours long. The Middle or Upper Level exams take about 3 hours for the multiple choice and essay.
How to prepare for the ISEE?
First, figure out what score your child will need for your family’s target schools. Next, take a practice test, which are available on the testmaker’s website. Based on this score, you will want to create a prep plan together that may include using a book, a self-paced prep course, or a private tutor. The testmaker does not encourage testing more than once, so planning ahead is essential.