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The Premier Choice for ISEE Prep

Your child's ISEE score serves as an important factor in the admissions process at competitive independent elementary, middle and high schools. Your child can score higher on the ISEE, and we can show you how. Explore our options and get started today.

The ISEE Levels

The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) is developed and administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) to help determine a student's admission qualifications. The exam is administered on four levels, depending on the test taker’s grade level. The total exam time depends on the test level. For all levels, the essay is not included in the test score. Instead, a copy is sent to the schools you request to receive your scores.

For Entrance To

Appropriate Test Level

Grades 2-4

Primary Level

Grades 5 and 6

Lower Level

Grades 7 and 8

Middle Level

Grades 9-12

Upper Level

ISEE Primary Level

The Primary 2 Exam is given to students applying for entrance to second grade. It is 53 minutes long and includes an untimed writing sample. The Primary 3 Exam is given to students applying for entrance to third grade. It is 54 minutes long and includes an untimed writing sample. The Primary 4 Exam is given to students applying for entrance to fourth grade. It is 60 minutes long and includes an untimed writing sample. For more specific information on the ISEE Primary Level Exams, explore the Online Interactive What To Expect On The ISEE Materials.

ISEE Lower Level

The Lower Level Exam is given to students applying for entrance to fifth or sixth grade. It is 2 hours and 20 minutes long.

Section

Number of Questions

Section Length

Verbal Reasoning

34

20 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

38

35 minutes

Reading Comprehension

25

25 minutes

Mathematics Achievement

30

30 minutes

Essay

1

30 minutes

Total Time

2 hours, 20 minutes

ISEE Middle and Upper Level

The Middle Level Exam is given to students applying for entrance to seventh or eighth grade, while the Upper Level Exam is given to students applying for entrance to ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade. The Middle Level and Upper Level exams have the same number of questions, and they are both 2 hours and 40 minutes long.

Section

Number of Questions

Section Length

Verbal Reasoning

40

20 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

37

35 minutes

Reading Comprehension

36

35 minutes

Mathematics Achievement

47

40 minutes

Essay

1

30 minutes

Total Time

2 hours, 40 minutes

Registration Details

Students may take the ISEE at approved ERB member school test sites, Prometric locations, or ERB’s New York City office. Note that Prometric sites offer online administration and are available only for students entering grades 5-12. Registration is available online, by mail, and by phone. ISEE test dates vary by year and location. The registration fee varies depending on the methods for registration and testing. Learn more about registering for the ISEE by visiting the ERB website.

Interpreting Scores

All questions on the ISEE are equal in value. The raw score is determined solely by the number of questions answered correctly since there is no "wrong answer" penalty. This means that students should always guess and never leave a question blank.

The ISEE report will include multiple sets of scores and percentiles:

Scaled Score
The raw score for each section is converted into a scaled score. The Lower, Middle, and Upper Level exams all use a scaled score between 760 and 940. For more information about the Primary Level exam scaled score ranges, explore ERB’s interactive What to Expect on the ISEE online materials.

Percentile Score
Schools also receive percentile scores (based on a 3-year rolling norm pool of applicants to the same grade regardless of gender) so that they can assess where you stack up against other students. These percentile scores are included on your score report, along with stanines and a stanine analysis to represent the percentiles.

To learn more about scoring for the various ISEE Levels, visit the ERB website and review the information found within the ISEE Student Guide and the What To Expect On The ISEE resources.