Unraveling the ISEE: A Key Component in Private School Admissions

When preparing for private school admissions, parents and students may come across the term “ISEE.” Short for the Independent School Entrance Exam, the ISEE is a standardized test often used as part of the admission process for many private elementary, middle, and high schools.

 What is the ISEE?

The ISEE is a test administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), often used by private schools to assess a student’s potential for success in a rigorous academic environment. It tests students on verbal and quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, and mathematics achievement.

 Different Levels

The ISEE is divided into four levels, corresponding to the entrance grade levels:

• Primary Level: for entrance to grades 2 • 4.

• Lower Level: for entrance to grades 5 • 6.

• Middle Level: for entrance to grades 7 • 8.

• Upper Level: for entrance to grades 9 • 12.

Each level has age•appropriate questions designed to evaluate a student’s reasoning abilities and academic achievement.

 Test Format

The ISEE includes five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and an Essay section. While the first four sections are multiple•choice, the essay section requires students to write a short essay in response to a given prompt.

 Test Preparation

Adequate preparation is key to performing well on the ISEE. Preparation materials, including practice tests, are available through the ERB’s official website. Private tutors, prep classes, and online resources can also be beneficial.

 Score Reporting

Scores are reported as stanines, which range from 1 (low) to 9 (high). Schools receive a copy of the student’s essay along with the test scores.

In summary, understanding the ISEE involves recognizing:

• The ISEE is a standardized test used by many private schools during the admissions process.

• It has four levels, each designed for a specific grade level entrance.

• The test format includes five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and an Essay.

• Proper preparation can enhance a student’s performance on the test.

• Scores are reported as stanines, and the student’s essay is shared with schools.

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