Students must take the ISEE when they are seeking admission into a school that requires the exam as part of the admission process.
The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and an essay. Although the essay is not scored, it is sent to the school(s) designated by the examinee. It can be taken online or via the paper/pencil method.
Keep in mind that your score is based on the number of questions you get correct. Therefore, even if you are not completely sure of the correct answer, make an educated guess.
Accommodations are available for individuals with conditions that meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. When requesting accommodations, you must do so before registering for the test.
What are the categories and topics covered on this exam?
There are 5 areas that will be assessed on this exam. The areas are:
- Verbal Reasoning – 40
- Quantitative Reasoning – 37
- Reading Comprehension – 36
- Mathematics Achievement – 47
- Essay – 1
Under the Verbal Reasoning category, questions will be on synonyms and sentence completion. “Synonym” questions focus on word recognition and reason. “Sentence completion” focuses on words and function. You will be given 20 minutes to complete the questions of this category.
Under the Quantitative Reasoning category, questions will follow the formats of word problems and quantitative comparisons be on the subjects of numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis and probability, and problem solving. These questions will require little to no calculations, but rather test your ability to think mathematically. You will be given 35 minutes to complete the questions of this category.
Under the Reading Comprehension category, questions will focus on the categories of main ideas, supporting ideas, inference, vocabulary, organization/logic, and tone/style/figurative language, regarding the subjects of history, science, literature, and contemporary life. You will be given 35 minutes to complete the questions of this category.
Under the Mathematics Achievement category, questions will assess your ability to recognize and solve problems in numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis and probability, and problem solving. Although you are not allowed to have a calculator or scratch paper, questions in this category will likely require you to perform calculations in order to figure out the correct answer. You will be given 40 minutes to complete the questions of this category.
Under the Essay category, you will be given a writing prompt and required to use a pen to craft a response to the prompt. The prompt will be related to areas of interest at this grade/age level. You will be given 30 minutes to complete the essay.
The verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, and mathematics achievement categories consist of multiple-choice questions.
What is the most convenient way to register for the exam?
What is the cost of the exam?
This depends on the setting in which you take the exam. For example, taking the test in a large group at school will cost $120, while taking the exam at an official testing center will cost $200.
What are the testing dates and locations?
There are three testing seasons per year:
April – July (Spring/Summer)
August – November (Fall)
December – March (Winter)
You are allowed to take the exam a maximum of three times in a 12-month period.
This test may be taken at a group of schools in the U.S. that use the same entrance test program, at an individual school, or an official testing center.
What should I do the day of the exam?
When you arrive for the exam, you are expected to present your verification letter or valid form of identification.
If you are taking the paper/pencil test, you must bring several No. 2 pencils and black or blue-ink pens.
Items such as a cell phone, calculator, handbag, briefcase, water bottle, and study materials are prohibited from the testing area.
Can I take a break during the exam?
During this exam, you will be allotted two breaks that are each 5-10 minutes long. The first break is after the Quantitative Reasoning section. The second is after the Mathematics Achievement section.
What happens after I take the exam?
Once your exam is scored, you will receive an email informing you that you can view the result online.
How do I know if I passed or failed the exam?
ISEE is an exam that you do not pass or fail. Each school uses your score to help assess whether or not you will be accepted into the institution.
With that being said, your score report will present four results, based on the following:
Scaled score: 760-940
Percentile rank: 1-99
How Can I Prepare for the ISEE Middle Level Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!