Test Info: ISEE

ISEE 

The ISEE (Independent Schools Entrance Exam) is a standardized test for independent school admissions developed and administered by the ERB (Educational Records Bureau). It is the admission test of choice for the majority of independent day schools in New York City. The exam has versions designed for four different levels: the Primary level exam is for students who are applying for admission to grades 2 to 4, the Lower Level is for students currently in grades 4 and 5 who are applying for admission to grades 5 and 6, the Middle Level is for students currently in grades 6 and 7 who are applying for admission to grades 7 and 8, and the Upper Level is for students currently in grades 8 to 11 who are applying for admission to grades 9 to 12.

The Primary Level ISEE consists of two main sections, one on Auditory/Reading Comprehension and one on Mathematics. Both of these sections are multiple choice. The Primary Level ISEE also includes an untimed and unscored Writing Sample which is sent directly to the school(s) to which the student is applying.

Information on the Primary Level can be found here

The information below refers only to the Lower, Middle, and Upper exams.
For all three of these tests, the exam is divided into a multiple-choice section (1 hour and 50 minutes for the Lower Level, 2 hours and 10 minutes for Middle and Upper Levels) and an essay section (30 minutes). The multiple-choice section is divided into four parts: Verbal Reasoning (20 minutes), Quantitative Reasoning (math) (35 minutes), Reading Comprehension (25 minutes Lower Level, 35 minutes Middle and Upper Levels), and Mathematics Achievement (30 minutes Lower Level, 40 minutes Middle and Upper Levels), always given in that order. If students are not sure of a correct answer, they are advised to make an educated guess since there is no penalty for an incorrect response. For the essay, the last section in the exam, students are asked to respond to a writing prompt.

For each of the four multiple-choice parts of the test, students receive a scaled score of 760–940, a stanine score of 1–9, and a percentile rank. The essay is not scored by the ERB, but a copy is sent to the school(s) to which the student is applying. Considered a crucial component of the application, the essay is evaluated by admissions officers according to specific and rigorous criteria.

  • Find the latest ISEE Updates here.
  • Register for the ISEE here.

Entire Time Allotted for Actual-Timed Sections:

Lower Level: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Middle & Upper Levels: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Find the latest information on official administrations of the ISEE here.

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