## Cracking the SSAT & ISEE - The Princeton Review 2019

# Everything you always wanted to know about the ISEE

The ISEE

**WHAT IS THE ISEE?**

The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) is a standardized test made up of a series of multiple-choice questions and a writing sample. All three levels of the ISEE may be taken online or in the traditional pencil/paper format. The entire test lasts a little less than three hours, during which you will work on five different sections. The writing sample is not scored. The other four sections of the test are scored and your score report will show those scaled scores. You will also receive a percentile score for each section (between 1 percent and 99 percent) that compares your test scores with those of other test takers from the previous three years. In addition, percentiles are then converted into stanines on a scale from 1—9.

**Lower Level**

Verbal Reasoning |
34 questions |
20 minutes |

Quantitative Reasoning |
38 questions |
35 minutes |

Reading Comprehension |
25 questions |
25 minutes |

Mathematics Achievement |
30 questions |
30 minutes |

Essay (ungraded) |
1 essay topic |
30 minutes |

**Plan Ahead**

Early registration will not only give you one less thing to worry about as the test approaches, but will also get you your first-choice test center.

**Middle Level**

Verbal Reasoning |
40 questions |
20 minutes |

Quantitative Reasoning |
37 questions |
35 minutes |

Reading Comprehension |
36 questions |
35 minutes |

Mathematics Achievement |
47 questions |
40 minutes |

Essay (ungraded) |
1 essay topic |
30 minutes |

**Upper Level**

Verbal Reasoning |
40 questions |
20 minutes |

Quantitative Reasoning |
37 questions |
35 minutes |

Reading Comprehension |
36 questions |
35 minutes |

Mathematics Achievement |
47 questions |
40 minutes |

Essay (ungraded) |
1 essay topic |
30 minutes |

**Prepare Wisely**

Print or order “What to Expect on the ISEE” from the ERB at www.erblearn.org.

**What’s on the Isee?**

The Verbal section of the ISEE tests your knowledge of vocabulary using two different question types: synonyms and sentence completions. There are no analogies on the ISEE. The Reading Comprehension section tests your ability to read and understand short passages. These reading passages include both fiction and nonfiction. The Math sections test your knowledge of general mathematical concepts through two different question types: problem-solving questions and quantitative comparison questions. The quantitative comparison questions ask you to compare two columns of data. There are no quantitative comparison questions on the Lower Level ISEE. Remember, there is no guessing penalty on the ISEE. You should select an answer for every question.

**Upper Versus Middle Versus Lower Levels**

There are, in effect, three different versions of the ISEE. The Lower Level test is taken by students who are, at the time of testing, in the fourth and fifth grades. Students who are in the sixth and seventh grades take the Middle Level test. Students who are in the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades take the Upper Level test. All three levels use the same scale. Students receive four scaled scores ranging from 760 on the low end to 940 at the top.

There are few major differences between the Lower, Middle, and Upper Level tests. There are some differences in content, however; for instance, vocabulary on the Middle Level test is less challenging than it is on the Upper Level test. The Middle and Upper Level tests cover the same general math concepts (arithmetic, algebra, geometry, charts, and graphs), but naturally, the Middle Level test will ask slightly easier questions than the Upper Level test. There are no quantitative comparison questions on the Lower Level test. The Lower Level test is 20 minutes shorter than the others.

Because the Lower Level ISEE tests both fourth and fifth graders, the Middle Level tests both sixth and seventh graders, and the Upper Level tests eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders, there are questions on the tests that students testing at the lower end of each of those groups might have difficulty answering. Younger students’ scaled scores and percentiles will not be harmed by this fact. Both sets of scores take into consideration a student’s age. However, younger students may feel intimidated by this. If you are at the lower end of your test’s age group, there will be questions you are not supposed to be able to answer and that’s perfectly all right.

Likewise, the material in this book follows the content of the two tests without breaking it down further into age groups or grades. Content that will appear only on the Upper Level test has been labeled as “Upper Level only.” Students taking the Lower and Middle Level tests do not need to work on the Upper Level content. Nevertheless, younger students may not have yet seen some of the material included in the Lower and Middle Level review. Parents are advised to help younger students with their work in this book and seek teachers’ advice or instruction if necessary.