What is the ISEE Test?


The ISEE Test

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) test is used by independent schools to evaluate the core academic skills of applicants. Students who are applying for acceptance to these schools may be required to take the appropriate ISEE test for their grade level. The ISEE test is used both in the United States and other countries around the world.

Grade Levels for the ISEE Test

There are four levels for the ISEE test that are used to evaluate students' skills. The ISEE Primary test is designed for students who are preparing to start grades 2, 3 or 4. It can only be taken online. The ISEE Lower Level is the test that students who will be starting grade 5 or grade 6 are required to take. Students have the option of taking the online version of this test or the paper test.

The ISEE Middle Level is offered in the paper test format as well as the online testing format. It is used to evaluate students who will be starting grade 7 or grade 8.

When students are seeking admission to grades 9, 10, 11 or 12 in an independent school, they may be required to take the ISEE Upper Level test. Like the Lower and Middle Level test-takers, these students have the option of choosing between the computer and paper versions of the test.

Testing Areas

The ISEE Primary focuses on reading, writing and math. The ISEE Primary 2 (an individual test at the primary level) also focuses on auditory comprehension.

For the Lower, Middle and Upper Levels of the ISEE, test-takers are evaluated on these specific areas:

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Mathematical Skills
  • Essay Writing

Testing Periods

Students who need to take the ISEE test can do so during one of the three testing windows during the school year. The first testing window begins in August and lasts through November. The second testing window during the school year goes from December to March. The third testing window begins in April and runs through July.

Testing Restrictions

Students are only allowed to take the ISEE test one time per testing window. They may retake the ISEE test during the next testing window. This means that a test-taker is allowed to attempt the ISEE test up to three times during a calendar year.

Test Cost

The standard cost for taking the ISEE test is $110. This is for students who take the test as part of a large group at a designated school. Additional fees apply to those who take the test in a small testing group or who take the test individually. Small group testing costs $180. Taking the test alone at a Prometric test site costs $190.

ISEE Study Materials

Individuals can prepare for the ISEE test by using reputable study materials, such as these study guide courses. They are designed to prepare students for the ISEE Lower, Middle and Upper Level tests. The ISEE Lower Level study course has 109 lessons. There are 132 lessons in the ISEE Middle Level study course, and the ISEE Upper Level course has 234 lessons in total. Students who work through these lessons before taking the ISEE test will have reviewed all of the material that they will be tested on.

Continue reading: ISEE Score Information

The score report ISEE test-takers receive contain three scores for each of the assessment areas. This article explains these scores and what they represent and how to use a score report to prepare to retake the ISEE test if necessary.

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